Fall Meeting: Using Data to Drive Decisions

At the NASDCTEc fall meeting last week, Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders from across the nation addressed many issues, including how data should be used to drive decision making in CTE. A panel of experts addressed relevant topics to CTE, such as diversifying the uses of CAR data, the return on investment of CTE, and how Career Clusters are addressing labor market demands.

Data Diversification in CTE

Matt Hastings from the Nebraska Department of Education described the role of subpopulations in the Perkins accountability data framework and the challenges with solely relying on subpopulation analyses.

Perkins accountability focuses on small groups of students so policymakers can see the return on investment (ROI) of Perkins dollars through CTE accountability measures. The system becomes a challenge, however, because CTE accountability takes on multiple roles; the success or failure of CTE programs is judged based on these accountability measures, while policymakers rely on these measures for ROI information to drive program and policy decisions.

Return on Investment in CTE

Pradeep Kotamraju of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) described the overarching concern around CTE for policymakers and stakeholders as: is federal, state, and local investment in CTE paying off?

This presentation overviewed approaches and factors to consider when calculating ROI, and steps necessary to calculate ROI in CTE.

Career Clusters: Forecasting High School through College Jobs – 2008-2018

Nicole Smith from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce shared highlights from the Center’s latest report, which forecasts job opportunities by Career Cluster. Among other key findings, Smith shared that:

  • Inclusion of certificate preparation should be part of a career-ready education
  • Women still need more education to earn less
  • Wages in business, management, and administration are growing the fastest while those for human services have declined

This report will be released on November 14, 2011.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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