New ACT writing essay prompt: Vocational Education
For many years, public high schools in the United States emphasized vocational skills-the skills students would need to learn a trade and get a job. Classes in auto repair, office skills, and woodworking, for example, were common. The last few decades have seen career and technical training fall out of favor in public education, replaced gradually by additional academic courses. While many schools maintain a vocational program, these programs are often threatened with elimination when school budgets are strained. Given its uncertain status in many schools, it is worth considering what value vocational training adds to education.
Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the value of vocational training in education.
Schools must seek to prepare all students for their futures. Career training provides focus for many students and helps schools reach those who don't excel in academic subjects.
In every field, the skills workers need today are based on knowledge and communication. As such, schools should focus on academic subjects only.
No one knows what jobs will be available in the future, so it is not wise to train today's students for any specific career.
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