For the past several days I’ve been posting about the discrimination against Career Technical Education teachers in California, and some solutions to this problem, and yesterday explained how CTE teachers can be recognized as being Highly Qualified by the standards started with “No Child Left Behind”.
And while all of this clearly affects the teachers involved, I want to make clear that this discrimination dramatically affects our children’s future, and hence our nation’s future.
Why do I make such a big claim? Because there is a systemic problem that far too many academic teachers don’t have enough real life experience (as I will explain more soon in an upcoming post). But on the flip side, a Career Technical Education teacher in California must have experience in their field to gain their credential.
As an example of why this is so important, I will share a little about my college experience. When I first went to a community college after high school, many of my best instructors were those who taught the night classes, because they had day jobs in the same field. This meant that they brought current, real life examples to class. And the question of “where are we going to use this in real life” wasn’t a problem, because they focused on what would really be used on the job.
Similarly, California high school pupils would be much better off, if they had more teachers who had the life experience to help their students towards the work world. The layoff of so many CTE teachers, and the likely layoff of so many more, is a tragedy for our students, because it means there is less real life experience in our schools and colleges, which continues to make them ivory towers, that once a student climbs, they often just step off, and free fall from their student debt, with no job prospects in sight.