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Improving Vocational Education in Massachusetts: Three Ideas

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I’ve been fortunate for everyone in vocational education in Massachusetts. Our bodies is called the very best in the united states, and that i haven’t much doubt that that status is well-deserved. Due to our success, particularly in the last many years, vocational education has turned into a darling from the press – along with a lightning fishing rod for critique, frequently unfair.

It is a great system, but it may be better still.

Listed here are three stuff that may help us enhance the vocational education system in Massachusetts — or at best maintain its current excellence:

1. Directly Address the strain and Misunderstanding Between Vocational School Districts as well as their Non-Vocational Counterparts. Misinformation and misunderstanding is too common. It must stop. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) can – and really should – move forward. DESE should convene regular conferences of representatives from the major professional education associations, such as the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Managers (MAVA), Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA), Massachusetts Association of faculty Superintendents (MASS), Massachusetts Association of faculty Business Officials (MASBO), Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools (MARS), and Massachusetts Association of faculty Committees (MASC).

Encourage them to talk.

Like a bridge to mutual understanding, DESE should ask such groups to pay attention to educational problems with mutual interest and keep these things identify solutions. The themes will include having to pay for out-of-district keeping students with severe disabilities, keeping alive arts and music within the public schools, supplying education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and delivering twenty-first century skills.

2. Insist upon Maintaining High-Quality Vocational Teaching Programs. Chapter 74 from the Massachusetts General Laws and regulations governs vocational education. What the law states and it is rules outline high standards for program approval. The condition mustn’t deviate from individuals high standards – wherever this program, regardless of how high the political cost. Doing otherwise puts the integrity from the entire vocational education delivery system which from the condition education department in danger.

Within this context, DESE would be advised to drop the thought of “provisional” or “conditional” approval of Chapter 74 programs. Existing standards of these programs have labored well for many years. Why change them? When the condition really wants to accelerate your application process, that’s fine. Just reassign staff to place more and more people responsible for reviewing applications for program approvals. Don’t ease on the factors.

Further, the condition must clarify the conditions to which the Commissioner would consider approving within an academic school district an instalment 74 program that directly duplicates one already presently offered by a regional vocational technical district which that community is a component. There can be exceptional conditions in which a duplicate program warrants such approval. For me, individuals cases ought to be exceedingly rare.

3. Move Very carefully on Regulatory Changes. The vocational education system in Massachusetts is working well, extremely well. The rules covering vocational education will be in spot for many, a long time. While there might be an excuse for some tinkering round the edges, there’s simply no pressing requirement for wholesale change.

To the credit, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education asked the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Managers (MAVA) to speak about possible regulatory changes in early stages, before anything “official” was suggested. Consequently, DESE modified its initial position on several issues and delayed its suggested timetable to create the suggested changes to the board. With several new people around the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the situation for more delay and analysis is much more compelling. Massachusetts would prosper to slow lower, allow practitioners to go over these suggested changes further, and reflect carefully on their own potential impact.

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