Career Technical Education (CTE) is one education delivery mechanism that is redefining the mission of Americaâ€™s high schools, according to a recent paper.
In the paper, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a non-profit organization that creates research-based assessments, lauds NASDCTEcâ€™s new vision for CTE as â€œa strong indication of the continuing efforts to improve CTE.â€ Specifically, the authors wrote about the State Directorsâ€™ intent to ensure that standards are internationally-benchmarked and a rigorous blend of academic and technical content. While the authors convey that more work is needed to improve CTE, they also support CTEâ€™s integrated approach and opportunities for applied and academic learning.
The tremendous potential of CTE in America is evident when looking at the results shown by CTE internationally. For example, â€œTwenty-four percent of Japanâ€™s secondary students are in vocational programs, as are 29 percent in Korea, and a whopping 72 percent in the United Kingdom. All of these countries had higher average scores in eighth-grade mathematics than did the United States in the latest TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study) assessment.â€
While educators in the United States have looked to high-scoring countries for examples of educational excellence, the report says, they often overlook a key point â€“ these countries are using CTE approaches. The results are impressive: â€œAnalysis of international data found that nations enrolling a large proportion of upper-secondary students in vocational programs have significantly higher school attendance rates and upper-secondary completion rates.â€ Still, the report points out, all students need more guidance and career counseling to help navigate options and prepare for college and careers.
NASDCTEc members, click â€œCareer Technical Educationâ€ then â€œCTE Success Mapâ€ to view high-achieving CTE programs across the nation!
Read more about CTE in the â€œDifferent Pathways to Life Destinationsâ€ chapter of the ETS report.
Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst