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Many Parents Want CTE in Schools, Study Finds


August 29, 2013


Many Parents Want CTE in Schools, Study Finds

Results from a Fordham Institute online survey of 2,000 American parents found that respondents largely want the same things for their children from education: a strong core curriculum in reading and math; an emphasis on STEM education; and the instilment of strong study habits, critical thinking skills and communication skills. In addition, out of a battery of potential school characteristics deemed critical by parents, "hands-on/project-based learning" and "vocational classes or job-related programs" were ranked more critical than average.

Fordham researchers also grouped parents into "niche markets" based on their responses. The most common of these niche markets were Pragmatist parents, who want CTE in their schools. These Pragmatists made up 36 percent of K-12 parent respondents, and they assigned high value to schools that "offer vocational classes or job-related programs."

In addition, Fordham identified these other niche markets for education:

  • Jeffersonians (24 percent) who want to emphasize citizenship, democracy and leadership
  • Test-Score Hawks (23 percent) that favor a school that has high test scores
  • Multiculturalists (22 percent) who want their children to experience diversity
  • Expressionists (15 percent) who prefer a school with strong arts and music education
  • Strivers (12 percent) who want their children to be accepted at a top-tier college

This is great news that parents are realizing the importance of CTE and workforce preparation, integrated with academics, as ingredients for success.

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