Sitting in a classroom all day doesn’t work for many kids

Colleen Hroncich:

Some of the innovative education models that are exploding recognize this fact. Forest schoolshybrid schoolsunschooling, and microschools typically offer children flexible ways to learn that can help keep them more engaged than they would be in a conventional classroom.

Another option for students who are looking for a more hands‐​on approach to education is vocational‐​technical school, also known as career and technical education or CTE. This can be particularly important in states like Massachusetts that have no private school choice programs, such as tax credit scholarships or education savings accounts.

Fortunately for students in the Bay State, most of Massachusetts’s voc‐tech schools are producing impressive results. According to Jamie Gass, Director of the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute, a 1993 education reform law had a huge impact on voc‐tech schools. “At that time, voc‐tech schools were some of the lowest performing schools,” he says. “Because of their focus on occupational education, they were highly resistant to standards and tests. Eventually they embraced it, though, and they’ve seen the biggest gains of pre‐existing schools.”

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