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How Career And Technical Education Shuts Out Black And Latino Students

Historically, career and technical education (CTE) was seen as a dumping ground for students who weren’t considered college material. A two-tier educational system tracked predominantly low-income students and students of color into career and technical classes, then known as vocational education. But in recent years, schools have revamped these courses to prepare students for higher education and lucrative work in fields such as technology, health care and engineering. 

 A Hechinger Report/Associated Press analysis of CTE enrollment data from 40 states reveals deep racial disparities in who takes these career-oriented courses. Black and Latino students were often less likely than their white peers to enroll in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and information technology classes, according to the analysis, which was based primarily on 2017-18 data. Meanwhile, they were more likely to enroll in courses in hospitality and, in the case of Black students in particular, human services. 

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