Making the case for career technical education, researcher James Stone III presented findings today that show enrollment in CTE is a strong predictor of staying in high school—especially for boys.
Earning three or more CTE credits within a focused sequence of courses was second only to 9th grade students’ grade point average as the strongest variable affecting high school survival for boys. While CTE “did no harm” to girls’ high school engagement, it did not produce a similar positive effect on females.
The results were “stunning,” said Stone, a professor and director of the National Research Center of Career and Technical Education at the University of Louisville, at the National Policy Seminar of the Association of Career and Technical Education in Crystal City, Va., today.
“We have a boy problem. Boys are less likely to finish high school, go to college, finish college, go to graduate school, or finish grad school,” said Stone, noting that 75 percent of D’s and F’s are given to male students. “We are driving them out. We are not giving them things that engage them.”
The analysis was based on restricted data from the National Center for Education Statistics looking at high school transcripts for the class of 2004, the most recent set of data available, he said. While unique in showing the gender difference, Stone said the results build on other research that has consistently shown a link between CTE and higher levels of engagement and achievement.
About 400 CTE professionals have gathered this week to learn about the latest research and meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for CTE legislation and funding. <Read more.>