College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

Standards Exist for Career and Technical Education

June 11, 2012 1 min read

To the Editor:

Currently in the United States, millions of jobs remain unfilled as employers struggle to find workers with the right skills to fill positions.

To address this skills gap between the current skills of the workforce and the needs of business and industry, we must offer programs that prepare students with the right knowledge and skills to secure a job and succeed in the global economy. These programs—in high schools and colleges—must be consistent, rigorous, and aligned to current industry demands. I agree with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who said that the largest federal career and technical education, or CTE, program “must be transformed if it is to live up to its potential.”

State CTE directors across the nation are taking action. We have united around a vision and developed the Common Career Technical Core, a shared set of standards that meet a quality benchmark for CTE programs, which will be released June 19. Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, and Palau supported the development of these standards.

We already know that consistent, rigorous standards are essential to preparing students for college and careers. Education stakeholders acknowledged this notion when they rallied behind the Common Core State Standards. The technical core will embrace and align with the common-core standards to encourage rigor and consistency among CTE programs. Further, the technical core will articulate career-ready expectations that industry requires for specific occupational fields.

All students deserve access to CTE programs that educate and train to high standards and industry demands. It’s time for the education community to support the adoption of a next set of standards that will allow more opportunities for students and our nation.

Dean Folkers

National Career Technical Education Foundation

National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium

Silver Spring, Md.

A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2012 edition of Education Week as Standards Exist for Career and Technical Education


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Fewer Students in Class of 2020 Went Straight to College
First-year college enrollment dropped steeply last year, a study finds, and the declines were sharpest among poorer students.
6 min read
Image shows University Application Acceptance Notification Letter with ACCEPTED Stamp