Phyllis Schlafly, the author of "School to Work Will Train, Not Educate," believes that School to Work Programs, which are programs that basically institute apprenticeships in a particular field for students, track individuals into educationally inferior positions with low academic standards and dead-end, low-skill jobs. She argues that the School to Work Programs deny students the opportunity to receive an education that would let them choose their own occupation. Instead, she says, these programs force students in the ninth grade to make choices, limited and predetermined by school employees, concerning their vocational opportunities.
Today's high-skill job market demands that all high school graduates have both advanced academic knowledge and workplace skills and training. The School to Work movement intends to improve the way students are prepared for college, careers, and citizenship. The goal of this program is to develop learning through more interesting and applicable experiences that combine school and work-based learning as well as fostering real-world applications of principles and concepts.
School to Work experiences are designed to develop young people's competence, self-confidence, and connections that can ensure successful careers and citizenship.
What Schlafly doesn't discuss is that School to Work programs touch on two areas, one of which is improving the quality of education for all the students who participate, the other being improving young people's knowledge of career opportunities. School to Work programs break down the barriers between academic and vocational learning, preparing students to meet high academic standards and knowledge that is not taught in the classroom, while classroom instructions focus on cognitive and occupational skill development.
Another advantage is that good programs incorporate new teaching methods and other instructional benefits. They are consistent and encourage education with the school that participates. Beginning no later than junior high or middle school, every student develops...