Improving educational outcomes with equity in mind

The February 2022 issue of Techniques seeks to address the unique challenges that diverse students face to success, or even entry, in high-wage, high-demand CTE pathways. Transportation, for example, is a “huge barrier,” wrote Amanda Bastoni, educational research scientist at CAST and ACTE’s new inclusion, access, equity and diversity (IAED) coordinator. “This is a huge barrier, especially in rural areas where public transportation is limited or nonexistent.”

CTE leaders dedicate copious time and resources to find solutions for their students. Consider the exceptional educators in Arizona’s west valley region who worked closely with the state licensing board to accommodate group certification testing. “This helped reduce students’ nervousness as they had their classmates attempting the test nearby,” wrote Shelly Thome (pp. 22–26), director of exceptional student services at West-MEC. “Further, reserved group seating for the licensing exam helped West-MEC arrange group transportation to and from the testing site with instructors accompanying students. “Access to testing sites is vital to credential attainment.”

Read Techniques in February 2022: The Equity Issue

Some issues of equity in education may be addressed with clear and tangible solutions, while others will require a steadfast commitment to change over time. “There still exists a negative perception of career and technical education among some Black families, who only want their students to pursue four-year degrees.” In her article, Anuli I. Phillips counsels educators on the need to “be versed in and knowledgeable of the cultural context with which Black students approach CTE. The special experiences — consequential of their racial construct assignment — cannot be minimized or ignored. Rather, assist in providing [students and students’ families] with tools to explore what meaning can be made from their previous experiences and notions.”

ACTE prioritizes the development of high-quality CTE programs of study for diverse audiences.

Further, the Association condemns institutional racism in all forms — standing up in the name of social justice and civil rights. We continue to conduct outreach and provide support for CTE professionals who express similar goals to advance the ideals of IAED, thus developing stronger, more equity-minded leaders in our fields. Will you consider getting involved?

We hope you enjoy Techniques in February 2022: The Equity Issue.