Across the nation and in a range of regions â€“ urban, rural, suburban â€“ career technical education (CTE) schools have dramatically turned around dropout rates, boosted student achievement and increased the number of students who enter college, according to a recent National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education three-part research brief series. Michigan, New Jersey and New Mexico each provide a model of a successful CTE school, NASDCTEc says.
The schoolsâ€™ success stories are of particular significance given the economic climate and the high demand for programs that adequately prepare students for the global market, according to NASDCTEc, a Washington, D.C.-area association that represents state heads of CTE. Already At the Top: CTE Programs Show Positive Impact on Student Achievement highlights three high schools that have demonstrated a positive impact in significant school improvement areas, some of which are aligned with the Obama Administrationâ€™s Race to the Top priority areas.
The schools elevated their standards for students and teachers, partnered with business and industry, and established strong relationships with postsecondary institutions to improve their schools and the way they teach students.
Newark Tech High School â€“ New Jersey (urban)
- From 2003 to 2009, Newark Techâ€™s passing rate for mathematics on the statewide High School Proficiency Assessment skyrocketed from 39.7 percent in to 88 percent.
- Language Arts scores climbed from 73 percent in 2003 to 97.6 percent.
- Graduation rate of the class of 2009 was 98.8 percent, and 86 percent of students reported going on to two year or four year colleges after graduation.
Livonia Career Technical Center â€“ Michigan (suburban)
- Of the 469 students surveyed from the graduating class of 2008, about 87 percent said they were continuing their education primarily at a community college or college/university.
- The rate of students enrolled in colleges/universities increased from about 37 percent in 2006 to the latest rate of about 42 percent in 2008.
Loving High School â€“ New Mexico (rural)
- The average on-time graduation rate of the three most recent ninth-grade cohorts is above 95 percent.
- LHS received a Bronze Medal in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best high schools in the country for 2010.