Through policy, advocacy and direct service, the National Urban League is committed to ensuring that education systems provide high quality opportunities that prepare every student for school, college, work and life – part of that preparation being career and technical education (CTE).

On January 10th, the National Urban League partnered with UnidosUS to hold a [insert title of briefing] to understand the opportunities to expand CTE K-12 education under ESSA. According to analysis by AdvanceCTE, while 35 states committed to using CTE options as a measure for career readiness under their ESSA accountability systems under Title I, a fraction of them pledged to identify opportunities to fund programs under Title . The success of CTE programs depends on qualified instructors to teach students and the proper training to integrate academics into career technical instruction.

According to research compiled by convening presenter, Kate Kreamer of AdvanceCTE, some of the major equity challenges facing the expansion of CTE are:

  • A shortage of qualified teachers
  • Limited data on program success under the Perkins Act
  • The legacy view of career and technical education

In her remarks, Dr. Rashida Govan, Urban League of Louisiana is Policy and Development Consultant, presented on the work that the Urban League of Louisiana is doing to create opportunities for students to rebuild their community through the program YouthForce NOLA.

YouthForce NOLA prepares New Orleans public school students for high-wage, high-demand, career pathways in their community including skilled trades, health sciences and information technology. Through hands-on experience with corporate and community partners, students have the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, are prepared for interviews through soft skills training and can earn credentials upon graduation to enter the workforce.

“For me, the quality of our program will be defined by the number of students that graduate in 2020 with credentials and are prepared for the workforce,” said Govan.

The National Urban League and UnidosUS are committed to continuing to highlight the need for equity in CTE. For more information about the Advancing Equity through ESSA and CTE convening, please see the resource list and presentations below.