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Bucks County Tech School

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Question:
A report recently issued by an independent agency gives the Pennsylvania Department of Education a litany of suggestions on how to bring career and technical education into the 21st century. But if President Bush's education budget is passed as is, making all of those recommended improvements may take longer than the state would like due to the loss of $40 million in federal funds, according to state education officials. Jobs for the Future, an organization based in Boston, assessed the state's career and technical education at the request of the state Department of Education. According to the report, the state of career and technical education in Pennsylvania is a mixed bag, said Marlene Seltzter, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. "The highest performing schools and programs in Pennsylvania have much they can be proud of," Seltzer said. "[But overall] much improvement is needed if CTE is to play its rightful role as an important contributor to the economic strength of the state and the economic advancement of its residents." Many of the report's suggestions would make schools like the Bucks County Technical High School in Bristol Township the model for career and technical education around the state. Many of the recommendations call for a comprehensive model that would integrate technical and academic subjects. Career and technical schools would be held to the same academic performance standards as regular schools, thus preparing students for both the workplace and the collegiate classroom, the report says. The report also calls for the encouragement of dual enrollment programs that would allow students to earn college credits while attending high school and for career and technical programs to be more closely aligned with industry standards, eliminating all programs that don't comply. To help make sure that their programs comply with industry standards, the Bucks County Technical High School works with a Craft Advisory Board. The board, made up of professionals who work in the disciplines taught at the tech school, meets with school officials and teachers each year to make sure that what the school is teaching complies with industry needs.


Answer:
A report recently issued by an independent agency gives the Pennsylvania Department of Education a litany of suggestions on how to bring career and technical education into the 21st century. But if President Bush's education budget is passed as is, making all of those recommended improvements may take longer than the state would like due to the loss of $40 million in federal funds, according to state education officials. Jobs for the Future, an organization based in Boston, assessed the state's career and technical education at the request of the state Department of Education. According to the report, the state of career and technical education in Pennsylvania is a mixed bag, said Marlene Seltzter, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. "The highest performing schools and programs in Pennsylvania have much they can be proud of," Seltzer said. "[But overall] much improvement is needed if CTE is to play its rightful role as an important contributor to the economic strength of the state and the economic advancement of its residents." Many of the report's suggestions would make schools like the Bucks County Technical High School in Bristol Township the model for career and technical education around the state. Many of the recommendations call for a comprehensive model that would integrate technical and academic subjects. Career and technical schools would be held to the same academic performance standards as regular schools, thus preparing students for both the workplace and the collegiate classroom, the report says. The report also calls for the encouragement of dual enrollment programs that would allow students to earn college credits while attending high school and for career and technical programs to be more closely aligned with industry standards, eliminating all programs that don't comply. To help make sure that their programs comply with industry standards, the Bucks County Technical High School works with a Craft Advisory Board. The board, made up of professionals who work in the disciplines taught at the tech school, meets with school officials and teachers each year to make sure that what the school is teaching complies with industry needs.



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