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Workforce Development / CTE

The emergence of the global knowledge economy has placed new and challenging demands on American education. In order to prepare American students for 21st century jobs in this knowledge economy, and to deepen their engagement in the rigorous classwork that is called for, we need to ensure that our secondary and post-secondary educational institutions provide high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE).

This is no easy task. We must overcome the legacy of past vocational education programs, which too often tracked students from working  families and students of color into low-wage, unskilled jobs bereft of opportunities for economic and social improvement.  In this context, CTE must bring forward and update the most successful aspects of the vocational education tradition, which in its era prepared students for work in industrial and agricultural settings, and create a new, inclusive approach that prepares young people for the 21st century economy. Furthermore, we must correct the short-sighted, reactive elimination of all education for work and careers that developed in response to that legacy, with its edict that all high school should be purely academic and college preparatory. And we will need to do the hard work of bringing together multiple stakeholders -- government and civil society, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, business and labor, school, community and industry -- all in one common effort to develop and disseminate the high-quality Career and Technical Education that none of these constituencies can produce on its own.

  • Let’s Talk: Professional Development Modules

    The highest rate of vocabulary development (and corresponding acquisition of background knowledge) occurs during the preschool years. This makes preschool a crucial time for effective, content-rich instruction. Accordingly, the Institute has developed a series of Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned modules, which are designed to strengthen the ability of early childhood educators to impart rich, academic content in fun, developmentally appropriate ways. The modules cover the academic domains of oral language development, early literacy, early science, and early mathematics.

  • Fulfilling The Promise Of a Quality Education for All: 21st Century Career & Technical Education

    This New York City conference (co-sponsored with the UFT) was designed to allow participants to share their expertise in CTE policy, practice, and research, as well as to deepen their understanding of how quality CTE can serve to expand the educational and career horizons of all students.

  • The Future of American Labor: Initiatives for a New Era

    February 8, 2019

    Sponsored by the ALBERT SHANKER INSTITUTE,THE CENTURY FOUNDATION & THE HARRISON INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC LAW. Co-Sponsored by The American Prospect, Dissent, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor Georgetown University, the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. Union activists and leaders, labor scholars and elected officials discussed the strategic lessons of the ‘Teacher Insurgency,’ the post-Janus work of public sector unions, the potential of sectoral bargaining, organizing among millennials and federal government legislative and policy initiatives on behalf of labor organizing. For more information and to watch the video, go here.

  • The Challenge for Business and Society Book Discussion and Reception with Stanley Litow

    October 2, 2018

    October 2, 2018, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. Discussant: Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teacher and the Albert Shanker Institute. More information and Registration.
  • Fulfilling The Promise Of a Quality Education for All: 21st Century Career & Technical Education

    October 10, 2013

    This New York City conference (co-sponsored with the UFT) was designed to allow participants to share their expertise in CTE policy, practice, and research, as well as to deepen their understanding of how quality CTE can serve to expand the educational and career horizons of all students. Participants also considered a statement of recommendations on what needs to be done to develop and support quality CTE programs in U.S. education.

  • Experts Debate Role of Career and Technical Education

    February 17, 2010

    Education reform will fail a vast number of U.S. students unless the role of career and technical education (CTE, formerly called vocational education) is reconsidered, recast and placed in the mainstream of K-12 curriculum design. These were some of the conclusions of a small group of top federal and state policymakers, educators, business and labor leaders, practitioners, researchers and other workforce experts who took part in an informal conversation on Feb. 17, hosted by AFT president Randi Weingarten and sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute.

  • Bridging the Gap Between State Standards and Classroom Achievement: A Forum

    March 2, 2002

    Unless states step in to help turn standards into the tools that schools need, the promise of standards-based reform will be lost. That was the message of a March 2002 national forum for state educators, policymakers, teacher unionists, and business leaders on the challenges of curriculum and professional development to meaningful standards-based reform. The event was cosponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and Achieve, Inc.

  • Eugenia Kemble Research Grants

    In honor of its founding executive director, the Albert Shanker Institute announces the creation of the “Eugenia Kemble Research Grants Program.” Tax-deductible donations to this program are welcome. Please make donations through PayPal or by check to the Albert Shanker Institute (555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001). More information. Watch the Memorial Service.

  • Let's Talk PD: Early Literacy Development

    This module for early childhood educators presents an overview of research on the foundations for literacy and how they may be enhanced in early childhood, including applied information to help guide instructional improvement. The materials are designed to be presented as an intensive one-day seminar or can be broken into separate workshops covering the areas of print and book awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge and early word recognition, and written expression and curriculum integration. This excerpt includes materials for a professional development workshop on phonological awareness.

  • Let’s Talk PD: Early Science Development

    This module for early childhood educators provides research-based information on early science development in the three key areas of physical science, life science, and earth science, along with applied information for improving instruction in each area. These materials can be implemented as an intensive, day-long professional development seminar or broken up into a series of workshops. This excerpt contains materials for a workshop on life science.