From the Star Ledger: Schools get high marks for vo-tech programs

February 2nd, 2015

New Jersey (has) released its latest School Performance Reports, this year detailing the number of students enrolled in career and technical programs–a growing area of public education.

The school report cards, compiled by the state Department of Education, offer district-by-district snapshots in three areas: academic achievement based on previously released test scores; college and career readiness; and student growth, which uses test data to measure how students progress through elementary and high school.

State officials say the information, which provide data on how each school performs in relation to state averages and to their “peer schools,” is intended to help educators track student success.

…This year, the report for the first time include the percentage of students in high schools participating in so-called career and technical education programs (CTE), a growing niche producing some of the state’s highest performing students. The percentages are not factored into the schools scores, but are listed alongside other school data, such as the percentage of students in visual or performing arts courses.

The inclusion of CTE participation rates is a “wonderful and very important” step for the reports, said Judy Savage, executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools. Career and technical programs include courses not only at traditional vocational schools, but in elite technology and magnet schools aimed at preparing top college-bound students planning for careers in bio-technology, medicine, engineering and math.

But there are also traditional vocational programs the report cards track, putting students on career paths in areas like culinary arts, construction, hospitality, tourism and trade work.

Read the whole story here.

Read the news release from the Governor’s Office and the New Jersey Department of Education.

Other news coverage about the School Performance Reports:

From the Asbury Park Press:  State releases school performance reports
From the Record:  Another round of ‘school report cards’ released; include new career, tech info
From the Associated Press:  N.J. releases school-by-school performance reports

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