Building a Strong Middle Class Through Career Pathways Programs

The Center for American Progress recently released a report that both identifies the gaping need for the restructuring of the American education system and suggests ways to accomplish this with a renewed emphasis on CTE (Career and Technical Education). Author Laura Jimenez writes: “One key solution is to ensure that there are meaningful pathways from high school to further training that leads to a high-quality job, as well as a supply of workers who have mastered the skills necessary to succeed in—and who have access to lifelong learning opportunities to stay current in—their trades. This will require a rethinking of how education is funded and governed in America, one that coincides with labor market trends and addresses not only the skills of incoming workers but also the quality of jobs that they enter.”

She goes on to list five critical components of a strong career education system:

  1. Align student learning with local and national workforce needs
  2. Require mastery of academics, lifelong learning, and technical skills through integrated learning
  3. Use authentic assessments to evaluate student learning and mastery
  4. Offer paid apprenticeships
  5. Lead students to employer-valued certifications that also allow for further training and certification

The report with some best practices from other countries including Germany, Singapore, and Switzerland. Chick here for the full report.

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