Site Visit Update: Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in POS

Site Visit Update: Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in POS

Nov 2010

A Podcast with Marisa Castellano and Kirsten Sundell

Marisa Castellano and Kirsten Sundell (pictured), co-principal investigators of the Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study project, recently spent several days in "District 2," a large urban school district in the Southeastern United States, where they visited their study school, "Blue Academy," and the four comparison schools that are part of the quasi-experimental strand of their four-year longitudinal study. The study is now in its third year, and cohort students are 11th graders.

District 2 has multiple magnet programs across all grade spans. At the high school level, a number of schools (or programs within schools) offer a range of magnets that are available to students through a lottery process. Applicants must demonstrate successful completion of core competency standards (in reading, math, and computers). Blue Academy is a state-of-the-art high school featuring three integrated technology academies combining rigorous academics with strong, well-articulated POS in engineering, medical sciences and biotechnology, and information technology. Blue is located in a state with secondary/postsecondary statewide articulation agreements, providing students with a seamless transition to college and the opportunity to earn credits that can be applied to an associate degree or postsecondary certificate program. There are also local articulation agreements between the district and the local college.

Marisa and Kirsten talked to Catherine Imperatore of ACTE about some of the things they saw during this visit, which included the effects of the economic downturn on the state, district, schools, and CTE programs; technology use; curriculum integration; and overall changes occuring in this district.