Georgia Needs More Vocational Education 
By Dr. John Trotter 

 Not all students are cut out for college.  No shame.  They can and often do make more money and have a good career and life in jobs which do not require college education.  However, the standardized tests are driving everything now.  Presumably, this is why Beverly Hall shut down a highly successful auto body shop at the old Archer High School.  This "shop class" could not contribute to the standardized tests (the false gods of public education), though this "shop class" had contributed mightily to changing many students' lives in the Perry Homes/Hollywood Court area of Atlanta.  These kids, under the inspirational leadership of Mr. Whitehead, took this "shop class," took great pride in their success (winning statewide competition), and got meaningful jobs in places like Beaudry Ford.  But, abruptly and without sufficient explanation, the program was eliminated.

   The standardized tests are driving this notion that all students should become "scholars" rather than "vocationalists" (did I make up this word?).  Most of the students, I believe, who begin college do not complete college.  They went down the wrong track.  The British model may provide something in the offing.  The State of Georgia should forget about the standardized test scores.  The State should throw off the shackles of stadardized testing.  Yes, have tests, but for the purposes of simply gaining insight, not funds.  In the old days, we had the yearly Achievement Tests, but we were not enslaved to these tests.  The State should establish strong vocational programs in nearly every high school in Georgia. (c) MACE, August 18, 2009.


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