September 2019 – September 2024
American Institutes for Research
Even with constant change in the nature of work and the economy, the education decisions students make today will influence their later career direction and success. Helping secondary and postsecondary students develop skills that have value in the workplace is the key goal of career and technical education (CTE). Congress has supported CTE for over a century, most recently through the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act in 2018 (Perkins V). Many provisions of the prior Perkins Act remain, but Perkins V includes some changes designed to: (1) enhance CTE program quality through new mechanisms for program improvement and labor market alignment, (2) increase flexibility in Perkins funding and accountability, and (3) promote equity by expanding exposure to and participation in CTE for all students. Perkins V also requires IES to conduct this national evaluation to assess CTE programs under the new law.
The national evaluation will draw on a variety of data sources and studies for its assessment of CTE, though the design is still being finalized. New surveys of all state directors of CTE and a nationally representative sample of district coordinators of CTE will be conducted in 2021 or 2022 to collect information about Perkins implementation. Trends in CTE participation and outcomes will be obtained by analyzing other national data, including those from the National Center for Education Statistics, state-submitted Perkins V performance reports, and labor market repositories. To identify and report on the effectiveness of key CTE strategies, the evaluation will review rigorously conducted research, where it already exists, and consider conducting new studies of CTE approaches deemed most critical to the field's improvement.
The study's first report is expected in 2022, and IES will report on results from the evaluation every two years. These publications will be announced on https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.
Key findings will be available after the study reports are published.