A letter writer proposes emphasis on vocational skills rather than college in response to a column (TNT, 10-14) that emphasizes shop classes. What both don’t consider is shop classes and the content now require mastery of advanced math and science.
Construction requires mastery of algebra, geometry and other advanced math concepts. Calculating angles, area, perimeter and figuring out roof slopes is beyond basic math. Auto shop also requires science and the same type of math concepts because repairing such systems requires knowledge of that system and how it is designed.
When I taught auto shop, I found most of the students taking the class not knowing these prerequisite skills. The highest math level most had was fourth-grade mathematics, not high school level math.
In my mind, schools need to focus on teaching prerequisite skills prior to putting them into classes which require advanced skills in math, science and reading.