Minnesota high schools can’t meet the rising demand for career-tech classes, reports the Star-Tribune. Just in the last three years, career-tech classes have been cut by more than half because of flat state and federal funding and a focus on core reading and math classes to meet No Child Left Behind standards.
“It gets rugged while running an auto-mechanic class with 60 kids,” said Daniel Smith, who oversees Minnesota’s high school career and technical education as the supervisor of Minnesota’s Center for Postsecondary Success.
In the 1970s, there were more than 70 career and technical centers for high school students in Minnesota. The well-equipped centers offered dozens of nationally certified programs, Smith said.
In the 1980s, high schools began to be seen as a place to prepare students for a liberal arts four-year degree, emphasizing reading, writing and arithmetic rather than skills for a job.
Twenty-six community colleges and surrounding school districts have created consortia to collaborate on career-tech classes.