The City’s Career and Technical Education High Schools are leaving too many students ill-prepared to enter college or the work force, according to a new report by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Path to the Future finds CTE schools are many times more likely than general education schools to appear on the State’s “Persistently Low-Achieving” list, and identifies a mismatch between the most numerous CTE programs and growing industries that will provide high-skill, high-wage jobs in the future. Mayor Bloomberg pledged improvements to Career and Tech Ed at this year’s State of the City address, the latest in a series of half-measures and promises that have not yielded results at many of these schools. De Blasio has put forward a six-point plan to align programs with the State’s fastest-growing career fields and improve the readiness of New York City’s 140,000 CTE students.
“For ten years, Career and Tech Ed has been an afterthought in this Administration. We cannot wait any longer. Thousands of students are being left behind and will graduate without the skills they need to succeed after high school – whether in college, specialized training programs, or the workplace,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “As a public school parent, I think we have to do more than take the Mayor at his word this time. When we see meaningful reform that actually improves outcomes for the thousands of students in low-performing schools, then the Mayor can claim he has made it a priority.”
“We believe that the City must live up to its promises to continue to reform career and technical education (CTE),” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society. “In our annual Unheard Third survey, low-income New Yorkers express great support for CTE programming. The Public Advocate’s strong recommendations to improve our CTE schools should be adopted in full.”
Public Advocate de Blasio analyzed the 20 Career and Technical Education high schools that have three or more years of comprehensive academic data available, as well as the full network of CTE programs offered by the Department of Education. The study found:
- 50% of the CTE high schools with three years of academic data available have made the State’s Persistently Low-Achieving list since 2009.
- When all 30 CTE schools are accounted for, including those founded after 2009 that do not have three years of academic data available, 33% have still made the Persistently Low-Achieving list since 2009—compared to less than 10% of all high schools citywide.
- The most numerous CTE programs are in low growth fields:
- Arts and A/V Technology comprise 18% of the City’s CTE programs—more than any other—but the field’s jobs will only increase 3% by 2018.
- Business Management and Administration comprise 14% of programs but jobs in the field will only increase 2% by 2018.
- Jobs in Human Services will grow faster than any career cluster in New York State by 2018 (18%), but the field only accounts for 1.5% of CTE programming.
De Blasio has put forward a six-point plan to reform Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century:
- New City legislation introduced by the Public Advocate to mandate an interagency task force that assesses the latest job trends and whether CTE programs match up.
- New internship programs at City agencies—including one launched by the Public Advocate—to prepare students for jobs in human services and public administration.
- Ensure the 12 new CTE schools announced in the State of the City match growing industries such as Information Technology and Health Sciences.
- Partner the most successful CTE programs with the poorest performing ones in order to share resources and best practices.
- Create a public-private scholarship fund to help finance CTE students’ industry certification following graduation.
- Track the academic and career progress of CTE students during school and after graduation to hold programs accountable for success.
Read the full report at: www.advocate.nyc.gov/cte