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LETTER: In praise of Cloquet vocational ed changes

To the editor:

I have a feeling that many parents, students and local businesses would like to thank Steve Battaglia, Tom Brenner and the Cloquet School Board for their positive and futuristic action regarding the vocational education of our students.

It is a great beginning — but it will take time to get the parents, students, administration, counselors and teachers thinking how beneficial vocational training can be to a student's future. Whether vocational class experience is used for personal reasons or for full-time jobs that pay very good wages, it is a win-win for all students.There is and will continue to be a demand for vocationally trained students in all the trades: welding, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc.

Teachers can sometimes get into curriculum situations that make changes difficult, but vocational classes must always be looking to the future as well as the present. New ideas like schooling in robotics and drones are being taught now in trade schools for full-time jobs; these are just two examples. Vocational classes must fit the future needs of students — so the curriculum must fit those needs in order to make it happen.

It is very exciting to see the changes that are taking place in vocational education.

Clarence Badger

Former Cloquet High School vocational teacher