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ERIC Number: ED542108
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Career/Technical Education: Not Your Father's Vocational Education. The Progress of Education Reform. Volume 14, Number 1
Zinth, Jennifer Dounay
Education Commission of the States (NJ1)
In recent years, career/technical education (CTE) has risen to the top of the education policy agenda for governors, legislators, and agency heads. As a result of informed interest among key education leaders, the CTE policies and programs being advocated and implemented today bear little resemblance to those in place not long ago. Among the factors driving increased state policymaker interest in CTE are: (1) A pervasive gap between workforce needs and the skills of entering workers; (2) The projected growth in skilled occupations requiring technical certification or a credential beyond a high school diploma; and (3) Interest in improving high school graduation rates by helping students see connections between programs of study and career opportunities in high-wage, in-demand fields. States are addressing these needs by incentivizing action in various ways. Among these diverse incentives are 1) "carrot" policies to encourage high school students to earn CTE credentials or to perform well on WorkKeys; 2) "stick" policies for schools and districts to ensure that CTE students are progressing toward career-readiness; and 3) development of supports for students at risk of falling short of career-readiness. States also are increasingly blurring the lines between traditional "academic" and career/technical courses by incorporating core content standards, as appropriate, into CTE courses, and reframing dual enrollment programs, which in many states have been limited to traditional academic coursework. This issue of "The Progress of Education Reform" will clarify how these approaches differ from CTE and career-readiness initiatives in the not-too-distant past, and identify states that are moving forward. (Contains 2 figures, 6 resources and 21 endnotes.)
Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: GE Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Virginia; Wyoming