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US – Stop the vocational education failure

Many American adolescents don’t want to go to college. They reject as boring and aggravating the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and other college-level courses offered to them in high school. Yet, they need reading, writing, math and time-management skills for good jobs or trade school slots when they graduate. How can they be persuaded to acquire them?

Motivating teenagers is tricky, but new ways are being tried. In Montgomery County and a few other parts of the country, the International Baccalaureate organization is launching a program called the IB Career-related Certificate. Some call it IB Lite, but it is tough enough that Rockville High School has found only about a dozen students willing to try it.

The IBCC requires only two, rather than the usual six, IB courses. But students must take four career-related courses, plus an Approaches to Learning course and a foreign language. They have to do community service and a major project analyzing an ethical issue.

IB officials hope this will attract students who have no interest in French literature or Chinese art but like developing 21st-century technical skills that might get them cool jobs. “Schools retain the ability to choose the career-related courses that are most suited to local conditions and the needs of their students,” the IB Web site says of its new program…

via Reversing vocational education failure – The Washington Post.

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