The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Where’s the Education?

Mar 4, 2019

More than 40% of Baltimore City Public Schools’ high school students choose vocational education, now called Career and Technical Education (CTE). A new report shows how the program has failed students. Ten years after it started, the program has data that says two-thirds of CTE students fail to find work in the area they studied. The majority don’t even graduate with a certificate in the area they studied, such as IT or hospitality or cosmetology. The students interviewed reported earning an average of $13,000 a year, or poverty wages.

It’s outrageous enough that every child in this country cannot expect to get a quality education and that even fewer can afford to go to college. In many other industrialized countries a college education is free.

Yet these students couldn’t even get the vocational training they were promised, which might at least allow them to get a somewhat better paying job when they graduate. Baltimore’s CTE program lacked teachers, resources, scheduling that worked and counselors who could help the students find jobs in their chosen fields.

Once again a program does not seem to prepare Baltimore City high school students for graduation. Employers in the trades and auto industry say they want younger people to hire. But city school administrators seem unable to make programs work for their students.