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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

CTE Helps Nation Near 90 Percent Graduation Rate

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May 8, 2013

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CTE Helps Nation Near 90 Percent Graduation Rate

The latest annual Building a Grad Nation report finds that, for the first time, the United States is on track to a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the class of 2020.

According to the publication from Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, America's Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate was 78.2 percent in 2010.The greatest gains occurred from 2006 onward. If schools can maintain this rate of improvement, they will meet the 90 percent graduation goal by the start of the next decade.

This increase in graduation rate has been particularly significant for students of color and students from lower income backgrounds, although completion is still uneven across states and subgroups. In addition, the number of schools classified as dropout factories decreased by 29 percent from 2002 to 2011.

In addition, the authors note that "over the past year, we have seen significant progress in increasing the strength, scale and impact of CTE programs." High-quality CTE is the basis of Plank 9, Pathways to College and Career, one of 10 research-based planks of the America's Promise Alliance Civic Marshall Plan to reduce dropout and improve graduation rates.

To demonstrate this progress, the publication cites the release of the Administration's blueprint for Perkins reauthorization, Opportunity Nation's plan of action to connect more young adults to school and career, and new and expanding initiatives:

  • Linked Learning
  • Illinois Pathways Initiative
  • Career academies
  • Early college high schools, such as Pathways in Technology Early College High School in New York (also known as P-TECH, and cited in the President's 2013 State of the Union address)
  • Business partnerships, such as AT&T's Aspire initiative

The report also addresses developing standards and assessments for career readiness, such as the National Academy Foundation Student Certification Assessment System.

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