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A 50-State Picture of Science, Math, and Voc Ed

The Education Commission of the States has launched a pair of online resources, which seek to provide a nationwide view of state efforts in science, math, and career and technical education (the subject formerly known as vocational education).

The first resource, at http://www.ecs.org/hsdb-stem, provides a 50-state database on state programs and efforts in STEM education. These include state policies in the recruitment of science and math teachers, after-school programs in those subjects, graduation requirements, state mentoring and internship programs, and so on.

The second online site is a database on career and technical education, at http://www.ecs.org/hsdb-cte. It includes information on the quality of state CTE programs, how they are funded, and states' use of tools to gauge students' value to employers.

CTE programs probably don't get as much attention in the media as they should. This is despite that fact that they're among the most popular programs in many districts. As recently as a few years ago, it was estimated that the federal vocational education program, funded at more than $1 billion per year, was the largest single high school program in the country.

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