A plug for career academies
Supporters have long argued that career academies not only keep more high school students in school, but keep them, like, interested. Now they have some evidence on their side: A new report from the Florida Legislature's research arm finds career academy students have slightly better attendance and higher FCAT scores – and are slightly more likely to graduate – than similar students who don't attend career academies. (The report says the results after graduation are mixed, but hey, today we’re looking at the glass half-full.)
Florida has more than 500 career academies, including the Automotive Academy at Northeast High in St. Pete, the Veterinary Science Academy at Tarpon Springs High and the upcoming information technology institute at Wiregrass Ranch High in Wesley Chapel (which the Times wrote about Monday, see here). And more are coming, thanks in part to a new state law pushed by Sen. Don Gaetz, chair of the Senate education committee. What do you think? Are there any good reasons why the state should not be pushing career academies? Are there good ways the state and districts can make the concept work even better?
- Ron Matus, state education reporter