Magazine article Techniques

Career and Technical Educator Addresses Senate Committee. (in Washington)

Magazine article Techniques

Career and Technical Educator Addresses Senate Committee. (in Washington)

Article excerpt

In March, Robert J. Kemmery, the executive director of student support services for the Baltimore County Public Schools, spoke to the Senate Agriculture Committee about the benefits of business-education partnerships. He told the committee that such partnerships enhance student achievement and pride in the public schools, but he also advised that local educators, working closely with parents, should develop policies that govern partnerships between local businesses and schools.

"Business-school partnerships, including one with a local soft drink company, at Eastern Technical High School where I was principal in 1991, were essential in empowering a school and community to revitalize and reinvent itself," said Kemmery.

Eastern Tech progressed from a school rated unsatisfactory in many areas of the Maryland State Department of Education's School Report Card to being named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1997. In 1999, it was designated a U.S. Department of Education New American High School.

Kemmery, who was the ACTE-McDonald's Outstanding Career and Technical Educator for 2002, noted that food and beverage sales at schools seem to garner more scrutiny than other business partnerships.

"In my experience," he told the Senate committee, "the best way to foster partnerships is for the local community, not the Congress, to make the final decisions about vending machines in their schools. …

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