Detroit schools superintendent proposes expansion of pathways to college
- The Detroit Public Schools Community District is the latest metro system to consider adding career pathways in high schools to form stronger connections between the curriculum and high-growth career fields, The Detroit News reports.
- Over the next three years, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti hopes to establish or expand academies in industries, such as information technology, health sciences and engineering, and add welding, autonomous vehicles and construction design in the district’s existing career and technical centers.
- Community colleges, universities and even the Detroit Zoo would work in partnership with schools and potentially create opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school. The district’s school board still has to approve the plan.
With the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday sending the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to the full Senate for a vote, states may soon see additional funding for career-focused programs. And while state and districts have taken leaps on their own in recent years to update and expand their CTE programs, Brian Jacob, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggested last year in an article that more research evidence is needed to better understand outcomes for students that enroll in CTE programs and which kinds of programs are most effective.
CTE programs have been difficult to measure, he wrote, because students self-select into them or their selections are determined by what schools have available. He added that the past studies have tended to show that students in CTE programs tend to earn higher wages but don’t necessarily have stronger academic outcomes. A more recent study, however, showed that students in 36 Massachusetts vocational and technical high school schools had significantly higher graduation rates than students at other high schools.
Another recent report also provided important guidance on how to forge the successful partnerships with industry leaders that are necessary for CTE programs to grow and be sustained.
- The Detroit News Vitti plans career academies for all Detroit high schools
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