NEPC Resources on Education and the Workplace
Tracking and the Future of Career and Technical Education: How Efforts to Connect School and Work Can Avoid the Past Mistakes of Vocational Education
EPI Review Raises Questions About Study Linking Teacher Collective Bargaining to Poorer Labor Market Outcomes for Students
Welner and Burris point to our country's history for examples of segregating children by social class. They point out current instances of "[v]ocational tracks with lowered academic expectations...being pushed in New York state, in Texas, and even, it appears, by the president himself." Misguided education policies result in sorting disadvantaged 13-year-olds into vocational tracks that will lock them into a path that denies them future opportunities.
Multiple Pathways: 21st Century High Schools that Prepare All Students for College, Career and Civic Participation
Many states are currently developing high school reforms labeled “Multiple Pathways,” built on the fundamental insight that career and technical education –- which used to be called “vocational education” –- can be academically rigorous. Multiple Pathways policies also allow students to gravitate to schooling themes that are personally relevant, and they hold the potential to substantially improve secondary schooling.
This policy brief examines the recent wave of commission reports that have attacked the American high school and called for its "reinvention." Two conceptions of rigor are dominant: test-based rigor, requiring higher scores on conventional tests; and course-based rigor, requiring more demanding courses. However, these conventional academic conceptions neglect several other conceptions of rigor: as depth rather than breadth; as more sophisticated levels of understanding including "higher-order skills"; and as the ability to apply learning in unfamiliar settings.