In this week’s Research Review, we take a deep dive into New York City’s CTE movement, examine state teacher shortages, and explore strategies and challenges to building longitudinal data systems.
Work-based Learning and Industry Credentials in New York City
The Manhattan Institute released a new report looking at the state of Career Technical Education (CTE) in New York City, titled “The New CTE: New York City as a Laboratory for America.” While the authors largely praise the success of New York City’s instructional CTE programs — which have demonstrated less variable attendance and higher graduation rates — they offer two policy recommendations to further improve the quality and effectiveness of the system:
- Mandate and fund schools to secure work-based learning opportunities for students. To do this, schools must engage industry partners that continue to treat CTE like a philanthropic endeavor rather than a strategic investment.
- Improve state processes for certifying CTE teachers and approving industry-recognized credentials to be more flexible and responsive to industry advances and emerging occupations.
How are states responding to teacher shortages?
The Education Commission of the States’ (ECS) new series on staffing policies, “Mitigating Teacher Shortages,” provides an optimistic outlook on the national staffing crisis. The number of schools reporting a vacancy is down 15 percentage points overall since 2000. However, ECS finds there is a struggle to fill positions in hard-to-staff subject areas and in high-poverty, low-achieving, rural, and urban schools. This five-part series examines research on teacher shortages and recommendations from state task forces, finding five common policy interventions to address staffing shortages: alternative certification, financial incentives, induction and mentorship, evaluation and feedback, and teacher leadership. Each brief explores extant research in each focus area and provides state examples and policy recommendations.
Stitching together Longitudinal Data Systems
Two new reports — one from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) and the other from New America — explore how states can align data systems to better track student outcomes after high school.
- WDQC’s report, “Making the Most of Workforce Data,” highlights best practices from Kentucky, Minnesota and New York, each of which has established linked systems that facilitate data sharing and evaluation to varying degrees. In Kentucky, for example, interagency data-sharing agreements allowed the state to evaluate outcomes for students taking college-level coursework through AdvanceKentucky, providing evidence to increase funding for the program.
- In “Is Stitching State Data Systems the Solution to the College Blackout?,” Iris Palmer at New America proposes a different solution to the nation’s data sharing woes — a state-based federal data system. She argues that this system, which would be operated by a third party and would only share anonymized data, could build on existing data infrastructure and allow states to examine cross-state student outcomes for more detailed analysis. A pilot project between Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon and Washington helped close gaps, uncovering outcomes data for more than nine percent of individuals missing from the labor records in Washington alone.
Austin Estes, Policy Associate