900 Middle Schoolers in CA Might* Have One of the Country's Most Innovative Learning Experiences This Fall
Back in Episode 67 we had our first conversation with this group. In a close community in the central valley of California, once, long ago founded by the timber industry, there lies a school district that's building one of the most important school experiences that any 12 or 13-year-old student in the country will experience this coming year.For those unfamiliar with the jargon - "Career and Technical Education" is a category of education models in the US (in parts of the country you know it as Vo-Tech or Vocational Technical education) that historically has been reserved for high schools, where, since the early 80's the federal government has been funding them through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.I'm excited to check in with the principle designers of MAD Tech, what excites them about the year to come, and, of course, with current events, what has them worried about what should be a celebrated kickoff this coming fall for what they've built, together as a community for education.Alyson Rocco is Principal at the Madera Technical Exploration Center - “Madera TEC.” She was a Madera High School graduate and is returning to the district after fifteen years in ClovisUnified, ten as a classroom teacher and five in administration.Theron Cosgrave (aka “Cos”) is a national consultant who works with educators on a wide range of issues including project-based learning, curriculum development, school design, leadership development, and strategic planning.Kristin McKenna is the Director of College and Career Readiness. Kristin supports the teachers in Madera Unified’s 25 career pathways, and helps build industry partnerships to align with the courses.She manages all of the CTE specific funding and is responsible for writing new grants as they become available.When you're done listening - head over to facebook.com/nosuchthingpodcast and check out some of the photos that Alyson sent me of the new school. For those you who like to geek out about the architectural spaces where learning happens you might love these.