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The State Of Career Technical Education: Benchmarking States’ CTE Standards

PRESS CONTACT: Kate Blosveren, kblosveren@careertech.org, 301-588-9630

Silver Spring, MD, October 23, 2013 – A new report from the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) explores the Career Technical Education (CTE) standards from all 55 states and territories and finds that while the field is diverse, there are opportunities for bringing more consistency across states.

The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards is the result of a study conducted to compare state CTE standards to the Common Career Technical Core and gather information on the major policy levers and structures that support the adoption and implementation of CTE standards at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) are a set of rigorous, high-quality benchmark standards for CTE programs of study, developed for and by states.

"As state CTE leaders, we are thrilled to provide this report of our Common Career Technical Core benchmark standards,” said John Fischer, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Education and NASDCTEc president. “The CCTC establish the gold standard for over 12 million students in CTE programs that will help prepare them for college and career pathways and future prosperity."

Never before has this information been gathered about states’ CTE standards and policies, nor have all states’ CTE standards been analyzed using a common benchmark, setting a new baseline for understanding CTE across the country.

Some of the report’s findings include:

• 46 states and three territories have state-approved secondary CTE standards and 13 states and two territories have state-approved postsecondary standards. Only two states and one territory have CTE standards that are fully aligned between secondary and postsecondary systems.

• The majority of states have the authority to adopt both secondary and postsecondary CTE standards, although most only exercise this authority at the secondary level.

• Nearly all states have programs of study (sequences of courses across the secondary and postsecondary levels), even though few have statewide postsecondary standards to which these programs of study are aligned.

• There is a significant difference between states’ current CTE standards and the Common Career Technical Core, largely attributable to the CCTC being end-of-program of study standards and states’ standards being only at the secondary level and more occupationally focused.

“It is our hope that this report will spark important conversations within the CTE field about their expectations for students across learner levels but also raise awareness of the opportunities available through CTE and the Common Career Technical Core among the broader education reform community,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of NASDCTEc. “

Download the report and learn more about the CCTC at www.careertech.org

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About NASDCTEc
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult career technical education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy. For more information, see www.careertech.org and follow us on Twitter @CTEWorks.

About the Common Career Technical Core
The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) are a set of common benchmark standards for Career Technical Education (CTE) developed over two years by a process led by over 40 states. The CCTC identify what students should know and be able to do at the end of program of study (i.e., after completing a sequence of courses aligned with challenging academic and CTE content that spans both secondary and postsecondary settings). The CCTC include content standards for each of the 16 Career Clusters and their corresponding 79 Career Pathways, and an overarching set of 12 Career Ready Practices, which address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready. The CCTC will help ensure all students have access to high-quality CTE programs that will prepare them for the career of their choice.

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