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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

ACTE Partnership With EDC Leads to New White Paper

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March 7, 2014

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ACTE Partnership With EDC Leads to New White Paper

On March 5, the Education Development Center, Inc, released a new white paper, Opportunities and Challenges in Secondary Career and Technical Education. The paper, first presented at our National Policy Seminar, is based on a survey of local CTE stakeholders and follow-up interviews with state leaders. ACTE partnered with EDC to distribute the survey to our members in the fall, and has collaborated on the drafting of the paper.

The survey and paper focus on key trends in secondary CTE, including funding and program needs. Key findings include the following:

  • Interest and enrollment in CTE is on the rise. Workforce experts view the range of careers for which CTE prepares students as both important to the U.S. economy and financially advantageous to students.
  • Investments in supporting and expanding CTE programs remain low. Fully 73 percent of survey respondents reported flat or declining budgets over the past five years.
  • The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) underscore the importance of career readiness as well as college readiness. Yet CTE leaders feel that non-CTE educators may interpret CCSS as simply requiring more rigorous academic content and overlook the value of the real-world work experience that is the hallmark of CTE.
  • Fewer than 18 percent of survey respondents reported that their students take academic courses in which CTE is an integral part of the instruction, compared with nearly 60 percent of CTE courses that integrate academics.
  • CTE programs that have strong partnerships with thriving industries and higher education are well-positioned to ensure students' college and career readiness.

A number of the findings in the paper can help us make the case for additional investments in CTE, and have been incorporated into our messaging to Capitol Hill. EDC plans additional follow-up papers to expand on more details of the survey and interviews.

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