High school vocational education in the United States (US) stands on shaky ground, more so now than in recent decades. Because its ethos is so different from that of the dominant academic mainstream, vocational education’s standing in the curriculum has perennially been the object of contestation. It has generally been offered to minorities or more broadly to the under-classes (Ogbu 1978). Although preparation for the labour market has been its most enduring stated purpose, its sorting aspect may have been an important subterranean reason for its longevity. The subject has been an unwitting instrument of social inequality.