Saturday, December 26, 2015

Vocational Schools, STEM, and ATRs

     As I am pondering the state of education in NYC, there are many things that I find upsetting and frustrating. All students are being pushed into college. By all, I include those who are functionally illiterate and those who don't want to go to college.  I've met many students who want to be tradespeople, cosmetologists, and entrepreneurs. They don't know how to write a check, sign their name or tell time. No, they aren't mentally disabled - they just haven't been taught. Common Core, test prep and college readiness has made sure there is no time for that, or at least that's one (they're really all the same thing) of the excuses.

     NYC is the business capital of the world and there are virtually no business classes being taught. Bloomberg became a billionaire by creating his own businesses and ran the schools as such, but he closed vocational schools! (Schools, of course, are not businesses - they are social institutions. Running them as businesses is incredibly wrong.) If Bloomberg imparted one tenth of his entrepreneurial experience into business high schools he could have jump started tremendous innovations. Mulgrew was (and should have stayed) a wood-shop teacher, why hasn't he requested that the new mayor reopen vocational schools? It's downright embarrassing that NYC public schools feel business and the trades aren't important enough to teach.

     Then there's the big push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) classes, schools, and teachers. There's plenty of ATRs out there.  If you don't have enough STEM teachers couldn't ATR teachers be used to facilitate this shift? Many already are Math and Science teachers. Logic dictates ATRs have been permanently relegated to the position of "Sub".
     Happy holidays to all.

1 comment:

  1. Mulgrew was an English teacher teaching video shop classes. He wasn't a wood working teacher.


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