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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Student Engagement Declines With Each Grade in New Gallup Poll

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January 17, 2013

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Student Engagement Declines With Each Grade in New Gallup Poll

Between fifth and 12th grade, the number of students engaged in school drops from about eight in 10 to four in 10, according to a recent Gallup Student Poll.

The poll included approximately half a million students from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 states. In addition to engagement, it also measured hope and well-being. According to Gallup research, these three indicators each account for one-third of the variance in student outcomes. 

Gallup Education’s Brandon Busteed suggests that this lack of engagement in secondary education may be attributable to a lack of experiential, project-based learning. ACTE agrees: research has shown that the hands-on, relevant learning delivered in CTE programs is important to keeping students engaged. For instance, in the 2006 Silent Epidemic report 81 percent of dropouts said relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in high school. In addition, a poll of at-risk California ninth- and 10th-graders found that six in 10 respondents were not motivated to succeed in school and, of those students, more than 90 percent said they would be more engaged in their education if classes helped them acquire skills and knowledge relevant to future careers.

This data, combined with your personal stories about CTE’s impact on student engagement, can be shared with policymakers to illustrate the benefits of CTE.

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