Achieving Educational Equity and Justice in Career Academies: Challenges and Promising Strategies

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Career academies are a model of career and technical education (CTE) that combine academic rigor, instruction that is relevant to students’ lives, and strong relationships between students and adults. Shown to have positive impacts on high school students’ motivation, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, and career outcomes, career academies have also been seen as having great potential to reduce opportunity and achievement gaps for underserved students. In this white paper, the author provides an in-depth look at the relevant experiences of seven career academies—all of which are Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) communities—and summarizes key equity issues the districts have encountered, discusses strategies they are using to address inequities, and identifies other approaches grounded in research that communities might consider using to achieve equitable outcomes and reduce disparities across different demographic groups. Findings from a review of related literature are interwoven throughout the paper.



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22 pp.
Exploring STEM