Inequities in Career and Technical Education Programs Revealed by New Analysis

Inequities in Career and Technical Education Programs Revealed by New Analysis

October 22, 2020

An analysis of career and technical vocational (CTE) programs in middle and high schools by the Hechinger Report and Associated Press found deep inequities in the populations of students steered into various programs. Across 40 states, Black and Latino students were significantly less likely to enroll in CTE programs in the areas of science, technology, and engineering, while being disproportionately more likely to enroll in hospitality and human services programs. The analysis details estimated incomes for careers in the various fields, noting that students of color largely were enrolled in programs with lower anticipated lifetime earnings. While school leaders increasingly report progress being made in diversifying CTE programs – a goal made slightly easier by new, equity-focused reporting requirements included in the 2018 reauthorization of the Carl D Perkins Career and Technical Education Act – researchers stress that diversity in career fields, particularly in teaching and counseling, must be improved to combat implicit bias, stereotyping, and to provide role models for students of color from similar backgrounds and communities.