I appreciated the HCN article on the Taft Oil Technology Academy, even though the tone seemed to "warn" of indoctrination rather than celebrate a creative and effective educational strategy (HCN, 2/7/11). As a past elementary and high school teacher and school counselor, I know of many reliable sources and studies that indicate that the majority of public school students graduate semi-literate and ill-informed, with fuzzy goals and limited hope for a prosperous future. "Petroleum High," on the other hand, appears to provide a focus that motivates students to strive toward a clear outcome and stable and prosperous careers.
Some may criticize a greater emphasis on natural resource development. But I can attest to the fact that traditional public schools strongly emphasize environmental issues at every grade level. Rarely do curriculums mention the necessary role of the natural resource industry, or even general business.
I feel inclined to respond because I am afraid -- very afraid -- for the economic well-being and future of our kids and our country.
Cañon City, Colorado