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PR- 294-08
July 30, 2008


Report Fulfills Commitment Made in the 2008 State of the City Speech

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released Next-Generation Career and Technical Education in New York City, the final report of the Mayoral Task force on Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovation. In his January 2008 State of the City speech, the Mayor announced plans to create a task force which would focus on better preparing New York City high school students for technical careers, where such education had been traditionally seen as dead-end. In its report, the task force makes recommendations which would transform CTE into a desirable, respected, and accessible option for New York City high school students; improve student achievement through new and enhanced career and technical pathways; and ensure that CTE prepares students for post-secondary education and the workforce. The Mayor accepted the recommendations of the task force in full. In accordance with the recommendations, as many as five model CTE schools will open in September 2009. The model schools will serve as demonstration sites where the City will pilot the task force's recommendations. The task force was co-chaired by former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins and New York Life Chairman Sy Sternberg.

"We're going to dramatically change how we prepare high school students for technical careers in a number of growing fields," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Traditionally, career and technical education had not been given strong emphasis, but thanks to the work of the task force, New York City will now be at the forefront of addressing this challenge. We are committed to providing high school students with opportunities that will improve their achievement through new and enhanced CTE pathways that will ensure that they are prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. I commend the co-chairs David Dinkins and Sy Sternberg, and look forward to working with the New York State Board of Regents and our industry and higher education partners to begin implementing these recommendations."

Last year, approximately 110,000 New York City students were enrolled in career and technical education, either in stand-alone schools or programs, or in elective courses at their high schools. About 30,000 of these students were enrolled in the City's 21 CTE schools. Overall, current performance at City CTE schools varies widely. Half of the 18 CTE high schools that received grades under the Department of Education's progress reports received either an A or a B, but three CTE schools received Fs. In order to provide students with more and better secondary school choices that will prepare them for successful careers and higher education, the task force identified 5 goals for future career and technical education in New York City:

  • Meet 21st-century standards: prepare students to meet rigorous academic and industry-based skills defined by the State Board of Regents incorporating recommendations from industry partners.
  • Expand pathways to graduation: create rigorous courses of study that integrate academics, internships, and hands-on experience.
  • Engage and empower industry leadership: develop a well-defined partnership structure for industry that ensures CTE programs remain relevant as industry evolves.
  • Prepare graduates for post-secondary success: prepare more students for post-secondary education and training by ensuring secondary-level CTE coursework is well-aligned with expectations for post-secondary degrees and certificates.
  • Increase opportunity and access: Provide students and families with the necessary information to make informed choices about their educational options, including CTE, and ensure that all students-regardless of race, gender, disability or national origin-have access to high schools that give them both post-secondary work and educational options upon graduation.

"Every student deserves an opportunity to succeed in the career path he or she chooses," said task force Co-Chair and former Mayor David Dinkins. "The report makes it clear that every CTE school in the City must be a place where all types of students have access to a first-rate education and can learn the skills that give them an edge in the competitive job market."

"The task force's vision not only provides students with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy; it also gives growing industries a solution to increased staffing needs," said task force Co-Chair and New York Life Chairman Sy Sternberg. "We put a lot of thought into ensuring that the relationship between industry and career and technical education is symbiotic so that our local industries have an incentive to form long-lasting partnerships."

The Task force calls for innovative new policies to advance the goals outlined in the report. Among other key recommendations, it calls on New York City and State policymakers, along with key partners in industry and higher education, to:

  • Define rigorous core competencies and sector-specific skills required for successful post-secondary transitions that all students must attain.
  • Extend prior efforts by the New York State Education Department to develop variations on seat-time requirements for CTE students.
  • Develop and seek State approval for alternatives equally rigorous to current high school science and social studies Regents exams that would expand assessment options for CTE students.
  • Begin promoting career and technical education in middle school, with the objective of providing students with the right information about their educational options.
  • Target growth industries and set clear expectations and accountability measures for mutually beneficial partnerships between schools and industry, including expanded opportunities for work-based learning.
  • Develop a rigorous, seamless pathway for CTE into CUNY and track student transitions from high school through post-secondary studies.
  • Establish a five-year "Innovation Fund" with private donations to support pilot programs that will help new and existing career and technical education schools and programs adapt to the evolving demands of partner industries.

"Career and technical high schools should provide students with the skills they need to succeed, whether they go to college or enter the workforce directly," said Schools Chancellor and task force member Joel I. Klein. "Recently fewer students have chosen career and technical education, despite constant demands from industry for highly-skilled employees. Improving the quality of career and technical schools and programs will give students more and better high school options with clear pathways to post-secondary and professional success."

"The 21st century global economy demands a workforce that is well-educated, innovative, and nimble," said task force member and City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. "Given the increasing need for highly skilled employees throughout the city and beyond, it is critical that CTE schools better prepare students for post-secondary education. CUNY is committed to working with the City to develop a more seamless pathway to college for students who graduate from CTE high schools."

"Strong career and technical education in our public schools can have a great impact on the City's economic success," said task force member and Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde. "Industries are already eager to partner with us in developing new innovations in career and technical education. With strong input from our business-sector partners, students will not only learn the skills used today, they will also have the industry background to grow as the marketplace evolves."

The task force held its first meeting March 2008. Since then, its members have researched the challenges of existing CTE schools and programs and surveyed best practices in CTE throughout the state, nationally, as well as internationally. The task force, whose members are a cross-section of private, public and nonprofit professionals, also hosted two public hearings-the first in April and the second in June-and collected public comment on a preliminary draft of their recommendations released at the June meeting. In the coming months, the Mayor will seek commitments from City agencies, the State, the private sector, and higher education institutions to advance the task force's recommendations. A copy of the report including a list of task force members is available at


Stu Loeser / Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

David Cantor / Melody Meyer   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

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