The President’s Call For A New Vocational Training

The President’s call to remake a wing of high-school on German lines. Vocational training for the high-tech jobs of the future.

C.K. McClatchy High School senior Anthony Beanes, 18, works on a computer animation project in a three-dimensional animation class in Sacramento, Calif., part of the school's vocational education program. (AP)

C.K. McClatchy High School senior Anthony Beanes, 18, works on a computer animation project in a three-dimensional animation class in Sacramento, Calif., part of the school’s vocational education program. (AP)

Jobs and education got a lot of attention in the President’s State of the Union address the other night.  Education, starting pre-K.  Jobs and education planted right in high school.

German-style, said the president.  Schools and corporations working together to put high school grads on a track straight into a job.  And not old-fashioned “vocational education” – wood shop, mechanics, hair dressing.  The call here is for high tech

This hour, On Point:  high schools, educating to a job.  Plus we’ll look at the President’s “College Scorecard,” sizing up your “bang for the buck” in higher ed.

-Tom Ashbrook


Alyson Klein, reporter for Education Week.

Stanley Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs for IBM and president of IBM’s foundation. He helped develop New York City’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH).

Simon Field, senior analyst in the Education and Training Policy Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Closing Segment on the White House’s College Scorecard

Kevin Kiley, reported for Inside Higher Ed. (@kkiley)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “Rewarding high schools for high-tech curriculum doesn’t mean every student will head to college. Obama mentioned “those German kids” who come up through schools that make sure they’ve got the skills for a job by the time they graduate. He pointed to P-Tech in Brooklyn, where graduates leave with a high school diploma and associate’s degree in a high-tech field.”

Education Week “Obama also wants to see Career and Technical education programs—which were due for an update last year reauthorization—revamped to put more emphasis on preparing students for post-secondary education and the workforce. The administration put forward a blueprint for updating the program last year that called for making a portion of the funding competitive, which generally jibes with the broad proposal in the speech.”

The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) “The caller wanted to know about Henning’s job in Louisville and the on-the-job apprenticeship training program he went through. After five years with the company and 8,000 hours of experience under a journeyman machinist, Henning now oversees his own apprentices. Then the caller invited him to the State of the Union address as a guest of the First Lady.”

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