As 2012 unfolds, career and technical education in New York City stands at the threshold of unprecedented opportunity. Education officials in the City and nationally are coming to realize that CTE offers a model of unique power and resonance through its fusion of academic rigor with real world application.
Currently, we boast 36 designated CTE high schools – half of which have opened since 2004 – and more than 400 unique programs of study in high schools across the five boroughs. These numbers are poised to grow in the near future. In his January 2012 State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg pledged to open at least a dozen more CTE schools in high-growth economic sectors such as healthcare, professional services and hospitality.
As with virtually every aspect of New York City’s public school system, the CTE network experienced an enormous amount of change in recent years. Reforms that emphasized principal autonomy and accountability allowed many schools to flourish, prominently including the newly opened CTE high schools. Yet, these larger system changes inadvertently served to weaken some of the community structures that support CTE schools and programs. An unfortunate result has been that best practices, relevant experiences and major successes often have gone unnoticed, and many opportunities for collaboration and replication have gone unfulfilled.
That’s where this publication comes in.
The Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OPSR) has launched CTE Spotlight as part of its ongoing effort to create a new, shared space for the CTE community in New York City. Each month, it will feature enlightening stories and commentaries on the Department’s most successful CTE academies, schools and programs.
Our goal is for this periodical to stand as a mantle for our successes and a platform for the key issues facing our field. Additionally, it will serve as an information resource for deadlines, new opportunities for funding and programs, and emerging structures within our field.
Ultimately, this publication’s focus will revolve around stories, not just for the CTE community, but from it as well. As time progresses, more and more of the content contributed within each monthly edition will emerge from the very programs and schools we want to showcase.
To start us down that path, if you know of any stories and information you’d like to see featured here, detailing notable successes, interesting trends or worthwhile endeavors centering on the CTE community here in New York or elsewhere, please email me at DFischer@schools.nyc.gov or our Editor-in-Chief, Nicholas Martinez at email@example.com.
Thank you for reading this inaugural issue. We look forward to many more to come.
Senior Director for Career and Technical Education
NYC Department of Education