Across America, nearly half of high school students choose vocational programs—from automotive repair to computer network design—as a major part of their studies, and a quarter of students go further and concentrate on a specific job-focused field, according to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Now, millions of these students could face major changes in their studies if a Bush administration plan to remake vocational education is approved.

Bush wants to replace the $1.2 billion national program with a trimmer, $1 billion version that would require schools to prove student achievement before they receive federal


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