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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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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Stop redefining poverty for political reasons

File under: gerrymandering, politics, evil, manipulation, bread and circuses, public perception

0 (0 votes)

From: Matt E., Fargo, ND

Since some part of the increase in those considered to be below the poverty level has to do with specious and politically motivated redefinitions of the poverty line, there's no reason that a different set of politicians couldn't just redefine the poverty line and "poverty" to mean something else. Moving the poverty line up or down isn't meaningful.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of Americans of any income level are better off today than they were in 1968. People, even many below the poverty line, have safer cars that last longer and harm the environment less. They have air conditioners that use less electricity and let people live more comfortably. They have better medicines, and they have cheaper access to better vaccines and subsidized health.

Since every time we declare war on something in this country, we funnel lots of money into fighting it but only manage to make the problem bigger, perhaps we should just officially declare war on prosperity.


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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

  • 05.05.16

    Should Colleges Teach Men How to Be Men?

    Should colleges have men's studies majors or men's resource centers? Our guest this week tells us that male college students would get better grades if they rejected stereotypes of hyper-masculinity.
  • 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

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    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.