21st Century Educators: Developing and Supporting Great Career and Technical Education Teachers

Catherine Jacques and Amy Potemski

Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers are uniquely positioned to improve college and career readiness for all students, and yet major federal and state education reforms, such as the Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluation and ESEA flexibility have paid insufficient attention to direct supports for CTE teachers.

This brief is a first step in addressing these policy gaps by offering state education leaders an overview of the current policy landscape, its implications for CTE teacher effectiveness, and next steps for creating aligned and coherent human capital management policies.

Specifically, this brief helps states do the following:

  • Develop an understanding of the national policy landscape on certification, evaluation, and professional development for teachers in CTE fields.
  • Review and assess current state policies for all teachers in addition to policies specific to CTE teachers so as to help (a) recruit and retain more CTE teachers, (b) improve CTE teacher effectiveness, and (c) properly support CTE teachers in implementing new standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and the Common Career and Technical Core.
  • Recognize the importance of creating CTE human capital management policies that promote systems thinking rather than an “initiatives” approach. A systems mindset to improving educator effectiveness ensures greater coherence and comprehensiveness in addressing educators’ needs, for both CTE teachers and educators overall.

The brief is intended for regional centers, SEA policymakers and staff (including state educator effectiveness leads and state directors of CTE), CTE advocacy groups, CTE professional organizations, and educator quality organizations. These stakeholders can build awareness about the importance of CTE in realizing federal and state policy priorities and work together to ensure that human capital management policies promote CTE teacher effectiveness.

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