Did the disappearance of shop class have an unintended consequence?

Would they have left school without this? (IMLS DCC via Flickr)

Owner Darlene Miller of Permac Industries in Burnsville tells the Twin Cities Business Journal how the disappearance of vocational education has harmed students:

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that when our [high school] dropout rate increased by 30 percent was when all of our technical classes in our high schools ended.”

She helped start the Right Skills Now training program, a 16-week combination of training and internships designed to help students become entry-level operators in the area of computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining.

The Journal looks at the program, the so-called “jobs-skills gap,” and attempts by the state and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system to solve it.

Read the whole article here.

Note: You can find my previous posts on vocational-technical education here and here. The most recent in-depth reporting was a series by MPR’s Tom Robertson. I’ve presented some questions and alternative thinking here.