Year 1 Technical Report: Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study

Publication January 2010

The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of programs of study, a federally mandated education reform that was part of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (otherwise known as Perkins IV), the legislation that funds career and technical education nationwide. This study seeks to measure the impact of POS on student academic and technical achievement. We are conducting this evaluation using two methodologies. First, we are conducting a set of randomized controlled trials in three sites in one large district. The second test of student outcomes uses rigorous quasi-experimental methods in another large district. Following Perkins law, the measures of effectiveness of POS include: (a) academic achievement, (b) technical skills achievement, c) high school completion, (d) placement in postsecondary education, work, or the military, (e) program participation and completion by nontraditional students, and (f) program participation and completion by students from special populations as defined by the law. In order to better understand student outcomes, the study also describes the context and practices that produced them.

This study will help determine the overall impact of POS implemented under a variety of conditions in two different states (e.g., different student populations, different types of schools). The results will show the degree to which POS have any impact on student academic and technical skill outcomes in relation to the typical CTE programs and practices that exist in the control and comparison schools. Given the study design, we will be able to separately report differential impacts, if any, for some groups or under some conditions. The current report provides baseline information on the study design, site selection, and student samples.

Castellano, M. E., Sundell, K. E., & Overman, L. T. (2010, January). Year 1 technical report: Rigorous tests of student outcomes in CTE programs of study. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.

Download the report (PDF)