A new paper by Nat Malkus of the American Enterprise Institute examines “The evolution of career and technical education: 1982–2013.
As vocational education has evolved into career and technical education (CTE) over the past several decades, it has progressed away from the stigma and stereotype of “voc-ed” as an academic dead end. However, the transformation from vocational education to CTE may have hidden, rather than solved, the durable challenges of vocational education.
Over 30 years, the percentage of graduates concentrating in “Traditional Vocational” occupational areas—such as manufacturing or agriculture—has fallen, while the percentage concentrating in “New Era” areas—such as computer science and health care—has grown dramatically.
Across many measures, including school engagement, academic performance, and college…