The Effect of CTE-Enhanced Whole-School Reform on Student Coursetaking and Performance in English and Science

Publication July 2004

This is the fourth annual report from a 5-year longitudinal project that 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. Prior annual reports have reviewed the research base on the integration of CTE and whole-school reform, provided preliminary qualitative findings in areas such as leadership, and analyzed student outcome data for mathematics coursetaking and progress toward graduation.

This report continues the analysis of selected measures of student progress—in this case, student coursetaking in English and science, compared to students attending demographically similar control schools that were not involved in concerted reform efforts. On measures of quantity, difficulty, and success of coursetaking, students from the schools with CTE-enhanced reforms either (a) fared better than students from control schools, or (b) were behind control school students in the early high school years and closed this gap during the later high school years. With respect to English, students from the study schools fared better than students from the control schools. Science results were more mixed, but generally favored students from the study schools.

Castellano, M., Stone, J. R., III, Stringfield, S., Farley, E. N., & Wayman, J. C. (2004, July). The effect of CTE-enhanced whole-school reform on student coursetaking and performance in English and science. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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