CTE and the Common Core

Submitted by Ann Tebo, CTE Literacy Coach, Mesa Public Schools

The importance of planning lessons based upon standards is here to stay, yet what some of the standards look like is changing. Our CTE programs’ Technical Standards are straightforward and drive our curriculum. We keep hearing about Arizona’s adoption of the Common Core Standards, but have not yet gotten clear direction about what is expected of us as CTE teachers related to their implementation.

At the school level most of us are hearing that the responsibility for addressing the Common Core Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) Standards does not lie solely on the Math and English teachers. It is our responsibility as CTE teachers to familiarize ourselves with those standards (www.corestandards.org) to see how they can be incorporated in tandem with CTE Program Technical Standards in our lessons.

The fact that they are referred to as College and Career Readiness Standards indicates the importance that it has for us as CTE teachers to be addressing them. Upon review, teachers will fi nd that the standards focus upon the application of skills and require critical thinking, which is what CTE is all about.

The Common Core Standards are aligned to workplace demands in order to prepare students to be successful in their next phase of training for careers; whether it is on-the-job training in growing, sustainable careers that have opportunities for advancement or taking the next step in further career and technical training.

Schools that have not already rolled out the Common Core Standards will surely be doing so in the fall. As CTE teachers we should be proactive in our efforts to know what the standards are, and be ready to demonstrate the implementation of those that are applicable in our lessons. Accountability is more important than ever in our profession. Knowing and including the Common Core Standards in our lessons will demonstrate that CTE classes are the ideal environments in which to teach math, reading, and writing to students in relevant, career focused applications!