Georgia may require ‘career clusters’

Georgia students would be required to choose a career focus at the end of 10th grade, under a proposal to be decided this fall.  The state’s single-track college-for-all focus is pushing some students to drop out, says State Superintendent John Barge.

Under Georgia’s plan, students would take the same general core of classes with basics like algebra, English and history. At the end of their sophomore year, students would choose a cluster to determine what advanced classes they take.

For example, a student in the health sciences career cluster wanting to be a certified nursing assistant would take nutrition and wellness, chemistry and physical science — and go straight into a job after graduation. A student wanting to be a doctor would take Advanced Placement biology, physics and biotechnology and go to a four-year college.

Students will be able to switch clusters if they change their minds and all graduates will be able to go to college, according to Mike Buck, chief academic officer at the Georgia Department of Education.

The plan includes internships in students’ chosen career fields, which will be difficult to set up. Not every business wants a 17-year-old hanging around. Teachers — presumably relieved of some teaching duties — will serve as counselors.

While I’m no fan of college for all, I’m dubious about career clusters for all.


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  1. MagisterGreen says:

    More and more of this is cropping up, even in private schools. A big thing nowadays is internships but no one ever seems to discuss exactly what a 17-year old (often with little-to-no work experience) brings to the deal.

    Then there are labor laws, which (in Maryland at least) often end up relegating the under-18 crowd to paperwork shuffling. Valuable time spent away from the classroom indeed.

  2. Where could you place student interns in rural south Georgia? The chicken processing plant? The nail salon? The state prison? The gas station? Get away from the larger cities and much of Georgia is rural, very poor and offers little in the way of professional employment. Often the school system and the prison are the biggest employers by far. Without public transportation, how do they propose these rural students get to and from these internships?