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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Low Dropout Rates for Massachusetts CTE

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January 29, 2013

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By: Catherine

A new paper examines the low dropout rates in Massachusetts vocational technical schools and uses case studies to illustrate effective strategies for encouraging student attendance, engagement and completion.

According to Hands-On Achievement: Why Massachusetts Vocational Technical Schools Have Low Dropout Rates, the dropout rate for comprehensive high schools in Massachusetts was 2.8 percent in 2011, compared to a dropout rate of 1.6 percent for vocational technical schools on average and 0.9 percent for regional vocational technical schools.

Part of the success of Massachusetts vocational technical schools in stemming dropout is attributed to the time spent in CTE classes: about one-half of students’ time is dedicated to hands-on learning in a career major, with the other half set aside for rigorous academics. In addition, author Alison L. Fraser, with William Donovan, profiles several Massachusetts vocational technical schools with low dropout rates and their strategies for success, including a focus on attendance as well as business partnerships and curricula relevant to local industry.

The paper notes that vocational technical schools in urban areas had a higher than average dropout rate of 4.4 percent. Sources in the report speculate that this higher dropout rate in urban centers may be linked to an immigrant population that moves in and out of the area and to a community culture that has yet to fully embrace the promise of CTE.

All in all, this is a great tool for Massachusetts CTE advocates!

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Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need

Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.

Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!

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