2000–2004 California State Plan for Vocational and Technical Education
PACE is pleased to have been a part of this massive effort to develop the 2000–2004 California State Plan for Vocational and Technical Education. In crafting the plan, PACE attempted to go beyond the mere requirements of the federal legislation and present a document which speaks directly to the complex California education scene and which links vocational and technical education to other aspects of California education in elementary and middle schools, high schools, ROC/Ps, and community colleges. The view that education is a continuum—that all education services from preschool to graduate school are inextricably linked—permeates the effort. Equally important is the interrelatedness of the curriculum across subject matter. Strong vocational programs improve academic learning, and academic programs are strengthened by the kinds of learning activities so prevalent in quality vocational and technical education programs. Both of these concepts are essential, but not sufficient prerequisites, for preparing our youths for the future. A third vital component is to improve linkages between the world of schooling and the world of work. The plan should be true to these core beliefs.
This document presents a brief summary of the 300-page plan. The first part attempts to paint a brief view of the demographic and economic context for California education. California is the largest and the most complex of states. A solid understanding of that context is essential in the preparation of a plan. The next part represents the work of California’s Field Review Committee in responding to the need to establish a set of principles and priorities that would guide the plan. The summary then looks at vocational and technical education from the view of the California Department of Education and of the Chancellor’s Office, California Community Colleges. A section follows on accountability and evaluation—subjects highlighted by the new Perkins Act requirements. Tech–Prep Education, covered in the next part, deserves special treatment since it marks a new level of the cooperative working relationships that should be fostered by the creation of this plan.