Way Beyond Shop Class

New vocational courses make school relevant and fun for kids who are bored by Shakespeare

Matt Grohnke wasn't dumb; he just couldn't get interested in English literature or American history. During his first two years at Robinson High School in Fairfax, Va., Matt would count the minutes until he could get home and focus on his real passion--computers. So after some prodding from his guidance counselor, Matt applied to the career academy located within a high school in nearby Chantilly, Va. At the Chantilly Academy, students earn coveted technical certifications in courses designed by Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Nortel. Surrounded by like-minded classmates and encouraged to pursue something he loved, Matt quickly blossomed from a bit...

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