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CTE News: The Perkins Modernization Act of 2014

by Jennifer Jordan   •   Perkins-Modernization-Act

Opportunity Nation is thrilled that a new bipartisan bill designed to improve Career and Technical Education (CTE) was introduced yesterday by Congressmen Joseph P. Kennedy (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

This is an important first step in the fight for quality career and technical education for our youth. Check out our letter that thanks the Congressmen for their bipartisan legislation.

The Opportunity Nation coalition has long advocated the expansion of high-quality career and technical education because young Americans need higher levels of skills than ever before in order to secure jobs that lead to economic mobility and security.

High-quality career and technical education that is aligned with local and regional workforce needs, as the bill would require, means that employers have a steady stream of qualified workers. And millions of unemployed and disengaged youth can secure a foothold on the ladder of upward mobility.

“CTE is no longer just about teaching students a narrow set of skills sufficient for entry-level jobs; it is about preparing students for careers,” according to a 2013 report: How Career and Technical Education Can Help Students Be College and Career Ready.

Our Shared Plan to Restore Opportunity to Young Adults outlines why CTE is so critical. But we thought we’d break it down to a few simple reasons, inspired by the super-helpful primer on all things CTE by the American Institutes for Research.

High-quality Career and Technical Education:

  • Makes teaching and learning in secondary schools more rigorous, engaging and relevant;
  • Ensures that more students are college and career ready;
  • Increases high school graduation rates, especially for lower performing students;
  • Providing opportunities for youth to learn about and experience careers;
  • Eases the transition to postsecondary success.
  • Forget low-level courses and tracking for students who aren’t “college material.” Replace that notion with rigorous, relevant courses and hands-on experience that lead to good jobs and some form of post-secondary training and education.
  • CTE zeroes in on competencies required in today’s workplace—such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, innovation, teamwork and communication—and enables students to learn about different careers by experiencing work and workplaces.

Our coalition may understand why CTE is so critically important, but for too many Americans with an outdated notion of “vocational” education, it can seem like a road to second-class jobs and citizenship.

Nothing could be further from the truth. So help us spread the word about why CTE is seriously awesome and thank Congressmen Joseph P. Kennedy (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for their bipartisan efforts on this issue.

tweet-graphic-4Thank you @RepJoeKennedy @RepJaredPolis @RepKinzinger @RodneyDavis for bipartisan #CTE bill

Jennifer Jordan

Jennifer D. Jordan is Opportunity Nation’s Senior Writer. She shares the campaign’s mission and accomplishments and those of its coalition with diverse audiences, seeking to heighten awareness about expanding economic mobility to more Americans. Read Jennifer's bio.

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