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Putting the Skilled Trades Back in Texas High Schools

We've been telling you about the push in Austin to bring balance to the Texas education system. Many feel there's too much emphasis on sending every single student to college and not enough recognition that the skilled trades are a great option for many. The Texas Tribune reports on Houston Sen. Dan Patrick's bill to move the state away from the "college for all" model of education. 

Patrick would like to see the skilled trades presented to high school students. He thinks there needs to be modern training in areas like plumbing, electrical work and auto repair.

From the Tribune:

"I want to raise the level of what I call blue-collar work with ... the ability to go to college. My dad was a blue-collar guy. I’m really a blue-collar guy that wears a white shirt and a tie to work," Patrick said. "But I just believe that students need the flexibility to go to a four-year college, a two-year college, get a certificate."

Patrick said that flexibility would come, in part, from offering tech-based classes that could replace core classes in math and science while meeting the rigorous standards of the state’s accountability system.

The Tribune also quotes Mario Lozoya, with Toyota Texas, who says that what passes for career and technical training now is a sad state of affairs:

"It pains me when I go into a bay in Career Technology Automotive and there’s a '73 Chevy, with the instructor teaching the kids how to do Bondo on a fender," Lozoya said. "That’s not relevant to current industry needs."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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