Today’s CTE: A Dead-End Track, or a Path to the Middle Class?

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In the last several decades, career and technical education has been transformed into a smart option for kids who want to improve their post-secondary education and career options. High-quality CTE programs offer valuable skills that prepare students for valuable technical credentials—and a route to the middle class. Fordham’s latest report Career and Technical Education in High School: Does It Improve Student Outcomes? expands upon a growing body of research that demonstrates the impact of well-designed CTE programs on graduation rates and future earnings.

But quality and opportunity are key. Policy makers, reformers, parents, and students are sure to have many questions: What does high-quality CTE look like? How are students introduced to these programs, and how can they align to local workforce needs? And how do we refute the understandable concern that career is a lesser “track” compared with college?