Magazine article Techniques

Dare to Lead

Magazine article Techniques

Dare to Lead

Article excerpt

I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE AND PRIVILEGE over the past several months to participate in many of the ACTE state association and regional conferences. It is always enjoyable and informative for me to meet and talk with so many career and technical education (CTE) professionals, and to observe the many CTE programs and initiatives being implemented. Two constant themes have formed the framework for the many programs I learned about and the initiatives being planned: 1) changes are needed to address the issues of academic achievement, graduation rates and transition to postsecondary and 2) the workplace environment is evolving resulting in new job profiles and a higher need for academic rigor. Here is what we know and all CTE professionals must consider as we move forward:

* Every nine seconds in America a student becomes a dropout.

* An estimated 3.8 million youth ages 18-24 are neither employed nor in school.

* Dropouts cost our nation more than $260 billion in lost wages, lost taxes and lost productivity over their lifetimes.

* Between 2010 and 2025 up to 95 million baby boomers will leave the workforce or change work focus. 40 million Gen X'ers and Y'ers will be available to replace them.

* 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs will require an education beyond high school.

The list can go on much longer. The point is that these are serious issues and CTE is ideally suited to provide the leadership necessary to address them. This is CTE's time, but only if we step up to the plate and recognize that it is not business as usual. …

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