From EdExcellence – This new study from CALDER examines the type of students that modern career academies attract and the causal impacts of participation on various outcomes. Recall that seminal, lottery-based research from MDRC on career academies in the 90’s found no effects on high school graduation or initial college outcomes but did find that males had higher salaries over the long term and were more likely to “form and sustain families.” The current authors suggest that today’s career academies—in part due to new interest in college and career readiness plus the recent economic recession—mean that we need a new generation of experimental research on the latest CTE models. And they aim to deliver.

Read the full article: https://edexcellence.net/articles/the-effectiveness-of-contemporary-career-academies

Analysts examine career academies in Wake County Public School System (NC), which has twenty academies (such as the Academy of Finance and the Academy of Sustainable Energy Engineering) inside fourteen high schools. For the descriptive part of the analysis, they examine all first-time ninth graders in 2014–15 and 2015–16. They find that academy enrollees are less likely to be minority, more likely to be male, and generally higher achieving than their peers within the same schools who did not enroll in an academy.

For the causal analysis, they examine outcomes for one large academy (Apex Academy of Information Technology) that has admitted students by lottery since 2009–10. They receive about twice as many applications as seats, so researchers are able to identify causal effects of participation in the career academy on measures such as performance, high school graduation, and college going for roughly 500 students. Unlike students who attend the regular high school, Apex Academy has technology-based paid internships for all juniors, a four-year sequence of IT courses, and soft skills training, among other offerings.

Read the full article: https://edexcellence.net/articles/the-effectiveness-of-contemporary-career-academies