Improving urban schools remains one of this country's most vexing social problems, and it's a challenge for Boston, as well. In his State of the City address last night, Boston Mayor Tom Menino embraced the idea of vocational education as the best route to better academic results and job training for many of Boston's high school students.
Specifically, Menino proposed to radically overhaul the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury, which has struggled over the years. At Madison Park, more than 40 percent of freshmen don't graduate in four years. Two-thirds fail to achieve grade level on standardized tests.
"We will work to designate Madison Park as an 'Innovation School,'" Menino said. "We can then change the schedule and the curriculum so they allow real work-based experiences."
- Bill Symonds, Pathways to Prosperity director, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Charles Lyons, superintendent, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
- Thomas Toch, senior fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
This program aired on January 18, 2012.