It's hailed by some as a way to cut California's 18 percent dropout rate, and condemned by others as the beginning of a two-tier education system that will limit poor students' futures and decimate art, music and foreign-language studies, the Mercury News reports. A new law that enacts a seemingly small change, allowing students to count one vocational class as credit toward graduation, has both supporters and detractors predicting a major shift in high school education. Backers depict AB 1330 as a start toward teaching students job-market skills, through courses such as keyboarding, medical assisting and metal shop. The law...

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staff and wire services reports