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Offering vocational education earlier

March 12, 2014

Geting Ohio youths more engaged in classes that would help prepare them for in-demand careers would benefit all: the students and their families, schools and employers who would have access to a better-trained work force. Gov. John Kasich’s idea to offer vocational education earlier, starting in middle school rather than high school, is worth consideration.


Though details remain to be fleshed out, Kasich spoke in his recent State of the State speech of being impressed with the career and technical education being offered in the state today. He remarked how a group of vocational-education students that he visited with last month were motivated, smart and “had a sense of direction …They were excited about what they were studying.”…


Today, more than 1 in 5 Ohio high-school students attend vocational programs, and those students have a remarkable high-school graduation rate, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Sixty percent go on to college or post-secondary training….


Education is not one-size-fits-all, and many well-compensated jobs don’t call for traditional college prep and a four-year degree.


Kasich’s idea to have career centers extend their reach to younger students merits exploring.


— The Columbus Dispatch