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