Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (9/8)

CTE Shop Class:  NOW – IT’S HIGH-TECH

By Mike Porcelli

Welcome to the second chapter of “The Other Side Of Education,” a title that was inspired by my appearance last month on my friend Frank Morano’s WABC radio show, “The Other Side Of Midnight,” because trade education is the OTHER alternative to the academic education path that’s promoted by most secondary school systems.

Since the time my high school tried to discourage me from taking shop class 60 years ago, I’ve known that trade education, now CTE, is a viable alternative to the costly, “college is the only path to success,” that’s been promoted by the education establishment.

Career and technical education is not only an equally effective route… for students with the aptitude and desire, CTE offers opportunities for faster entry into high-paying, very satisfying jobs that are in high demand — with little or no debt.

Last week I again appeared on Frank’s show to discuss the extremely positive feedback we both received from our first discussion on education.

Many of his listeners called or wrote to express their support for restoring trade education. Some reported their own regrets about not being offered CTE programs. Others expressed their support for expanding those programs for current students, and their dissatisfaction with the slow pace of bringing shop classes back for those who want them.

Some people reported that because they were denied the opportunity for trade training in high school, they were forced to seek out and pay for career training on their own.

In all cases, that training provided them with highly successful careers, often with higher earnings than their classmates who were burdened by college debt.

Reactions to the first chapter of this column were much the same… great support for expanding CTE programs now, and regrets that they have been diminished for half a century.

The two sides of the education coin, academic and trade training, are NOT mutually exclusive. I took advantage of both while in high school and college.

Many others have also enjoyed the benefits of the two sides of education and gone on to earn all levels of college degrees during their careers — mostly without debt.

Others who went directly to college and could not find satisfying employment, later turned to trade schools to learn useful skills, providing them with successful careers.

For our economy and society to continue to prosper: schools must develop each student’s individual natural abilities and talents — whatever they are.

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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