Check out my op-ed in the Daily Cal!

In case you missed it, I recently wrote an op-ed in the Daily Californian about how career technical education opens doors and increases opportunities for our students:

Career education encourages students to think big, go far

Without a skill-focused course in robotics, a student may never realize their dream of becoming an engineer. Opportunities such as this could lead to competitions, titles and connections in a career field that these students otherwise would have been unaware of. Today, approximately 33 percent of students at Berkeley High School are enrolled in a career technical education course. For decades, the educational community has rejected career education, formerly known as vocational education, because of the historical perception that it tracks low-performing students away from college preparation. We are now realizing on a national, state and local level, however, what we lost by eliminating hands-on education that is tied to high-demand, high-wage careers.

Nationally, 55 million new job opportunities are predicted to arise by the year 2020. Thirty-five percent will require a Bachelor’s degree, and 30 percent will require some college or an associate degree. According to former U.S. secretary of labor Robert Reich, those students who may not be suited for a traditional college experience could succeed in a “world-class technical and vocational educational system. There are a lot of jobs that are out there that are technical jobs. These jobs pay quite well and there is a scarcity of good people to do them.”

Students preparing for college and careers must master core academic subjects such as reading, writing and math. They also need to be competent in science and technology for the new global economy, as well as grounded in humanities and social sciences to be a well-rounded contributor to society. The profile of a college- and career-ready graduate encompasses competency in technology, critical thinking and problem-solving, along with skills that include teamwork and ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

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