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Rob Arias

Nice piece by the Executive Director of ACTE. The research is very clear. Students that participate in CTE courses have a higher enrollment and success rate at the college level. We need to resist out-dated perceptions of our schools and look to new models of education going forward. Thank you Ms. Wilson!

Alan Coleman

Isn't it amusing how ironic reality can be? One of the high school CTE career pathways offered at the Academy for Advanced Studies, in the Henry County (GA) school district, is Teaching K-12 as a Profession. Of the 51 students currently enrolled in that pathway, you will find none who "don’t plan to go to college.” Imagine that: a CTE program for students planning a career in academics.

Joni Jonas

Thank you for your response in regards to the NPR story. Pinellas County Schools (Florida) made great strides in our graduation rate due to the success of our many (40+) career academies. In fact, we had the largest increase in the graduation rate of all the large districts in Florida in 2013-14. When we looked at the data, it was because of what was happening in career academies. In 2014-15, our grad rate for all students was 78.3% but for our academy students the grad rate was 96.4%. I would say that is pretty remarkable.

We have nationally recognized academies preparing students for college, career and life. There are many pathways to careers....college is only one of those pathways. Eventually, everyone goes to work. NPR needs to get with the program!

Kathy Hunt

Thanks Ms. Wilson and ACTE for continuing to educate the media and the public about the value of CTE and to maintain vigilance in the fight against old and/or erroneous data. I agree with everything Mr..Arias wrote in his comments - especially the need for new models of education. Keep up the great advocacy.

Eileen Illuzzi

I would suggest that Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, visit today's CTE centers around the country to see the academically rigorous and technically relevant programs that are being offered to high school students. There are innovative programs that offer dual enrollment credits, industry certifications and pathways to post secondary education and training that will lead to financially secure careers. While he is correct that we need to invest in CTE and integrate academics, creating a separate or alternative pathway for students just reinforces the old "college or career" notion. Until we truly integrate broad ranging academics with career readiness and technical skills, our students will fall short. If Mr. Carnevale ever finds himself in Vermont, I would love to give him a tour of some of the CTE centers that are preparing students to be "college and career' ready.
Thank you Ms. Wilson for helping to set the record straight.

Randy Shelton

As a CTE instructor I can definitely say our program is HARDER than high school and students are somewhat surprised at the amount of work to complete the program. Gone are the days of 'Vo-Tech' where students went because they had a hard time in high school and needed something 'easier'. As a matter of fact, I made my program HARDER. Our entire goal is to offer skills which are translatable to what employers are seeking. There is a saying among CTE instructors that if you would not be willing to offer your program to your own child, then something is wrong. As a father of a 12 year old, I can honestly say if my own son chooses to attend my CTE program in Computer Networking, I know for sure he is getting a real value in his education and will learn valuable skills. This past year my students have earned over 140 certificates and national certifications in their field of study. How does that stack up NPR?

Terri Michael

I have taught students who had no desire to go to college take my CTE classes in the Teaching as a Profession pathway and decide to attend college to become a teacher.

Kate Allen

Yes, thank you Ms. Wilson, for your ernest explanation of CTE and its role in today's education. Instead of falling into misconceptions, it's important that we focus on the future, how secondary and post secondary institutions across the country have prepared today's students to be tomorrow's leaders. The National Technical Honor Society works with over 4,000 schools across the country to acknowlege over 50,000 top students in career technical pathways annually. The testimonies we hear from administrators, students and families are worthy of their proud accomplishments.
Thank you Ms. Wilson for speaking out about the value of CTE.

Ernema Boettner

Thank you Ms. Wilson for advocating a strong voice for CTE. I teach health science and through the years (11 years coming up), I have continued to increase the rigors of my CTE class and my students have risen to the occasion. CTE is not an alternative pathway; it is another pathway to career and good citizenry and preparation for the future of our nation.

Sean Lynch

Thank you all for your comments - it's great to hear the positive examples of how CTE is preparing your students for college- and career-success! We at ACTE understand the importance of overcoming outdated misconceptions about the opportunities available through CTE classrooms, and we appreciate your reading our work, sharing with your colleagues and getting involved with the conversation!

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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. Our mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce, and we strive to empower educators to deliver high-quality career and technical (CTE) programs that ensure all students are positioned for career success. Please contact us at [email protected].

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