With the Democratic National Convention now over, both major parties have officially selected their nominees for the 2016 election. Coinciding with the nomination festivities, each party voted on and approved a party platform that outlines its priorities for the coming years. Once again, both Republicans and Democrats have affirmed commitments to Career Technical Education (CTE) through their respective platforms, demonstrating that CTE remains a solidly bipartisan issue.
Republican Party Platform Promotes CTE, Work-based Learning
The GOPâ€™s position on education echoes much of what weâ€™ve been hearing in Congress with regards to local-control over matters of education. Nevertheless, the platform promotes CTE as one of â€œthe policies and methods that have actually made a difference in student advancement.â€ The platform further urges â€œschool districts to make use of teaching talent in the business community, STEM fields, and the military,â€ to leverage non-traditional expertise in support of student learning. The party also promotesÂ technical colleges and work-based learning, and advocates for public policies that â€œrecognize that a four-year degree from a brick-and-mortar institution is not the only path toward a prosperous and fulfilling career.â€
Democrats Aim to Expand Access to Middle Class Jobs
In the Democratic camp, the party approved a progressive platform calling for increased access to high-quality education and more pathways to the middle class for students of all backgrounds. The platform targets high costs and â€œpredatory for-profit schoolsâ€ as barriers to achieving this vision. It proposes to â€œmake community college freeâ€ and crack down on for-profit schools that donâ€™t â€œenable students to complete their degrees and prepare them for work.â€ The party also commits to investing in â€œhigh-quality STEAM classes [and] computer science educationâ€ as well as expanding â€œlinked learning models and career pathwaysâ€ across the country.
Austin Estes, Policy Associate