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A Quantitative Study of Career and Technical Education Curricula and Student Achievement
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Career and Technical Education (CTE) is hot topic and trend in education; in part because of the increased demand from Americans to include CTE programs and opportunities in schools along with increased federal funding to build new CTE programs and improve existing ones. Today’s schools are faced with pressure to improve the student achievement. High-stakes testing performance is a central method schools utilize to demonstrate adequate student achievement and school quality. This quantitative study analyzed high school students undergoing Career and Technical Education (CTE) curricula and student achievement. It probed into examining for differences between curricula and academic performance. The study presented the academic achievement of CTE completer high school graduates and non-CTE high school graduates as measured by their performance on the nationwide ACT examination covering the subjects of English, reading, writing, math, and science. By utilizing the testing results from the entire graduating class of 2017 in a large school district with over 64,000 students, several key results were determined. Findings indicate that statistically (ρ < .01), CTE completers had significantly higher ACT scores on the ACT composite, reading, writing, math, science, and English assessments than those of non-CTE general academic students who undertook one or no CTE courses during high school. Therefore, a CTE curricula influences student achievement as measured by high-stakes national testing.