Career and Technical Education: Past, Present, and Future

Hands of a diverse group of people having a meeting

This summer Congress passed the long-awaited reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which governs the federal investment in career and technical education (CTE). In recent years policymakers and educators have grown even more interested in CTE as a way to help people build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy and meet employers’ demand for workers. 

But what do CTE programs actually do? And how have they evolved over time? Join Katie Beal as she talks to Mary Visher, a senior research associate at MDRC, about the characteristics and the development of CTE programs — as well as the challenges of implementing successful models. They also discuss MDRC’s two-decade history of constructing and evaluating CTE programs, including our landmark study of Career Academies, and the other CTE programs MDRC is currently partnering with to build evidence and inform policy and practice. 

This is the first podcast of a two-part series on career and technical education. In the second podcast, we will be talking to the developers of CareerWise Colorado, a youth apprenticeship program.

About Evidence First

Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? MDRC’s Evidence First podcast features experts—program administrators, policymakers, and researchers—talking about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve people with low incomes.

About Leigh Parise

Leigh PariseEvidence First host Leigh Parise plays a lead role in MDRC’s education-focused program-development efforts and conducts mixed-methods education research. More