ALBANY — Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the presumptive GOP leader in the race to replace outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal, made a campaign stop in Albany earlier this week at the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy (4C Academy). Fitting, since he helped launch the college and career academy concept 11 years ago.
Two weeks ago, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, during his own visit to the 4C Academy, admitted the state may have made a mistake more than a decade ago when they pushed for every student to graduate then get a degree from a four-year institution.
“Well, as you know I created the college and career academy network in 2007,” Cagle said.”The reason I did that is because fundamentally not every kid needs to go off to college and get a four-year liberal arts degree. We need to have education better aligned to the workforce needs of local industry, and give kids choices to find out early what they want to do in life. So this is why the college and career academies have been so unbelievably successful.”
“Remember right here in Albany there is a waiting list for this college and career academy. This is a value added proposition. A student can come out of this college and career academy prepared to be a dental hygienist making $40,000 a year, or a radiological technician also making $40,000 a year. That’s versus a normal high school diploma at $16,000 a year.”
Cagle added schools like the 4CA are creating environments where kids are fighting to get in rather than fighting to get out.
“The real beauty is that industry is buying into this as well because these kids are their future workers.”
The Lt. Governor often bills himself as the education candidate, and has said on many occasions were it not for education, he would not be where he is today — on the cusp of being Georgia’s next governor.
“Having been raised in a single-wide trailer, by a single mother, I was not supposed to be Lt. Governor,” Cagle said. “But, my public school education allowed me to transcend challenging circumstances and realize incredible success in the public and private sectors. I look forward to working with the educators across our state to empower teachers and principals to take control of their own classrooms.”
In 2006, Cagle became Georgia’s first Republican Lt. Governor.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to educating Georgia’s workforce of the future, more often than not he always gets around to the college and career academy concept.
“I have made College and Career Academies the centerpiece of my education agenda as your Lt. Governor – and I’m proud of the fact that we now have 46 of these academies, with more on the way, all over the state,” Cagle said. “Today, thanks to our College and Career Academies, students all over Georgia have access to training in the areas of engineering, bio-medicine, technology, logistics, robotics, and many more of the skills needed to compete in this global market.”