This report from the Center for Public Education, an initiative of the National School Boards Association, examines the secondary Career Technical Education (CTE) system in the United States and provides an overview of the history and purpose of CTE. The report examines national data — including who participates in CTE, which Career Clusters they study, etc. — and shares extant research from the field on academic and economic outcomes for CTE participants. Additionally, the report describes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 and the role that the federal government plays in funding CTE.
Although this report is designed for school board members, it provides a helpful introduction to secondary CTE that is useful for all audiences. The report draws on relevant research from the field to describe challenges, best practices and opportunities for strengthening CTE that are relevant at the national, state and local level.