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Education Leader Explores a Common Model for CTE


November 6, 2013


Education Leader Explores a Common Model for CTE

A recent supplement to Kappan magazine authored by Jean-Claude Brizard, senior adviser at the College Board and former chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools, promotes the value of high-quality CTE and suggests ways to make CTE a more aligned, coherent system.

In "Toward a Common Model of Career-Technical Education," Brizard profiles several students from George Westinghouse CTE High School in Brooklyn, New York, who used CTE as a springboard to academic, technical and professional success. Their accomplishments were fostered by the high-quality CTE programs in place at Westinghouse, including relevant and rigorous curriculum scaffolded to industry-validated credentials, certified teachers with up-to-date skills in their industry area and a wealth of relevant work-based learning opportunities.

He goes on to encourage the CTE community to embrace the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as an opportunity to change how CTE is perceived and the role it plays in schools. CTE must, Brizard says, embrace the Common Core or it will be in danger of fulfilling the perception that it is a lesser track for students. CTE must not be an alternative to the CCSS but an extension, incorporating and applying rigorous academics with technical skills and work-based learning, leading to credentials valued in the workplace.

In addition, Brizard recommends that the coherence and alignment characteristic of the Common Core be applied to CTE through such organizational tools as the Career Clusters® Framework and the Common Career Technical Core standards, as well as policies that support CTE and work-based learning for all students. Brizard concludes by calling on regions, states and districts to pull together to align and coordinate CTE across P-12 education, higher education, industry and government.

ACTE endorses the CCSS and its emphasis on both college and career readiness, and is providing tools on how to bridge the Common Core and CTE.

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