Confessions of a Voc-Tech Teacher
By Bryan Caplan
Email from a reader, who asked to remain anonymous…
My name is [redacted] and I’m in my 3rd decade of teaching vocational education or Career Technical Education (CTE) in [redacted] CA.
I was very pleased to hear about your position about our educational system on the Fox Business Channel this am. I wanted to bring to your attention that there is no functional pipeline for attracting vocational education teachers into public education. When shop instructors retire or transfer as I’ve done more often than not the that shop class will be closed. This is due in part to the state of California making the requirements too difficult to attract industry professionals into education and also the decline of CTE teacher training programs at the universities. Furthermore, professionals who do enter education from industry as I did quickly discover that they are not supported as much as their academic colleagues which mainly support the college track. As a result, trade schools have been started that charge students lofty tuition to be trained in plumbing, mechanics, electrical, and so on to fill the need for vocational education.