Career and Technical Education in the Balance: An Analysis of High School Persistence, Academic Achievement, and Postsecondary Destinations

Career and Technical Education in the Balance: An Analysis of High School Persistence, Academic Achievement, and Postsecondary Destinations

Jan 2001

Author:

Stephen Plank
Johns Hopkins University

Executive Summary:

Educators, researchers, and policymakers are currently examining the ways that career and technical education (CTE) is—and could be—coupled with core academic education in U.S. high schools. Efforts to integrate vocational and college preparatory course-taking in meaningful and effective ways have been gaining attention and momentum since the passage of the 1990 Perkins Act. These efforts have been further augmented the 1998 Perkins Act. However, attempts to integrate CTE and academic courses have been taking place on the heels of declining rates of high school vocational course-taking witnessed during the 1980s and early 1990s.

This study discusses how CTE and academic curricula can, or should, co-exist in U.S. high schools. The study examines the relationship between (a) the balance struck between CTE and academic course-taking during the high school years, and (b) academic achievement, persistence in high school, and postsecondary destinations. Data come from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. The surveys, cognitive tests, and high school transcript information used in the analyses were collected between 1988, when sample members were eighth graders in U.S. schools, and 1994, when most sample members were two years beyond high school graduation.

More

Plank, S. (2001). Career and technical education in the balance: An analysis of high school persistence, academic achievement, and postsecondary destinations. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.