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

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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

Support people early on: Avoid increasing poverty through neglect

File under: poverty, job training, education, jobs, future vision

0 (0 votes)

From: E G., Eden Prairie, MN

There are obviously several reasons for and causes of poverty. Stemming poverty has multiple parts:

Prongs

Focus on people now in poverty and people who are broken and will end up in poverty or breed more future poverty. Keeping the problem manageable is crucial, otherwise we will never catch up. We will never mitigate the circumstances of poverty. Change what we can change. Adapt.

Driver's ed and maps

People in poverty need a toolkit and road map, in the event they can be self-actualized to work their way out.

The young and healthy, for example, may mostly need a framework for how to succeed. They have a lifetime ahead of them. If left to flounder, they could add to the poverty problem. Instead, nip it in the bud by teaching them.

Toolkits and tire patches

Getting a handle on poverty requires addressing people's hope and entire worldview before they become jaded and learn bad habits, or become victims acted upon in society. Patch them up enough to contribute to their own exodus from poverty.

Roads

Then we have to create some options. This should be apparent to anyone whose world has been rocked in the current economic recession.

Obviously, if there are no jobs or educational opportunities,

looking for work or trying to become educated is a dead end for many people.

Education

Remote learning is important in this.

We don't need the overhead of brick and mortar schools as much as we used to. This should make it more affordable to acquire some basic skill sets and enhance the skill set of older workers. And, it is a better use of time than commuting to and from those edifices.

Two years of community college for the population, or prepping students to make them ready for college is essential in the future -- for people in poverty, and for citizens who are the support structure for these unfortunate people.

Future workers are expected to change careers four to five times in a lifetime, yet there is no versatile preparation that facilitates such career changes without returning someone to the bottom rung in his or her new field. Everyone needs to be versatile, because anyone could fall into poverty or near poverty.


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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.