SAN DIEGO – Career and technical education has come a long way since the days when students could be steered from academics into hairstyling, auto repairs or carpentry. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to sell the concept of having all students take courses in CTE, as it is known.
Take what happened this March in La Jolla. Parents rose in protest after the San Diego Unified School District proposed new high school graduation requirements mandating two years of career and technical education courses – or two to four courses. The district would have been the first in the nation to have such a mandate, experts believe. Parents circulated an online protest petition, and school officials spent hours in a meeting to assure hundreds of parents that courses like computerized accounting, child development and website design could be in the best interest of all students.
But afterwards, when parent leaders asked the crowd who favored the requirement, every single parent at the meeting voted against it.