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Survey: Curriculum Lack Relevancy, Students Lack Engagement

More than half of high school students are bored at least every day in class; only about a quarter of them feel like they are acquiring skills related to work after high school, according to a recent survey and report that assess the relationship between student achievement and student engagement.

Charting the Path from Engagement to Achievement, a report on the High School Survey of Student Engagement, was conducted by the Indiana University Center for Evaluation & Education Policy and offers perspective of students from a 2009 sampling of 42,754 high school students. Boredom with school and lack of relevancy in curriculum surfaced among other issues that inferred poor student engagement.

Some statistics underscore the areas in which CTE programs may provide a positive impact:

  • Of the 98 percent of students who claimed they were bored in school, about 40 percent students said there was lack of relevance in the material that they learned.
  • About 26 percent of students said they were acquiring skills related to work after  high school.
  • About 23 percent said they were solving real-world problems.

There are schools that have made it a priority to address these issues of engagement. The report highlights model schools in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to Richmond, Virginia that provide examples of how to deal with this pressing problem. While the schools implement a range of strategies, they all recognize that student engagement is key to student achievement.

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