Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Technology Exchange Continues

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Technology Exchange Continues

Article excerpt

MR. LITOWITZ states that "At the heart of the dispute between Mr. Howlett and myself lies one simple question: At what level is vocational preparation best delivered?" This is only partially correct. While it may be true that the technology education programs in Pennsylvania are "holding their own," the question must be asked, "At what cost?" Was the educational community somehow convinced that technology education was the wave of the future and a less expensive replacement for vocational education? Is "technology education" answering the desires of students or filling the needs of American industries?

I believe our disagreement is more correctly contained in Mr. Litowitz's statement: "I don't even have a problem with high school juniors and seniors opting to take some vocational courses at a career center in lieu of the traditional high school fare." There you have it. At some time, many have been sold a bill of goods, an educational philosophy, or a view of the future, which ultimately denigrates the skilled worker. His or her preparation for an occupation is not worthy enough to be included in the "traditional high school fare." I disagree and frankly am offended by his statement.

During my years in school, "traditional high school fare" included choices from a wide variety of vocational/career courses. Who decided to remove those choices? Not the students. They are leaving high schools in California (and I suspect in other states as well) in huge numbers because high school is not relevant. I would call Mr. Litowiz's attention once again to that part of my article which presents data from California that shows a direct correlation between closure of Career Technical Education classes and an increased dropout rate. …

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