Review of Updating Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century

Updating Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century makes the claim that schools are failing to unleash the potential of Career and Technical Education (CTE). According to the report, CTE enables students to graduate from high school with the skills, knowledge and abilities required to meet the needs of a rapidly changing economy and the demands of the workplace. While the report claims to highlight the “most effective models underway across the United States” and discuss program elements best suited for replication, the showcased program descriptions provide limited evidence regarding effectiveness, and the report neglects to identify how programs and practices could be replicated. Further, while the report makes reference to programs that have the potential of bridging CTE and academic curricula, it fails to detail the importance of this strategy or to describe these efforts or their potential impact. Rather, the report reinforces the harmful existing mindset that views CTE and college preparatory curricula as being on different sides of the educational spectrum.