Rhode Island’s Department of Education (RIDE) would be asked to appear and report in detail on career and technical education progress if a request by State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-District 26-Warwick, West Warwick, Coventry ) is taken up by the House Committee on Oversight.
Morgan made the request in a letter to Oversight Committee Chair William Marcello (D-District41-Scituate and Cranston).
“Given the current economic climate, nothing is more important to Rhode Island's future prosperity than a strong and effective education system," said Morgan. "Our children need our schools to provide robust and effective instruction to prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our employers need graduates with the necessary and appropriate skills."
“Unfortunately, numerous recent newspaper articles highlight a huge contradiction: we are graduating more students from high school and technical institutes, but businesses continue to report that they are unable to find qualified candidates to hire."
“What we want to hear from RIDE is whether or not these CTE efforts are effective. Are they attracting the right students? Are students graduating from the program in numbers that justify the expense? Are they graduating with skills that job-providers find attractive, and are willing to pay for?"
“We’re not doing this just to be doing it, but because it is an important component in our educational system. We should be monitoring progress here just as we are doing with our other academic programs, and that is at the heart of this initiative, which is required by law,” she said.
An annual report by RIDE on CTE is mandated by RIGL 16-45.1-3, legislation passed in 2011 and signed by the Governor. RIDE forwarded a CTE report in December, 2012, but it fell short of the law’s requirements and was, according to Morgan, “very disappointing.”