Early Measure of Student Progress in Schools With CTE-Enhanced Whole-School Reform: Math Course-Taking Patterns and Student Progress to Graduation

Publication November 2003

This report provides third-year findings from a 5-year longitudinal study. The study examines diverse and promising programs for integrating career and technical education (CTE, previously called vocational education) with whole-school reform in schools that serve predominantly disadvantaged students. This interim report provides early measures of academic progress for students attending schools with CTE-enhanced reforms. It examines the progress to graduation and the mathematics course-taking patterns of students at CTE-enhanced schools, compared to demographically and geographically similar students at control schools without such reforms. For each measure, percentage difference was computed, along with 95% confidence intervals for this difference.

With respect to progress to graduation, two of the three CTE-enhanced schools had more students on target or one year behind (but still attending school) than the control schools. This is a positive record of persistence at the CTE-enhanced high schools. With respect to overall student outcomes in mathematics, we are cautiously optimistic that students at the CTE-enhanced high schools fared better on many measures of mathematics coursework than their counterparts at the control schools. For example, students at the CTE-enhanced schools stayed in their schools’ mathematics sequences longer than students at the control schools.

Analyses and refinement of student outcome data continue, as two additional years of student data are being collected. Results presented in this report are necessarily preliminary. Within this caution, the findings to date appear promising for improving student outcomes in schools implementing CTE-enhanced whole-school reform.

Castellano, M., Stringfield, S., Stone, J. R., III, & Wayman, J. C. (2003, November). Early measures of student progress in schools with CTE-enhanced whole-school reform: Math coursetaking patterns and student progress to graduation. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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