Framing Parents' Attitudes Toward Career and Technical Education
In recent years, policymakers and researchers have paid renewed attention to career and technical education (CTE), but public attitudes—especially those of parents—toward CTE remain relatively understudied. This paper, featured in the peer-reviewed journal Education Policy Analysis Archives, draws on the history of CTE and more contemporary policy discourse to propose a new organizing framework for conceptualizing how CTE might be discussed in the public sphere. In addition, the paper uses a survey-based experiment to examine how the ways in which policymakers talk about CTE may impact parents’ support for CTE-related policies.
Using respondents from an online marketplace, results indicate widespread support for CTE and suggestive evidence that CTE may see more support as a public policy when framed through a workforce development lens. These results offer implications for both supporters and opponents of CTE, as well as researchers and policymakers seeking to better understand nuances behind parents’ opinion on an education issue with growing policy salience.