The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE) has launched a statewide initiative to increase the quality and impact of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, while ensuring that these programs are aligned with the Commonwealth’s economic and workforce development priorities. Two major goals set by BCTE, outlined in the current Strategic Plan, are to increase academic and occupational achievement and success for all CTE students.
To support progress toward these goals, PDE is providing assistance to selected career and technical centers (CTCs) and high schools with CTE programs through the Technical Assistance Program (TAP). Through TAP, participating CTCs are working to raise student performance on the Keystone exams and occupational end-of-program assessments. Each participating CTC agrees to develop an improvement plan for increasing student achievement, work closely with a designated improvement coach (Career and Technical Distinguished School Leader) and participate in all professional development activities provided by the BCTE.
Although some CTCs already have an established track record of solid performance in raising student achievement and others are accelerating their efforts at improvement through participation in the TAP, the activities of this program are not enough to influence student achievement alone. Each CTC and their participating school districts must take ownership of the actions necessary to achieve the desired student improvement on occupational end-of-program assessments and proficiency on the PSSA. This is critical to achieving future performance standards and to institutionalize the continuous improvement process.