The Los Angeles Unified School District’s threat to close its well-regarded aviation mechanic school at the Van Nuys Airport is the latest example of the district’s “college only” mentality. While the original intentions of this “more rigorous” curriculum may have been laudable, the practical result is an increasing number of frustrated students in danger of dropping out.
As a counselor who works with the so-called at-risk population, I listen to the frustration and anger of many students who have repeatedly failed the same classes. When they start talking about their career goals and dreams of becoming a chef, working as an auto or aviation mechanic or starting their own business, their eyes light up. But this enthusiasm quickly fades when I show them their schedule for the next semester.
The college-prep curriculum is probably a good thing for most students. But it’s not for everyone.