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GCS Remains Steady on Career and Technical Education Completion Rates

Jan. 8, 2019  The number of GCS Class of 2018 graduates who completed a career and technical education (CTE) pathway is on par with the Class of 2017. A series of reports presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday showed that 27.6 percent of 2018 graduates were career pathway concentrators, compared to 27.9 percent in 2017. Strategic Plan Goal III calls for that number to increase to 35 percent by 2022.

A Career Pathway Concentrator is a student who has earned four or more CTE course credits in a Career Cluster with at least one being a completer course from the cluster. A completer course is a course that builds upon skills acquired in the prerequisite courses within a particular pathway. About 60 percent of students are enrolled in a career pathway in 11th grade, but that number drops to 30 percent in 12th grade.

Being a concentrator allows students to test for industry certifications and gives them a set of skills they can use for internships, apprenticeships or the workforce. 

Among 11th grade students, 69 percent of black students are enrolled in a CTE pathway, 20 percentage points higher than white students at 49 percent. Hispanic students were enrolled at a rate of 63 percent.

The board also discussed differences in the ACT and ACT WorkKeys scores of CTE and non-CTE concentrators, and among subgroups of students.

On the traditional ACT exam, white CTE concentrators outperformed black CTE concentrators by 20 percentage points or more on the reading, English and math sections. Black CTE concentrators scored better than their non-CTE counterparts on the English section. White female CTE concentrators showed significant improvement on the math section – from 19.6 percent proficient to 34 percent proficient.

Students who are seniors in the given year and are identified as current or expected CTE concentrators take ACT WorkKeys, a career-focused exam. The percentage of students who earned a Silver WorkKeys score fell from 67 percent to 64.1 percent. Hispanic students showed a slight improvement, and Hispanic females had the largest gain in proficiency, from 59.1 percent to 70.2 percent proficient on WorkKeys.

In November, the school board learned more about proposed plans to update and increase CTE offerings districtwide, better aligning them with current and future industry requirements. Click here to view the presentation.