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Preparing a 21 st Century Workforce. The Role of CTE. James R. Stone III Director National Research Center for CTE Today’s Agenda. A context for the discussion Workforce realities Education reform realities Two CTE based strategies.

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preparing a 21 st century workforce

Preparing a 21st Century Workforce

The Role of CTE

James R. Stone III Director

National Research Center for CTE

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • A context for the discussion
    • Workforce realities
    • Education reform realities
  • Two CTE based strategies

The work reported herein was supported under the National Dissemination for Career and Technical Education, PR/Award (No. VO51A990004) and /or under the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, PR/Award (No. VO51A990006) as administered by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U. S. Department of Education.However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education or the U. S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


what does it take to obtain good jobs myth or reality

What does it take to obtain good jobs (Myth or Reality)?

“…regardless if students go on to college or into the workforce after graduation, they still need the same knowledge and skills, particularly in English and mathematics. At a minimum, high school course requirements need to cover four years of rigorous English and four years of math…” (American Diploma Project)

what the data show
What the data show…
  • 94% of workers reported using math on the job, but, only1
    • 22% reported math “higher” than basic
    • 19% reported using “Algebra 1”
    • 9% reported using “Algebra 2”
  • Among upper level white collar workers1
    • 30% reported using math up to Algebra 1
    • 14% reported using math up to Algebra 2
  • Less than 5% of workers make extensive use of Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Calculus, or Geometry on the job2
  • M. J. Handel survey of 2300 employees cited in “What Kind of Math Matters” Education Week, June 12 2007
  • Carnevale & Desrochers cited in “What Kind of Math Matters” Education Week, June 12 2007

The Fallacy of Composition: What is true for the individual will also be true for the large group or society as a whole.

(Cappelli, 2008)

the problem 2 perspectives
The Problem: 2 Perspectives
  • …to right these workplace problems, policy makers are looking in the wrong direction…paying attention to skills workers really need to succeed, not on an assumed set of skills that may not be so critical after all . . . Robert Lerman (2008)
  • “…the unfortunate tendency has been for educators to assume that the changing economy simply requires more education, resulting in the misguided belief that all students should attend college. ..The result has been a well-meaning but misguided college-for-all attitude among educators and students. (Rosenbaum, 2002)
jobs education a growing mismatch
Jobs & Education: A Growing Mismatch

This would (and some argue has) lower the price of an educated worker (Cappelli, 2008) Or, downward occupational mobility

  • Current Population Survey (2000)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002)
more rhetoric
More Rhetoric…
  • By 2015 [the country needs to] double the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded annually to U.S. students in science, math, and engineering. (National Summit on Competitiveness 2005)
  • High school students in the U.S. perform well below those in other industrialized nations in the fields of mathematics and science … [and thus we need to make] STEM education a national priority. (Council on Competitiveness 2004).
based on urban myths
Based on Urban Myths
  • India & China are producing more engineers than U.S.

US=222,000; India=215,000; China=352,000*

  • We are not graduating enough engineers

S&E wages have actually declined in real terms and unemployment rates have increased**

* Duke University Study, 2006; **Rand, 2006;

what the data show12
What the data show…
  • S&E occupations make up only about one-twentieth of all workers
  • The education system produces qualified graduates far in excess of demand-Each year there are more than three times as many S&E four-year college graduates as S&E job openings Urban Institute, 2007.
  • 435,000 U.S. citizens and permanent residents a year graduated with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. . . there were about 150,000 jobs added annually to the science and engineering workforce.

the real labor opportunity

The Real Labor Opportunity

Middle Skill Occupations

real employment opportunities 45 growth in middle skill occupations 164 million workers by 2016
Real employment opportunities: 45% growth in Middle Skill Occupations (164 Million Workers by 2016)
middle skill occupations b a b s not required
Middle Skill Occupations (B.A./B.S. NOT Required)














Air Traffic Controller

Storage and distribution manager

Transportation manager

Non-retail sales manager

Forest fire fighting/prevention supervisor

Municipal fire fighting/prevention supervisor

Real estate broker

Elevator installers and repairer

Dental hygienist

Immigration and Customs inspector

Commercial pilot

Farr, M. & Shatkin, L. (2006) The 300 Best Jobs That Don't Require a Four-Year Degree. (US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

what are the real school problems
What are the real school problems?
  • A high and rising drop out rate
  • Students who graduate are lacking in basic math and science skills
  • Most students think they are going to college but do not prepare for it or any other possible future
getting kids ready for success requires a focus on
Getting kids ready for success requires a focus on:
  • Engagement – attending school and completing (graduating) high school
  • Achievement – academic (and technical) course taking; grades, test scores
  • Transition – to postsecondary education without the need for remediation; and to the workplace.
of 9 th graders who complete high school
% of 9th Graders who complete High School




Source: One-Third of a Nation (ETS, 2005)

when do they leave
When do they leave?

