Before enacting ambitious plans to expand Career and Technical Education offering in schools, the city should invest more in the struggling programs that already exist, a report by the public advocate Bill de Blasio's office argues.
The report, released today, paints a grim picture of CTE in city schools as chronically underperforming and often unaligned to industries that are expanding, such as the health sciences and information technology. The report was fast-tracked after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to open 12 CTE schools by the end of his tenure earlier this month, de Blasio said.
The mayor convened a commission in 2008 to examine and improve CTE schools, but de Blasio said the task force's recommendations have been largely ignored. He said he wanted to see the city invest more in systemic improvements and struggling schools, rather than impose a "one-size-fits-all" plan to shutter low-performing CTE schools.
"Maxwell High School has made steady progress, gotten an A rating under the department's own rating system, and now they're saying they're going to close it. Makes no sense," de Blasio said. "Closure ... does not guarantee that what comes next is going to be better. We should try to see if we can save the schools we have with a real intervention."
The report finds: