Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 24, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

AZ Vocational Education in TIME Magazine


  • Arizona Superintendent of Public Education John Huppenthal discusses Arizona‚Äôs Career and Technical Education programs that were featured in a recent issue of TIME Magazine.
Guests:
  • John Huppenthal - Arizona Superintendent of Public Education
Category: Education   |   Keywords: vocational, career and technical education, professional training,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: "TIME" MAGAZINE RECENTLY SPOTLIGHTED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN ARIZONA, AND AMONG THOSE INTERVIEWED IN THE STORY WAS STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF JOHN HUPPENTHAL, WHO JOINS US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE STATE'S CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

John Huppenthal: IT'S ALWAYS GREAT TO BE HERE.

Ted Simons: YOU GOT A BIG STORY THERE IN TIME MAGAZINE. FIRST OF ALL THEY GET THE STORY RIGHT?

John Huppenthal: THEY GOT THE STORY RIGHT. THEY GAVE US A HUGE SUPER FOLD, "TIME" MAGAZINE, PROBABLY THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. JOE KLEIN CAME OUT AND SPENT TWO DAYS IN ARIZONA GOING OVER OUR CURRENT TECH ED PROGRAMS.

Ted Simons: LET'S TALK ABOUT VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND WHAT JOE KLEIN FOUND AND WHAT WE HAVE HERE. DEFINE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.

John Huppenthal: IN THE OLD DAYS, IT WAS, WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL, AND I TOOK WOOD SHOP, I TOOK DRAFTING AND WENT ON TO A DEGREE IN ENGINEERING. SO THIS IS PERSONAL IMPLICATIONS FOR ME. BUT THAT'S LARGELY WHAT IT WAS. WOOD SHOP AND MACHINE SHOP, DRAFTING. AND ELECTRONICS. BUT TODAY, IT'S A WIDE VARIETY OF OFTEN VERY HIGH-TECH CAREER AND TECH ED. FOR EXAMPLE, AT EVIT, THEY HAVE FULLY EQUIPPED AUTOMOTIVE CENTER WHERE YOU CAN GO RIGHT OUT OF TRAINING AND BE CERTIFIED AND GO INTO AN AUTOMOBILE SHOP AND EVENTUALLY EARN OVER $100,000. EAST VALLEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, A MARVELOUS SCHOOL IN THE EAST VALLEY THAT REPRESENTS THE VERY BEST OF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

Ted Simons: WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION HOW DO YOU SEE THIS DIFFERING FROM TRADITIONAL AND WHAT WE RECOGNIZE NOW AS COLLEGE PREP CURRICULUM?

John Huppenthal: WELL, WHAT THEY ARE REALIZING IS, NUMBER ONE, THAT A LOT OF STUDENTS HAVE DISENGAGED IN THE PROCESS. AND THAT ALSO THAT THREE SEPARATE A AND APART FROM THAT THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING IS CRITICAL TO THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. WE WERE MEANT TO LEARN IN THREE DIMENSIONS. ONE THING I OFTEN TELL PEOPLE A LOT OF MEDICAL STUDENTS, AFTER THEY GRADUATE FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL WASH OUT OF SURGERY BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THAT THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING. IF YOU CAN'T SEW, IF YOU CAN'T SAW, IF YOU CAN'T DRILL YOU CANTS BE A SURGEON. AND SO WE THINK CAREER AND TECH ED IS NOT ONLY A GREAT EDUCATION BUT IT'S A WORLD CLASS EDUCATION THAT PREPARES YOU FOR ANY NUMBER OF EXPERIENCES AFTER HIGH SCHOOL.

Ted Simons: THE IDEA OF TRAINING PROGRAMS THAT LEAD TO JOBS, IS THAT A GOOD THING? BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT EDUCATION AS BEING MORE OF A ROUNDED ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE. HOW DO YOU SEE THIS?

