As reported by the Payson Roundup, Payson School Board President Rory Huff was quoted as saying at a school board meeting, “Not everybody goes to college. I don’t want us to gear our whole program to college because only 20 percent are going.” Evidently his statement was in response to a presentation on students not being able to take “vocational” courses under the implemented six period day at Payson High School.
If accurate, this should be shocking news for the community.
Payson High School would be well below national norms. The good news is that Mr. Huff’s statement is not true. Per PHS guidance statistics, close to 20 percent of PHS graduates receive scholarships for advanced schooling. Approximately 25 percent of PHS graduates attend a four-year university and around 40 percent of the remaining graduates attend community college or attend technical schools for advanced training. If one includes the number of students that join the armed forces and receive career and technical training the percentage receiving advanced schooling is over 70 percent.
If Mr. Huff had any knowledge about career and technical education (CTE) at the high school level, he would know that the Arizona model calls for training at the high school level and advanced training at community colleges or other institutions. It is often referred to as the 4 + 2 model. The stated mission of the CTE programs at the state level is: Prepare Arizona students for work-force success and continuous learning. The key is continuous learning, which typically requires advanced training. Either Mr. Huff is uniformed about current education issues or creating phony statistics in an attempt to embarrass the previous administration. Based on Mr. Huff’s comment one can conclude that at least 20 percent of the PUSD Board is out of touch with current school reality.