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Study on Career and Technology Education Programs in Montgomery County Public Schools Released

September 12, 2017

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) released on Tuesday a comprehensive study of Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs offered across the district. The Board of Education commissioned the study, conducted by the Education Strategy Group (ESG), in December 2016 to assess the district’s current programs and efforts to prepare all students for non-remedial postsecondary education and high-demand fields of employment.

ESG gathered the comments and views of more than 4,200 MCPS stakeholders, in addition to visiting selected schools and programs; studying enrollment and performance data; reviewing the history of CTE programs in MCPS; and benchmarking with other districts. Using these data sources, ESG:

  • Analyzed the range, options, location, geographic reach, availability, and cost of CTE programs;

  • Assessed the alignment of CTE program offerings to relevant, high-demand fields of employment;

  • Evaluated the effectiveness of MCPS CTE programs in preparing students with the knowledge and skills needed for entry-level work in high demand fields of employment and postsecondary education;

  • Assessed the effectiveness of MCPS partnerships with industry and community members to develop and align CTE programs of study (POS) that provide students with opportunities for work-based experiences that prepare them for employment in high-demand fields; and

  • Reviewed access, recruitment, completion and marketing for CTE programs, including communication strategies for promoting awareness of these programs and equitable access to CTE programs that best meet the needs and interests of MCPS students.

“We appreciate the review conducted by ESG that will help us take a deeper, more comprehensive look at our efforts to prepare all students for postsecondary opportunities,” said Michael Durso, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “Career readiness should play a central role in how we serve our students.  I think this report gives us a solid  foundation to strengthen our CTE programming.” 

ESG presented its five districtwide focus areas and recommendations to the Board at its Sept. 12 meeting. They include:

  • Vision and Systemic Priorities for Career Readiness

  • Employer Engagement

  • Quality and Rigor of CTE

  • Thomas Edison High School of Technology

  • Stakeholder Understanding

Over the next few months, MCPS staff will meet with stakeholders, including staff, parents and community members, to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations and will collaborate with them to map out a short- and long-term implementation strategy for the superintendent and Board’s consideration.

“The findings and recommendations outlined in this report align with our commitment to continuous improvement and challenge us to rethink some of our long-standing practices and programs to ensure they reflect our core values,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “Working together with our community, we can set a new vision for career readiness and enhance our efforts to prepare students for postsecondary success.”

Read Superintendent Smith’s Memo

Read the complete report

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