Vocational Education:

Status in School Year 1990-91 and Early Signs of Change at Secondary Level

HRD-93-71: Published: Jul 13, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1993.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on vocational education during school year 1990 through 1991, focusing on: (1) the status of vocational programs in secondary schools; and (2) changes to vocational programs nationwide.

GAO found that: (1) although schools generally do not have many of the quality components and instructional approaches needed, changes in vocational-technical training have begun; (2) funding for vocational education has not changed because of the limited number of secondary schools in each district and larger districts do not fund all of their schools; (3) the number of school districts participating in consortia has significantly increased and enabled smaller districts to implement vocational programs; (4) although sufficient data are not available to adequately measure the effectiveness of set-asides for targeted groups, preliminary information suggests that students in targeted groups participate in vocational education programs at equal or higher rates than other students; (5) the Department of Education, states, and local school districts need to improve their efforts to assess vocational programs; (6) although Education has begun implementation of the national data system and taken additional steps to improve data collection, data gaps still remain; and (7) although states plan to develop standards to evaluate vocational programs, such as postgraduation placement data, half of the schools do not collect placement data.

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