Tech Prep: So Much Promise, So Much Work

G. C. Hayward

The title of this study will strike a chord with many educators who know first hand how difficult the complex and mysterious process of educational reform is. The richness of the concept of Tech Prep often creates difficulties in implementation. Gerald Hayward singles out the critical issues which may mean the difference between programs that succeed and programs that fade. A brief history of Tech Prep's emergence sets the stage for constructive criticism of program components such as articulation, curriculum integration, the school-work connection, core curriculum and sequences of courses, and outcome oriented programs. Hayward reminds us that Dale Parnell's original vision for Tech Prep was a kindergarten through AA (or AS) degree strategy designed to reform the ways that all schools work or all children. This vision will ultimately mean a change in the culture of schooling. The study is particularly timely, given that TP programs are currently "competing" with other school to work programs for favor and related funding. Applying Hayward's critiques to existing programs is a helpful way to chart future directions.

MDS-871 / June 1995

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