Low Dropout Rates for Massachusetts CTE
January 29, 2013
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!