George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Recently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for a renewed emphasis on career and technical education (CTE) in America's schools. Not the old "vocational" approach, where some students are tracked to enter a trade upon graduation from high school, while others are prepared to enter degree programs in college. No, Duncan is challenging educators to fuse career and college preparation curricula to prepare high school graduates to make smart decisions about pursuing higher education; and to be qualified to enroll in BA or BS programs, or a career certification programs, or both.

Here's an excerpt from Duncan's speech, which was timed to coincide with the release of a Harvard University study, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century (PDF), on the topic.

Edutopia recently launched a special "Schools that Work" report on Career Technical Education that shows how several schools in California are merging career tech training with college prep curriculum. Check out this video and see what a new world of relevant, rigorous CTE could mean for your school.

-- David Markus, Editorial Director, Edutopia

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Angie Hysjulien's picture
Angie Hysjulien
Business Educator at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora IL

Internships--back to the basics. Making the connection between school and the "real world"--the concept is a win-win. Students need to see the relevance of their core classes. Hands-on learning is another way to keep the at-risk population involved but also challenges the students who want to take learning to the next level. It takes a tremendous amount of work to make this a reality and I'm sure funding is an issue. But connecting this to "standards" shouldn't be the problem. In fact, it should be a test of relevance for the "standards."

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