John Huppenthal: WELL, AGAIN, WE VIEW IT AS A PART OF A WORLD CLASS ACCUMULATION AND THE THING THAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT CAREER AND TECH ED IN THE MODERN SECTOR, WHEN IT'S WELL DONE AND WE HAVE A LOT OF SCHOOLS DOING IT WELL IS THEY ARE EMBEDDING MATHEMATICS INTO CAREER AND TECH ED AND ENGAGING STUDENTS IN WAYS THAT ARE MORE PROFOUND TO THEIR LISTENING. WHEN YOU APPLY TRIGONOMETRY TO A CURRENT TECH ED EXPERIENCE IT STICKS BETTER. WHEN YOU DO REPORTS THAT ARE COMPLETE WITH A PROJECT THAT YOU ARE DOING, IT STICKS BETTER.

Ted Simons: IS THIS THE KIND OF THING, THOUGH, WHERE, I KNOW THERE'S SOME CONCERN, KIDS MAY NOT BE MATURE ENOUGH AT CERTAIN AGES TO GO INTO A PARTICULAR DIRECTION. THEY MAY GO INTO DRAFTING OR ENGINEERING AS YOU DID. AND FIND OUT WHEN THEY ARE HALFWAY THROUGHOUT PROCESS, I THINK I WOULD RATHER BE AN ARTIST OR SOMETHING. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE NOT CLOSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOLKS WITH NARROW AVENUES?

John Huppenthal: WELL, WE THINK THE DATA SUGGEST IT OPENS DOORS RATHER THAN CLOSES THEM. THAT DRAFTING, YOU REALLY COULDN'T ASK FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE TO GO ON AND BE AN ARTIST. THAT WOOD SHOP IS PRETTY GOOD EXPERIENCE FOR GOING ON AND BEING A SCULPTOR. SO IT LEADS TO A LOT OF AVENUES. AND PARTICULARLY WE THINK NOT ONLY FOR THE HIGH END, GOING ON TO COLLEGE, BUT ALSO STUDENTS THAT ARE COMPLETELY DISENGAGED. UP IN THE NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION, THESE STUDENTS ARE TRAINING FOR A VETERINARY TECH AND UP THERE THEY HAVE TWO OPERATING ROOMS WHERE THESE STUDENTS DO ALL OF THE PREPARATION, INTUBATION, ANIMAL PREP FOR SURGERY, THEY SUPPORT THE SURGERY, AND THEN THEY DO THE POST-OP WORK ON THE RESERVATION WHERE ANIMAL HUSBANDRY IS A KEY PART OF TRIBAL WORK. THEY INTEGRATED INTO THE COMMUNITY, TOO, DEALING WITH PACK DOG, DOING SPAYING AND NEUTERING AND FIXING THE SHEEP THAT ARE ATTACKED.

Ted Simons: SOME OF THE FOLKS UP THERE, TAKING THESE COURSES, IT SOUNDS VERY ENCOURAGING. IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT ITS BEING DONE. COULD BE EXPENSIVE. WHAT KIND OF COST ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

John Huppenthal: THAT'S THE KEY. SALLY, HER WATCH WORD IS UP TO DATE CAPITAL EQUIPMENT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE UP TO DATE CAPITAL EQUIPMENT. WHEN YOU HAVE THAT STUDENTS ARE WELL TRAINED. THEY GO DIRECTLY INTO JOBS OR GET A WORLD CLASS EXPERIENCE THEY CAN GO ON INTO COLLEGE. WHEN I GO INTO EVIT CLASS EVERY TIME I AM THERE, I ASK HOW MANY HERE PLAN ON GOING TO COLLEGE? I ENCOUNTERED CLASSES WHERE EVERY SINGLE STUDENT PLANS TO GO ON TO COLLEGE.

Ted Simons: IS THIS THE KIND OF THING THAT COULD BE COMPARED TO SPORTS? WHERE YOU PLAY FOOTBALL, YOU PLAY BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER, MORE THAN LIKELY YOU ARE GOING TO TAP OUT IN HIGH SCHOOL AND GO ON -- BUT THAT EXPERIENCE IS A LEARNING PROCESS THAT HELPS YOU LATER IN LIFE.

John Huppenthal: ABSOLUTELY. CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION, THEY FOUND THAT'S SOME OF THE DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION IS ONE OF THE BEST PREDICTORS FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE.

