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Mayors Bloomberg, Emanuel, Villaraigosa and Secretary Duncan Discuss CTE as Part of Urban School Reform

Mayors and school superintendents from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, convened last week on a panel to discuss urban school reform in their cities, and Career Technical Education (CTE) was touted as an effective strategy.

The panel, hosted by NBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, focused on accountability and parent and principal access to data as keys to improving education. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg described the concept of Career Academies with smaller, career-focused areas as an effectual way to measure student performance and provide data to those who need it.

Addressing the skills gap through CTE was also at the forefront of the discussion.  “We’ve got to find ways to get people to stay in school and get degrees but to make those degrees and the skills they learn more relevant not to what the jobs used to be, but what the jobs are going to be down the road,” Bloomberg said. He emphasized that not every student should be expected to earn a 4-year degree, and that community colleges and technical schools are other high quality postsecondary education options that are appropriate for many students.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel echoed the importance of CTE in revamping his city’s public school system. Chicago has been creating more schools that train students for specific high-demand areas, such as Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing, through partnerships with business and industry. Emanuel described how Chicago will prepare students in the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) Career Cluster™ with up-to-date technology skills through a new TDL-focused school.

A video of this session is now available. Discussion related to CTE begins at minute 12:55.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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