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CTE and the Arts: More in Common Than You Think

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) recently brought together CTE groups and Arts Education groups to help us better understand the similarities that exist between these two worlds. While one primary connection is the career opportunities for students in the Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications Cluster, I learned of the more nuanced ways in which these two areas of education overlap, as well as the shared political obstacles. Brad Hull, NASBE’s Deputy Executive Director, did a terrific blog post linking the arts and Career Clusters, but he also laid out the ways in which CTE and the arts converge in other ways:

  • Standards
  • Practical application
  • Lifetime learning
  • Academic integration

I was also struck by the seemingly identical stories that both CTE and Arts Education share at the federal policy level. First, both CTE and Arts Education programs were slated for elimination each year by the Bush Administration, but funding was always preserved by Congress. Second, advocates for both CTE and Arts Education want to see a greater connection to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Better inclusion of both of these areas of education would lead to more well rounded education for all students. Our priorities also align in terms of dropout prevention strategies and linking to statewide longitudinal data systems.

For even more connections between CTE and the arts, see this blog post by Narric Rome, Senior Director of Federal Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

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