The Return Of Career Education?

First they phased them out as much as they could, it seemed.  Then they saw the error of their ways, without admitting as much. Or is this latest restructuring just another bit of smoke and mirrors hiding further cuts?  You be the judge.  Thirty new career academies are going to open in 11 Chicago high schools, according to the Mayor.

Shop class to be replaced with job-training programs Sun Times
Chicago schools roll out 7-year makeover Tribune
CPS reorganizes career and tech programs Chicago Current
Chicago schools revamp career programs Southtown Star

Here's the release (


Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • I have come to adopt the saying that if you want a program not to work then put it in CPS. So now we're going to have job training! Isn't that what Washburne Trade Center used to do before it was shut down? I have a great butcher block cart made by a student at Dunbar High School in the 80's.

    Would someone at Central Office have the balls to admit that when it comes to knowing and understanding how to design and execute vocational/technical programs in CPS there is nobody that remotely has a clue. Just look at the schools where the 2010 academies are accepting applications. Fenger, Wells, Orr, Schurz, Sullivan, Harper, Manley, Dunbar, Harlan, Washington, and Crane. Then the press release states that they will be accepting the best students into these programs. Ooh, now these troubled schools will get a better grade of student that will have to put up with the fights, class cutting, shootings, beatings, verbal abuses, etc. that have become the norm at these institutions. Maybe the smarter students will make these schools change for the better. What are the people downtown smoking?

    As we watch the progress over the next 5-7 years, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a miracle.

  • In reply to teacher20:

    Well, if the students present at those schools can sign up for the better career education, and if that privilege is contingent on them behaving themselves, then that along with a better grade of student coming to the school just for the career ed, might improve things.

    And perhaps if the administrations of these schools actually start using the student code of conduct to remove non-helpful students from the schools, it might be a good change.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    what happened to the "old" career academies?

  • In reply to teacher20:

    CPS is wasting millions of tax dollars again. The program changes proposed by cps will are too little too late and by the time they are fully implemented they will be obsolete, thereby wasting millions of dollars on equipment and CO administrative work for naught.

    There is the mistake of a top bottom approach to cps management of technology and this leads to wasted tax dollars. There is no attempt to properly include the stakeholders in any of the decision making process let alone program development and implementation. There are only bureaucrats that do the bidding of politically connected power brokers. None of the central office administrators played any roll in this reorganization and the ones that did have neither educational experience nor industry experience to properly vet the needs of the constituencies the board of education serves.

    A true change in employment training would have started in each community surveying the needs and then implementing employment programs/training in ALL secondary schools and even middle schools in this way all students have an opportunity to have skills other than college readiness. Each school has the resources to develop its own vocational training programs and CPS has enough equipment in different locations to redistribute without spending any new dollars. The problem is that the people making the decisions are not educators, they are not business people, they are not industrialists, what they are doing is just shuffling money from one place to another to keep the politically connected happy.

    By the way we already have and had Career Academies in CPS. All have been destroyed over the last 10 years by the REN2010 plan and school closings with the reallocation of federal resources away from high need communities to further private interests rather than the public good.

    Here are some questions to think about and ask CPS.

    When were there any public hearings about this reorganization?

    How was the public and Federal government informed about the reallocation of Federal Perkins money?

    Where are the minutes of all the meetings discussing these changes in Vocational Education in Chicago?

    What industry and business interests are represented by these proposed Vocational Education changes?

    Who represented the community, parents and students in any of the meetings for these proposed Vocational Education changes?

    When were these meetings to change Vocational Education in Chicago held?

    Where were these meetings to change Vocational Education in Chicago held?

    I wonder if the decisions were made in the back of a restaurant like the last time

    John Kugler

    Here are a couple of articles I have written on this subject.

    The Changing Shop - Tech Ed is Not about Skills Anymore. (2006, Winter) IT Insider, v. 8, no. 3.

    Entrepreneurship Training for Inner City Youth. (2006, October 20) Paper presented at the 2006 IJME, INTERTECH Conference: Newark, New Jersey.

    Minority Influence on Engineering Technology in Shaping Industrial Education Policy. (2009, Spring) Technology Interface Journal, v. 9, no. 2. ISSN# 1523-9926, Online Journal,

    Reuse in school, is it possible? Technology Management in Teaching Institutions: Recycling Old Technology to Save Costs and Teach Sustainability. (2009, November 13) ATMAE Annual Conference: Louisville, Kentucky.

  • the reorganization violates the union contract. it is null and void according to the current bargaining agreement. the problem is that the current union is refusing to enforce the contract on this matter. I have resorted to incorporating this into an Unfair labor practice i filed in August.

    here is the original grievance

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