Some readers’ thoughts on a recent opinion about alternate schools.

Joan Larsen:

In the “old days” just after World War II, those schools were called industrial arts schools. We had several. The largest was near San Diego High. They taught mechanics, wood working, welding, sheet metal work etc. etc. The unions were involved and when they quit helping the schools were dropped.

Ken Chappell:

The question on a new type of school to train students on skill trades: The present ROP program located on several high school campuses does that. Check old history with the San Diego Unified School District and you will find just such a vocational school, it was called Wright Brothers. It was located off Highway 94 on the back of the Gompers campus. It was a very successful school for several years, but required a “C” average to get accepted. Then someone checked the racial balance and found there were not enough minority students, so the GPA was dropped. The school then had students placed there that didn’t have the proper skill to be successful and many times were not properly motivated. A successful vocational school needs to have students with academic skills and interest in learning a skill, not racial balance.

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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