Magazine article Techniques

Apathy: Our Biggest Enemy

Magazine article Techniques

Apathy: Our Biggest Enemy

Article excerpt

I sometimes get the sense that a very few people in career and technical education are carrying the weight for many others. The members of ACTE represent only a fraction of all career and technical educators in the nation, but all career and technical educators benefit from ACTE's activities. This is true for membership at many levels, not just in the national organization.

ACTE has some very dedicated, hard-working members who make it their responsibility to carry on a tradition of effective work with legislators and other policy-makers who support career and technical education. It has been my privilege over the years to work with many of these people who give of their time selflessly in the pursuit of the greater good and the advancement of career and technical education. To them, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There are others in the profession who are not part of ACTE and the state associations. In fact, most teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, teacher educators, and state department employees all over the country are not members of national ACTE, their state association, state division, or other affiliated group. These are the very organizations that are fighting for their programs, yet they do not belong.

I hear it said that many people today are not joiners. Our membership is aging and getting close to retirement. New teachers are not available or are not being hired. Funds have been reduced for our programs. Students are not enrolling in programs, so they're being closed. You name it, the list goes on. And many of these things are true-perhaps.

But what is the real culprit? Could it be that too many people are willing to accept things the way they are, or the way they think they are? Could it be that the litany of reasons for why things are not better is just an excuse to not take action? Could it be the real enemy is apathy?

Never before has the need for career and technical education been more apparent. Business and industry are screaming for skilled employees. There is a projected shortage of some 800,000 information technology workers in many different industries. Similar worker shortages are reported in other sectors like construction, automotive, and service careers. …

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