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Program Offers Schools CTE Option After Perkins Act Reauthorization Stalls

Providing Career and Technical Education (CTE) is becoming an increasing focus in the K-12 sphere as more and more students look to learn real-world skills. CTE provides students with these kinds of skills by teaching them based on the needs of specific industries; this practice has been proven to increase graduation rates as well as the number of students entering the workforce.

The Association for Career and Technical Education notes that while the average national freshman graduation rate is 80 percent, the graduation rate for students who concentrate in CTE programs is well-above at 93 percent.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Congress is having a difficult time reauthorizing legislation that would significantly improve CTE in the country. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) provides state and district leaders with the flexibility needed to create quality CTE programs that reflect current workforce needs, and though it has bipartisan support, the Senate was unable to pass the last version due to contention over language that limits the role of the U.S. Secretary of Education.

For district and school leaders who don't want to wait to improve CTE offerings, a new digital learning program that has helped over 73 educational organizations in 23 states thus far might be a solution.

Created by Career Readiness Pathways, Fuel Education or FuelEd provides high schools with a blended learning platform that helps them quickly improve the affordability of CTE offerings "regardless of existing staff capacity."

Through the platform, schools have the option of offering students up to 12 different CTE pathways where they will take classes that teach industry-specific skills and receive other support services including certification exam preparation when applicable. The 12 pathways all fall into one of four categories, which are: Business and Management Administration, Health Science, Manufacturing and Information Technology.

According to FuelEd, its flexible implementation ensures that schools can implement the program based on how it best fits their students' needs.

"The program's flexible implementation options help districts address different student needs. Districts can implement the comprehensive pathway to certification model starting in 9th grade, an accelerated model targeting students in 11th grade or students at-risk of dropping out, or simply provide students with extensive elective offerings," FuelEd said in a statement.

To read more about FuelEd, see here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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