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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GLTHS Success

When I moved to Lowell back in 1994, it was from a community background which had not included Technical High Schools.  When I graduated from High School the technical side was part of Long Beach City College, Business Technology Division (BTD).  Thus, when I heard about Greater Lowell Technical High School (GLTHS) I assumed it was for people not on a college track.  As I learned more I learned that I was wrong in my understanding.  In fact, a very high percentage of GLTHS graduates go on to college. 

In yesterday's The Washington Post there was an article on college graduates and college students switching from an academic track to a track in the trades.  Reporter Carol Morello wrote "More college-educated jump tracks to become skilled manual laborers".  It goes against the conventional wisdom:
"It's hard to get high school counselors to point anyone but their not-very-good students, or the ones in trouble, toward construction," said Dale Belman, a labor economist at Michigan State University. "Counselors want everyone to go to college. So now we're getting more of the college-educated going into the trades."
As is often the case, the conventional wisdom is wrong.

I liked the comment from Ms Rateeluck Puvapiromquan, 30, who immigrated to Baltimore from Thailand.
She decided to become an electrician when the only jobs she found after graduating from St. Mary's College in 2001 with a degree in the philosophy of religion were in coffee shops and hotels. Her friends, who have gone on to get master's degrees or doctorates, are proud of her.

"They tell me they're intrigued, amazed and proud they know a woman electrician," she said. "I don't understand the idea that if you go to college, manual labor is beneath you. The critical thinking and communication skills I learned in college are absolutely crucial to getting our work done. It's critical thinking, not just, 'I lift heavy objects.' "
The Greater Lowell Technical High School is a jewel and we should be both proud of it and supportive of it.  And, we should encourage it to continue to grow.  In its way, GLTHS occupies a position that not only covers high school but also reaches up toward the Community College level were it sits just where I remember Long Beach City College BTD sitting.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I believe the web page needs to be updated to show David C. Laferriere, of Lowell, as the chairman, vice David E. Tully, of Dunstable.
  And do very well on the MCAS.


Craig H said...

An additional shout out to Nashoba Valley Technical High School, where my 2nd is pulling down great academic grades, (as well as kicking butt on the MCAS), acing and loving his robotics shop weeks, and absolutely planning on a college degree in engineering to follow. (UMass Lowell's robotics lab being one of his leading options).

I could not be more proud.

Paul@01852 said...

Actually Mike Lenzi is the vice-chair of the GLT School Committee. Tully was the former chair.