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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

Move commodity subsidies to small-scale farmers

File under: local farmers, government subsidies, food, jobs, other

0 (0 votes)

From: Chris P., St. Louis, MO

Most of our farmers cannot make a living wage doing what they do. Whether a commodity farmer (corn, wheat, soybeans) or as a small scale vegetable farmer, the costs are too high to make a real living doing it.

The federal government needs to move money from the commodities markets and put a lot more money into the production of fruits and vegetables. Not only would it reduce poverty by getting more individuals going back to the farm to grow crops, but it would reduce the artificially low prices of junk food.

I am dealing with this challenge by buying as much food as I can from local providers. Junk food is cheap and easy to find, but it starves both the economy and our bodies of health.

The government can do so much good if it would just ignore the special interest groups and take a good look at what they can do to TRULY help Americans. And we can do so much good by voting with our debit cards. When we buy local food, it's not necessarily about the environment. It's about supporting our local farmers and keeping them fully employed.


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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.