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A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

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  • 04.21.16

    High School Job Prep

    Want a job? So does every student ever! Maybe career and technical education classes are the way to go. Shaun Dougherty says you could be more likely to graduate and earn more if you do.
  • 04.14.16

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    Private tutoring is no longer just for the rich kids. Our guest tells us how the individual attention improves student learning and graduation rates.
  • 04.07.16

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Develop welfare programs that foster interdependent generations

File under: welfare

0 (0 votes)

From: Ajay B., Minneapolis, MN

"Take good care of your children...they will choose your old age home," reads a bumper sticker. We are interdependent on our family and society. At the level of a family, parents take care of the children, each other and grandparents. At the level of a society, the working population pays for the welfare of the preceding and succeeding generations. A child can be conditioned to be altruistic towards a parent and the public. The government has a prominent role in this conditioning.

Government assistance can add to whatever parents are able to provide, allowing children to reach their full potential. This makes children productive citizens, and gives them a feeling of gratitude towards their parents. Government assistance can also replace parental provision, which may weaken the sense of obligation and gratitude towards parents. Thus, the government has to do a balancing act with regard to its various welfare programs. For example, recent research has shown that welfare programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) might have unintended consequences which go beyond nutrition.

Designers and administrators of welfare programs in state and federal governments need to provide a more coordinated package of programs. Then, and only then, will the programs achieve their goal of increased welfare. Providing better management and resources to the welfare programs might seem like an additional burden on government resources, but integrated management of programs will likely yield personnel and office space cost savings. Also, different generations taking better care of each other might save the state on expenditures on seniors and foster care.


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American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 04.28.16

    “My Frain is Bried”: Shadowing a Student

    "Welcome to our world." Educators take an entire school day to shadow a student and walk in their shoes. We find out how it went for one teacher.
  • 04.21.16

    High School Job Prep

    Want a job? So does every student ever! Maybe career and technical education classes are the way to go. Shaun Dougherty says you could be more likely to graduate and earn more if you do.
  • 04.14.16

    How Tutoring Helps Students

    Private tutoring is no longer just for the rich kids. Our guest tells us how the individual attention improves student learning and graduation rates.
  • 04.07.16

    Is Advanced Math Necessary?

    In our last episode, Andrew Hacker argued that math courses like algebra are unnecessary for most high schoolers. This week's guest couldn't disagree more.