Ted Simons: HOW BEST DO YOU MIX? IT SOUNDS LIKE COLLEGE PREP IS STILL NECESSARY FOR A LOT OF FOLKS. YOU ARE NOT SAYING GET RID OF COLLEGE PREP COURSES ALTOGETHER?

John Huppenthal: NO. MATTER OF FACT, WE ARE SAYING YOU INTEGRATE THAT YOU WILL TOGETHER. YOU CAN GET IT ALL DONE. AND EVEN AS WHAT THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY WHEN THEY WON THE MALCOLM BALANCED RIDGE AWARD, ONE KID IN TECH ED WAS A GREATER MARKER FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE. THEY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO DO IT ALL.

Ted Simons: YOU SAID YOU WERE A VOCATIONAL ED STUDENTS.

John Huppenthal: I TOOK DRAFTING AND WOOD SHOP. THE THING THAT'S INTERESTING TO ME, I LOOK BACK AND I CAN REMEMBER EVERY ASPECT OF MY WOOD SHOP CLASS AS I PLANNED OUT MY PROJECTS AND I DID BIG PROJECTS. SO THEY WERE COMPLEX. THEY HAD TO BE DONE IN MULTIPLE STEPS. THERE'S MANY CLASSES I HAVE TO CONFESS EVEN CLASSES THAT I GOT A'S IN I CAN'T REMEMBER THEM AT ALL. SO THESE CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES ARE MEMORABLE AND THEY ARE THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING AND A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Ted Simons: DO YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO TAKE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CLASSES?

John Huppenthal: YOU KNOW, MY TWO DAUGHTERS ARE OFF IN COLLEGE NOW. THEY -- TO ME IT WOULD BE PERFECTLY SUITABLE FOR THEM TO DO THAT. IN THEIR PARTICULAR ENVIRONMENT, THEY DIDN'T HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT IT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT I WOULD REALLY ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO.

Ted Simons: SO YOU THINK THAT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD THING FOR THEM? BECAUSE A LOT OF FOLKS TALK ABOUT THIS BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR OWN FAMILY THEY DON'T QUITE WALK THE WALK.

John Huppenthal: ABSOLUTELY. NOW MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, WOOD SHOP AND DRAFTING AND WENT ON TO A DEGREE IN ENGINEERING, THOSE WOOD SHOP AND DRAFTING CLASSES I FOUND COMPLETELY -- I VIEWED TO A CERTAIN EXTENTS -- CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES TO BE ENGINEERING IN HIGH SCHOOL. IF IT'S DONE CORRECTLY. LIKE IT'S BEING DONE IN EVIT. LIKE IT'S BEING DONE IN PEORIA, THEY ARE USING CAREER AND TECH ED TO DRIVE THEIR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE TO 94%, ALMOST A PERCENTAGE POINT AT A TIME. THEY HAVE DOUBLED THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PARTICIPATION IN CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES.

Ted Simons: SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? OBVIOUSLY THERE'S SOME MOMENTUM HERE, NATIONAL EXPOSURE. GOOD THING TO SEE IN "TIME" MAGAZINE. PRETTY GOOD RESULTS SO FAR. WHAT'S NEXT.

John Huppenthal: WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS KEEP ENERGIZING ALL OF THE ENTITIES THAT ARE PROVIDING GREAT CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES, QUALITY IS ABSOLUTELY THE WATCH WORD. LIKE IT IS IN EVERYTHING. EVEN ALL OF OUR CLASSES. WE WANT TO KEEP ENERGIZING THEM, THE CLYDE MCBRIDE THAT SET YOU WANT PROGRAM ON THE NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION. PEOPLE MA COUNTY HAVE -- PIMA COUNTY HAS A GREAT CAREER AND HE CAN ED PROGRAM. OUR PEOPLE WANT TO CONTINUE TO EMPHASIZE THE INTEGRATION OF MATHEMATICS, WRITING, AND READING INTO CAREER AND TECH ED. ALL THE THINGS THAT KEEP BUILDING QUALITY, MAKING MORE OF THESE CLASSES AVAILABLE TO EVERY STUDENT.

Ted Simons: GOOD TO See YOU AGAIN.

John Huppenthal: THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME.

Ted Simons: YOU BET.

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