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ACTE Responds to Wall Street Journal Article


February 10, 2012

ACTE Responds to Wall Street Journal Article

By: Steve DeWitt

On January 29, the Wall Street Journal included an article discussing a report on New York City’s CTE programs produced by New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. The report criticizes Mayor Bloomberg’s CTE efforts, citing poor performance of a number of vocational schools. Without debating the findings of the report, ACTE submitted a letter to the editor to the Wall Street Journal focused on the title of the article, which we viewed as misleading. Following is the text of the letter, which has not been printed by the Wall Street Journal.

Dear editor:

The title “Flaws Seen in Vocational Education” which appeared in your January 29 edition was a misleading heading for an article that focused on the debate of how to improve current New York vocational programs.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s report, referenced in the article, makes some good points about the city’s current vocational system that, if true, need to be addressed. NYC is undergoing a CTE reform process begun several years ago and the changes are leading to the alignment and relevance the author highlights. The debate about how to improve the City’s CTE system is worthy but my fear is that parents and students will read and misunderstand the headline, which reinforces the negative stereotype of vocational education that many individuals have embraced for years.

Today’s vocational education is more closely linked to employment, more engaging and more concerned about getting students on a true career pathway than many other educational options that exist for today’s high school students, and it is an option that more parents and students should consider. I thought it was worth noting.


Janet Bray

Executive Director

Association for Career and Technical Education

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