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ERIC Number: ED509777
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
Science Achievement and Occupational Career/Technical Education Coursetaking in High School: The Class of 2005. Statistics in Brief. NCES 2010-021
Levesque, Karen; Wun, Jolene; Green, Caitlin
National Center for Education Statistics
The definition of CTE (career/technical education) used by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) includes, at the high school level, family and consumer sciences education, general labor market preparation, and occupational education (Bradby and Hoachlander 1999; Bradby and Hudson 2007). Most researchers focus on occupational education courses (including courses in agriculture, business, and health sciences, among other fields) when examining the relationship between CTE and key outcomes (Silverberg et al. 2004). This emphasis reflects the fact that occupational courses represent the majority of CTE coursetaking (Levesque 2003b; Levesque et al. 2008; Hudson and Laird 2009) and studies suggest this is the part of the CTE curriculum most strongly related to employment and earnings outcomes, which are the ultimate goals of CTE (Boesel et al. 1994; Bishop and Mane 2004). This Statistics in Brief also focuses on students who participate in occupational education, comparing the science coursetaking and achievement of public high school graduates of the class of 2005 who concentrated in occupational education with graduates who did not. While the Brief includes a comparison between occupational concentrators overall and nonconcentrators, the primary focus here is on comparing concentrators in 13 different occupational program areas with nonconcentrators. This Brief provides new information on the academic achievement of CTE participants by focusing on science achievement and describing this achievement for CTE concentrators in different occupational programs. The Brief also examines the science achievement of CTE participants who earned similar numbers of science credits, and looks at how the level and types of science courses taken differ among participants. These analyses are useful because previous studies have found that achievement gaps may be linked to the differing levels and types of academic coursework that students take (Plank 2001; Levesque 2003b; Silverberg et al. 2004), and because academic coursetaking is relatively amenable to policy action. Although this Brief cannot examine the causal impact of coursework on achievement, the analysis shows the varying relationships between science coursework and achievement for concentrators in different occupational programs and suggests areas for further research. The reader is cautioned that many additional factors--such as students' prior academic achievement, aptitudes, and interests, and varying curricular and teaching quality--can influence science achievement. This Brief does not examine the effects of such factors on student achievement. Appendices include: (1) Supplemental Table; and (2) Standard Error Tables. (Contains 1 exhibit, 10 tables, and 16 footnotes .
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress
IES Funded: Yes