New York : A new law aimed at providing more accountability from Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in New York City high schools will also help students and parents, according to the Brooklyn lawmaker responsible for the legislation.
Councilmember Mark Treyger introduced a bill that was signed into law last week by Mayor Bill de Blasio to require the Department of Education (DOE) to produce an annual report about the status of the city’s Career Technical Education programs. The City Council had unanimously approved the bill earlier this month.
The law requires the DOE to issue a report to the council containing data that would provide the city, labor organizations, prospective employers and public school parents with information about the state of CTE programs. Having this information will help students choose CTE programs that will connect them with real-world career skills and employment opportunities, Treyger said.
Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) was a teacher at New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst before running for his council seat in 2013.
The information that the DOE will now be required to provide to the council includes: the number of CTE schools and programs available to students, and information regarding the nature of programs in each school; the percentage of students who enrolled in CTE programs in the previous year; the four and six-year graduation rates for students enrolled in CTE programs; and the number of staff in each school who received CTE-related training.
CTE programs are valuable because they provide educational flexibility for high school students, according to Treyger, who cited a 2008 study from Johns Hopkins University which found that when CTE programs were offered alongside academic curriculum, dropout rates decreased. In addition, CTE programs cover a broad spectrum of fields where labor demand is outpacing the supply of qualified candidates, including STEM, law, information technology, health science and public safety, he said.
“This legislation will provide us with valuable insights into the status of CTE programs across the city, serving as a springboard to augmenting and improving these programs so that our students are better prepared for meaningful career opportunities in a rapidly evolving 21st-century workforce,” Treyger said.
“We are pleased to see that the Councilmember Treyger’s legislation regarding annual reporting on the city’s Career and Technical Education programs was signed into law by the mayor,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. “Career and Technical Education has evolved beyond the trade school of the past. It now requires a new level of engagement from school districts, educators, and both public and private partners. Our students need proficiency in a broad range of skills that are essential for their future success.”
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