9th grade 10th grade 11th grade 12th grade 5th year

Plank, 2005

81 of dropouts said real world learning may have influenced them to stay in school

81% of dropouts said “real world learning” may have influenced them to stay in school

Bridgeland, et al - Gates Foundation Report, 2005

recent nrc research
Recent NRC Research

CTE and School Engagement

The Assumption: To be college and work ready, students need to complete a rigorous sequence of courses:
  • In math:
    • Four courses
    • Content equivalent to Algebra I and II, Geometry, and a fourth course such as Statistics or Pre-calculus
  • In English:
    • Four courses
    • Content equivalent to four years of grade-level English or higher (i.e., honors or AP English)
what has the 4x4 achieved naep scores 17 year olds
What has the 4x4 Achieved (NAEP Scores 17 Year Olds)

12.9 Academic Credits

19 Academic Credits

Note: Long-Term Trends NAEP

Source: NAEP 2004 Trends in Academic Progress.

naep science scores 17 year olds
NAEP Science Scores17 Year Olds

1.5 Science Credits

3.2 Science Credits

2.1 Science Credits

hs achievement in math
HS Achievement In Math

3.6 math credits

2.4 Math Credits

1.7 Math Credits

Note: Long-Term Trends NAEP

Source: NAEP 2004 Trends in Academic Progress and NAEP 1999 Trends in Academic Progress.

one approach

One approach

Math-in-CTE: An “evidenced based approach” to improving academic performance of CTE students

focus of the study
Focus of the Study
  • Does enhancing the CTE curriculum with math increase math skills of CTE students?
  • Can we infuse enough math into CTE curricula to meaningfully enhance the academic skills of CTE participants (Perkins IV Core Indicator)
  • Without reducing technical skill development
  • What works?
key features
Key Features
  • Random assignment of teachers to experimental or control condition
  • Five simultaneous study replications
  • Three measures of math skills (applied, traditional, college placement)
  • Focus of the experimental intervention was naturally occurring math (embedded in curriculum)
  • A model of Curriculum Integration
  • A new model for Professional Development
5 simultaneous replications
5 Simultaneous Replications

Sample 2004-05: 69 Experimental CTE/Math teams and 80 Control CTE Teachers

Total sample: 3,000 students*

study design participants

Experimental CTE teacher

Math teacher

Control CTE teacher

Primary Role

Implement the math enhancements

Provide support for the CTE teacher

Teach their regular curriculum (health, auto tech, ag, business/mkt, IT)

Study Design: Participants
measuring math technical skill achievement
Global math assessments

Technical skill or occupational knowledge assessment

General, grade level tests (Terra Nova, AccuPlacer, WorkKeys)


Measuring Math & Technical Skill Achievement
the experimental treatment
The Experimental Treatment
  • Professional Development
  • The Pedagogy
professional development
Professional Development
  • CTE-Math Teacher Teams; occupational focus
  • Curriculum mapping
  • Scope and Sequence
  • “Lesson Plan” Development
  • On going collaboration CTE and math teachers
curriculum maps
Curriculum Maps
  • Begin with CTE Content
  • Create “map” for the school year
  • Align map with planned curriculum for the year (scope & sequence)
what we tested the seven elements pedagogy
What we tested:The Seven Elements Pedagogy
  • Introduce the CTE lesson
  • Assess students’ math awareness
  • Work through the embeddedexample
  • Work through related,contextual examples
  • Work through traditional math examples
  • Students demonstrate understanding
  • Formal assessment
perkins iv required activity
Perkins IV: Required Activity
  • Professional Development
    • Cannot be “1-day or short-term”
    • Currency
    • Integration/rigor
    • Meet levels of performance
    • Coordinated with title II of ESEA

Pre Test Fall

Terra Nova

Difference in Math Achievement

Post Test Spring

Terra Nova Accuplacer WorkKeys Skills Tests



magnitude of treatment effect effect size
Magnitude of Treatment Effect – Effect Size


Terra Nova

the average percentile standing of the average treated (or experimental) participant relative to the average untreated (or control) participant


X Group

C Group






Carnegie Learning Corporation Cognitive Tutor Algebra I d=.22

does enhancing math in cte

Does Enhancing Math in CTE

Affect Technical Skill Development?


what we found time invested in math enhancements
What we found: Time invested in Math Enhancements
  • Average of 18.55 hours across all sites devoted to math enhanced lessons (not just math but math in the context of CTE)
  • Assume a 180 days in a school year; one hour per class per day
  • Average CTE class time investment = 10.3%
power of the new professional development model
Power of the New Professional Development Model

Old Model PD

Total Surprise!

New Model PD

replicating the math in cte model core principles
Replicating the Math-in-CTE Model:Core Principles
  • Develop and sustain a community of practice
  • Begin with the CTE curriculum and not with the math curriculum
  • Understand math as essential workplace skill
  • Maximize the math in CTE curricula
  • CTE teachers are teachers of “math-in-CTE” NOT math teachers
final thoughts math in cte
Final thoughts: Math-in-CTE
  • A powerful, evidence based strategy for improving math skills of students;
  • A way but not THE way to help high school students master math

(other approaches – NY BOCES)

  • Not a substitute for traditional math courses
  • Lab for mastering what many students learn but don’t understand
  • Will not fix all your math problems
perkins iv programs of study another strategy
Perkins IV – Programs of Study – Another Strategy

Include . . .

  • Coherent and rigorous content
  • Aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content;
  • in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses that align secondary education with postsecondary education . . . to adequately prepare students to succeed in postsecondary education;
  • Lead to an industry-recognizedcredential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
cte what do we know
CTE: What do we know?
  • CTE keeps kids in school
  • CTE helps kids focus their PS education plans
  • CTE is an economic benefit to participants and to states
  • CTE-based structures can affect achievement and transition of youth to college and work, but
  • Can CTE help students master academics?