Gov. Haley Barbour says there's nothing wrong with encouraging some Mississippi high school students to aim for skill trade training instead of a university degree.
Not all Mississippi high school students will go to college, or even graduate. The state's dropout rate is 16 percent. Only about 17 percent of the state's population has a college degree.
Barbour said Mississippi's educational system has to rid itself of the stigma attached to vocational and technical training courses for students.
Many education supporters say giving students an option is OK, as long as academics continue to be emphasized.
Mississippi's relatively new high school redesign program lets students choose coursework based on their career interest. So far, the program is in 39 of the state's 152 school districts.