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Articles: Vocational

A Duval High School CTE student uses music and dance to teach the principles of flight.

With the manufacturing industry increasingly seeking workers with more advanced tech skills, high school career and technical education programs now focus heavily on robotics, unmanned aviation technology and mechatronics to help students jump-start potentially lucrative careers.

A report by the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York found that English language learners were underrepresented in New York City CTE programs. At-risk students who complete these programs have a higher chance of graduating. Here's what the report found for the 2016-17 school year.

Extra supports help embed language instruction into CTE programs, closing what some educators see as an “opportunity gap” faced by students learning English. And student participation in hands-on projects can help accelerate language acquisition.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’—A typical class at  Tahoma High involves students working on separate machines, including a tire balancer. Instructor Luke Thompson also provides writing assignments. Documenting work, he says, is an industry standard for tasks such as repair orders.

Schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction.

Robert Urzillo is a retired superintendent and now director of the graduate education program at Rosemont College.

I believe in the validity of vocational programs. However, I do have concerns about the context of what is being taught to these students in a rapidly changing economy.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team to provide continuity for students progressing from elementary to high school.

Vocational education used to be considered low-tech and non-academic. Career and technical education now requires nearly as much ELA and math as any other degree.

Here are five strategies that school administrators are adopting to support the rising demand for special education.

A renovated auto repair garage now houses Maryville High School’s growing culinary arts program as well as Café Le Rêve, a dining enterprise that caters to the local community.

A new facility designed around an airplane hangar prepares students for new heights at Sterling Aviation High School, a magnet school.

After the Great Recession, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis knew it had to prepare students for a new world of work skills and knowledge.

Fifteen outdoor field trip days are built into the academic year at Plumas USD school district.

Plumas USD, a rural district tucked away in the rugged terrain of northeastern California, uses its own backyard for its “Outdoor Core” K12 curriculum.

MUCKING STALLS IN THE BIG CITY—Agriculture students at John Browne High School care for livestock, maintain a flock of laying hens, and grow food and ornamental plants when they’re not studying the details of agriculture. (Julie Fritsch)

Schools are increasingly adding agriculture education, or “ag ed”—about 12,000 agriculture educators teach programs in the U.S., says a National Association of Agricultural Educators survey.

In the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, given to more than 500,000 15-year-olds in 72 nations, students in the U.S. once again scored in the middle of the pack—and below average in math—raising concerns and sending educators looking for answers.

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