To the editor of THE EAGLE:
There are 26 regional vocational technical high schools in Massachusetts offering an average of 19 vocational courses. Pittsfield is about to build a new Taconic High School which will be Berkshire County’s second vocational high school with McCann Tech being the other. Why are the students of every other school district in Berkshire County being forced to go out of district to get a vocational education?
Are there enough variety in the courses offered? There are more than 40 approved programs for vocational education in Massachusetts from robotics to food trades to fashion design. The new Taconic High School may be able to offer 12 to 14 of these programs because of the limited number of potential students that are forecasted to attend the new school, yet there is no vocational education offered in most Berkshire County school districts. It is very expensive to build training facilities for these programs but it seems that if a regional school with a regional identity were built there would be a much larger school population available which would mean more programs could be offered .
We have been told that there is no "will" to do a regional school among our Berkshire County school committees but has anyone really tried? Isn’t providing our students with the best possible education important enough to tackle the difficult job of putting together a regional approach to vocational education in Berkshire County so that we can offer quality vocational education?
To take a look for yourself at what other school districts in this state are offering their high school students go to www.massresources.org/vocational-technical then scroll to Chapter 74, technical education program directory. Let me know if you are willing to work at convincing Berkshire County that excellent vocational education is a necessary investment by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.