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Standing Up for CTE


April 14, 2014


Standing Up for CTE

Review of Updating Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century, a March 2014 publication from the National Education Policy Center, asserts the value of CTE in preparing students to be college and career ready.

Authors Marisa Saunders and Jaime L. Del Razo of Brown University call into question the conclusions of a recent paper, Updating Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century, published  by The Lexington Institute. The original paper states that many CTE programs are outdated and fails to communicate that CTE is compatible with postsecondary education.

Saunders and Del Razo dissect the paper in-depth, but the excerpt below captures many of their criticisms of the report and highlights the positives of CTE:

"Unfortunately, while the report includes language consistent with this goal [of college and career readiness], it does not recognize or emphasize this as an essential element of successful high school CTE programs aimed at preparing students for the 21st-century workforce. Nor does the report lift up the high level of academic rigor that is characteristic of today's successful CTE programs, or the secondary and postsecondary alignment strategies that assist students in pursuing further education and training beyond high school graduation. By failing to capture these elements and strategies, the report misses an opportunity to present CTE as a viable alternative pathway to postsecondary education, rather than instead of postsecondary education."

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