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Tracking and the Future of Career and Technical Education: How Efforts to Connect School and Work Can Avoid the Past Mistakes of Vocational Education

Policy Brief - Feb 24, 2020

Author(s) - Emily Hodge, Montclair State University; Shaun Dougherty, Vanderbilt University; Dr. Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education

The brief examines the tension that has often arisen between the desire to link learning to post-high-school work and the desire to avoid low academic expectations for students perceived as unlikely to attend college. The brief’s authors explore the question of how schools might meaningfully support career exploration and preparation, while avoiding the tendency of prior vocational education to disproportionately sort students into distinct tracks by ethnic, racial, and/or socioeconomic characteristics.