Nov 9, 2009 10:38 AM
WEST MONROE, La. (AP) Many Louisiana high school classrooms soon could look like Wes Sebren's: equipped with welding gear, safety goggles and circular saws.
Sebren, a teacher at West Ouachita High School near West Monroe, is at the forefront of a new public schools strategy to reduce the dropout rate.
A 2009 law created a "career diploma" that will go to students who opt for lower academic standards in math and English and take such courses as welding, woodworking and small engine repair.
Sebren has been teaching such classes for more than a decade.
Educators said they expect "skills classes" will be popular with parents and students who expect to attend community or technical college after high school.