Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (11/24)

CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech

Students: Be thankful for…

By Mike Porcelli

During this week of Thanksgiving, what should students be grateful for?

American students should be grateful they live in the only country where everyone, regardless of their background, has every opportunity to obtain all the education they want.

Students lucky enough to enroll in schools that develop their natural talents and abilities as much as possible, should be the most thankful. It’s proven they’ll enjoy the greatest long-term career and life success.

Unfortunately, as stressed here constantly, many schools still do not offer programs best suited to each student and continue to disparage and defund skilled trade training that could best fit many students’ needs.

We should all be thankful for the U.S. Military, because it not only protects us, it’s also our largest career training institution, where every member is evaluated and trained in the skills best suited to their abilities. More schools should follow their example. Every veteran I know is extremely thankful for their training in military and career skills, leading to later career success.

Even though the public and many education professionals now realize, the high school to college pipeline of the past 50 years has failed many students, schools continue to “guide” students into programs that don’t meet their needs, leaving them in debt, under-skilled and under-employed.

Even those “misguided” students can be grateful for the wide array of training programs available in all trades. Everyone in this country can obtain training which does suit them – even if belatedly. Students prevented from entering their preferred programs in high school or college, can find training in every profession, much of it available at little or no cost. They should be grateful for and take advantage of those opportunities.

Those previously denied their ideal education can be grateful for the numerous job-training programs available in every trade area. There are countless stories of high school and college-graduates, and non-graduates as well, who return to school to obtain skilled-trade-certifications, leading to satisfying careers. They can be grateful for training for high-paying jobs – at any age. Many trade-training programs have students of every age-group – proving it’s never too late to learn.

This year, I am thankful for the support expressed by many readers of this column each week and the increased interest in CTE programs shown by school board members and the Department of Education. I am particularly grateful that, possibly because of the thoughts expressed here, the City Council will soon consider passing legislation that will provide increased resources to expand and improve much-needed CTE programs in more schools. 

Everyone should immediately contact their City Council and school board members to demand expanded CTE programs wherever possible.

If this becomes a reality, next Thanksgiving, more students will be able to give thanks for entering their CTE program of choice, and their best possible education experiences.

Our students deserve it. Let’s do it!

Academic & Trade Education are Two Sides of a Coin. This column explores the impact of CTE programs on students, society, and the economy.

Mike Porcelli: life-long mechanic, adjunct professor, and host of Autolab Radio, is committed to restoring trade education in schools before it’s too late. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-porcelli-master-mechanic-allasecerts/ 

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