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The American Federation of Teachers recently conducted an online survey of K-12 CTE teachers who are members of the AFT or have participated in an AFT event. The report was written by Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT, and is called The Voices of Career and Technical Education Teachers.
The 570 teachers who responded hail from 26 states and the District of Columbia and 373 different schools. They give us a broad picture of:
- CTE teacher characteristics: levels of education, certification, and industry experience
- the range of CTE courses currently being taught and how they relate to career clusters
- the kinds of CTE partnerships schools are establishing, including employer and community involvement
- their successes and their challenges.
- More than half of the teachers have one or more certificates in their field and/or a bachelor’s degree in their industry.
- The top three subject areas are business, health sciences, and computer applications.
- 80% of the classes have a real connection to post-secondary courses.
55 percent of respondents said their programs strongly consider local labor market needs.
- Their greatest concerns are related to space, equipment, technology, textbooks, and, of course, funding.
The report concludes with a summary of the challenges that need to be addressed:
- the need for up-to-date equipment, technology and instructional resources
- the time to develop placements with employers and connections to the community
- the problem of large class sizes and inadequate learning environments
- the diverse program offerings required to engage more students and serve labor market needs
- the financial resources to support it all–especially in economically challenged and isolated urban and rural settings.