Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

A Notebook of Short but Worthy Items

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

A Notebook of Short but Worthy Items

Article excerpt

CTE teachers speak out

Career-technical education (CTE) teachers are overwhelmingly positive about the value of their programs, according to a survey of such teachers by the American Federation of Teachers.

In the survey of 570 CTE teachers, respondents said they were most concerned about space, equipment, technology, and textbooks (38%) and funding (35%).

More than half (55%) said their programs consider local market needs when developing curriculum, either through industry advisory boards or student internships. When employers are closely associated with their programs, teachers tended to have an easier time obtaining updated equipment. About 40% said businesses had donated equipment, and 50% said businesses provided mentoring to students. Only 13% said businesses were uninvolved in their programs.

Nearly 80% said their program offered connections between secondary and postsecondary courses.

Source: American Federation of Teachers. (2014, November). The voices of career and technical education teachers. Washington, DC: Author. default/files/cte_report_draft2.pdf

Location, location, location

New Orleans parents, especially low-income parents, give more weight to location and extracurricular activities than academics when choosing a school for their children, according to a new study.

The report by Education Research Alliance for New Orleans examined how New Orleans families chose schools before and after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is particularly important to this debate because attendance zones were eliminated after Katrina, and almost all traditional schools were turned into charter schools.

"Overall, the lowest-income families are attending schools with average test scores that are higher than before the reforms, but these families weigh academic outcomes somewhat less than higher-income families," the report said.

The lowest-income families have greater access to schools with high average test scores, but they're less likely to choose schools with high test scores. This is partly due to their incomes and practical considerations, such as being close to home, having siblings in the same school and including extended school days, which are more important to very low-income families than to other families. …

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