Don Sabbarese, director of the Kennesaw State University Econometric Center, said electrical, welding and plumbing jobs pay well. "Some of these guys make $27 an hour -- they should have people falling over each other trying to get into these programs," he said. "The state should be putting more money into vocational school programs. There is a real need for plumbers and electricians and carpenters. Why wouldn't we want to train people in these areas where they can make a decent living?"The DCSS Central Office, whether under Crawford Lewis or Ramona Tyson, loves to focus on one thing more than anything else: Itself. And the Board of Education has enabled them to do so. "Hey if you have millions to spend, might as well spend it on ourselves seems" to be the Central Office Palace's motto.
Many of those who've posted on this site have called for a back to basics approach. Instead of spending well over ten million dollars per year on Audria Berry's Office of School Improvement and her army of staff, who like to tell veteran teachers such valuable info. like how to decorate a bulletin board, and who have no quantifiable return on investment (ask any teacher...America's Choice simply...stinks), or the MIS Dept. spending millions on ineffective software such as eSiS, etc., Vo-Tech education is a much better use of taxpayer dollars.
State Sen. Fran Millar, one of DeKalb's own, has been the leading elected official in Georgia pushing for better vo-tech in schools (http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/house/bios/millarFran/press/bridge.html).
Go Get 'em Fran (click here):
These numbers are courtesy of Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), who in cooperation with House Speaker Glenn Richardson has introduced HB 905, also known as Building Resourceful Individuals to Develop Georgia’s Economy, or BRIDGE. If enacted, the bill would implement a “market-demand skills program” in grades 10-12 in Georgia’s high schools. In short form, Millar says the proposed law would provide a separate track for kids who are not college material and give them the skills to compete in the job market while in high school.
If sheer enthusiasm could pass legislation, BRIDGE would be a law as we speak. Millar passionately believes in the effort. “We spend more than $10 billion annually in Georgia on education,” he says, “and for too long we have focused on every child going to college. Too many are not even finishing high school. Our legislation would give all students a choice of focused programs of study starting in the ninth grade, including programs for students who would otherwise drop out.”
In this economy, there are still many blue collars jobs that need to be filled. See today's AJC article:
Program exposes unemployed to blue-collar world
Georgia Trade-Up is partnering with the Atlanta-North Georgia Building & Construction Trades Council, a consortium of unions -- masons, plumbers, electricians, insulators, sheet-metal workers, heavy-equipment operators and laborers -- to introduce the blue-collar crafts. In the six-week course, students do introductory work in several crafts.
Then, once they find a craft they think they could do well, they can apply for a union apprentice program they will work as apprentices while going through the training school, usually over a three-year period. So far about 18 have been placed in apprenticeships and 40 more trainees are expected to complete the Georgia Trade-Up training in January.
"I go to these high schools, and the teacher will ask all the students who got a college scholarship to raise their hands. I always wonder, what about the kids who aren't college material? Who is looking out for them?"
Don Sabbarese, director of the Kennesaw State University Econometric Center, said electrical, welding and plumbing jobs pay well.
"Some of these guys make $27 an hour -- they should have people falling over each other trying to get into these programs," he said. "The state should be putting more money into vocational school programs. There is a real need for plumbers and electricians and carpenters. Why wouldn't we want to train people in these areas where they can make a decent living?"
Thomas said the local union apprentice programs are buying into both Georgia Trade-Up and Youthbuild, a program that seeks to channel young people from poor neighborhoods into blue-collar trades.
More info. here:
Youthbuild in particular focuses on low-income communities, and we sure need all the help we can get in DeKalb:
YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.
There are opportunities aplenty, but DCSS before under Gloria Talley, and now Audria Berry and Morcease Beasely, tends to focus on spending massive amounts on money adding more and more non-teaching staff, or on the educational fad of the day, or fancy, expensive consultants, or no ROI programs such as America's Choice, etc. Here's a call for parents and taxpayers to support vo-tech. And even though DeKalb votes primarily Democratic, we have our own Republican state senator in a Republican-controlled Gold Dome to help pave the way for vo-tech funding.
Let's hear your thoughts and comments!