NEPC Review: Creating Strong Building Blocks for Every Student: How Middle Schools Can Lay the Foundation for Rigorous High School Pathways (Center for American Progress, August 2020)
In the wake of the 2018 reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Center for American Progress published a report articulating ideal components of middle school career and technical education (CTE) programs. Creating Strong Building Blocks for Every Student documents inequitable access to high-quality pathways that integrate challenging academics and CTE. While the report's recommendations are appealing, they come up short in addressing the key challenge. Accordingly, the report is helpful but incomplete and could lead states, districts, and schools to implementation strategies and practices that fall into familiar routines that maintain the harmful status quo for students from marginalized backgrounds.