NYC as a Laboratory for Learning About Career and Technical Education: Lessons from CTE-Dedicated High Schools
The New York City (NYC) Department of Education oversees one of the largest and most diverse career and technical education (CTE) systems in the country. In collaboration with researchers from MDRC, Boston College, and the University of Connecticut, the Research Alliance for New York City Schools has undertaken a multi-year study of NYC CTE programs to inform policy decisions in the state and nationally. This report, the first in a series presenting findings from this study, focuses on 37 CTE-dedicated NYC high schools, which are structured to ensure all enrolled students participate in a CTE Program of Study in 9th–12th grades.
Overall, researchers found that CTE students graduated from high school and enrolled in college at rates that were similar, on average, to their non-CTE counterparts. The CTE-dedicated schools produced modest, but positive impacts on academic engagement, including keeping students on track for a New York State Regents diploma. The study also found a great deal of variation in both programming conditions and impacts across the 37 high schools, which presented a powerful opportunity to explore factors that may drive CTE effectiveness.