National poll: Schools should offer more career and technical classes

Americans say their local public schools should add career and technical classes rather than more honors or advanced academic classes, according to results from a national poll Phi Delta Kappa International released this week.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe schools should offer more career-focused classes over honors classes; just 21 percent would pick honors classes.

Still, more respondents said public schools’ main goal should be preparing students academically rather than preparing students for work.

High school students are taking fewer career/technical classes now then they did a decade ago, according to the most recent national data. Even enrollment in home economics classes has dropped. But students are taking more classes in other areas, including fine arts and foreign languages.

The survey from PDK International, a professional association for educators, is based on a random, representative 50-state sample of 1,221 adults this spring with a margin of sampling error of ±3.5 percentage points.