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April 4, 2016

Report: More needs to be done for career, tech-ed programs

A new study co-authored by a UConn education professor said schools nationwide are doing well at incorporating changes to career and tech-education (CTE) programs, but more needs to be done.

The new report by the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy and co-authored by UConn assistant professor of education policy and leadership Shaun Dougherty, said continued program innovation, greater investments in resources, and stronger collaborations with business and industry are necessary to build on the CTE movement’s initial success.

Dougherty, a specialist in applied quantitative analysis of education policies and programs with UConn’s Neag School of Education, said in a statement many of the report’s core conclusions and recommendations can be applied to other CTE programs around the country.

Early evidence suggests that students who enroll in CTE schools have better attendance rates and are more likely to graduate, according to the report. Classes tend to be smaller, allowing for greater focus and engagement.

The study, which focused on New York City’s CTE program, said a major concern is rigid requirements by the state on CTE-teacher certification, approved CTE career pathways, and potential industry partners. The report said today’s fast-paced business climate demands greater flexibility and adaptability, the report states.

The report suggested states’ policies should be overhauled to allow school districts greater leeway in preparing for and responding to a rapidly changing job market, new technologies and the latest in-demand skills.

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