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Jay Plasman

David Blazar, Danett Song, Ramon Goings, Jay Plasman, Michael Gottfried.

Despite substantial interest in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in U.S. high schools—and associated scholarship on this topic—very little is known about characteristics of CTE teachers who are a critical resource for program implementation and expansion. Using eight years of statewide data from Maryland, we document key facts about the CTE teacher workforce and pathways into the profession. First, a sizable share (17%) of CTE teachers enter the profession with a high school diploma or associate’s degree, aligned to state policy that allows Professional and Technical Education-certified teachers to substitute years of professional experience for higher degrees. Relatedly, CTE teachers are substantially more likely than non-CTE teachers to enter the profession through an “alternative” path that bypasses traditional undergraduate teacher education (54% versus 30%). Finally, there is a larger share of Black teachers in CTE versus out of CTE (25% versus 16%), leading to greater opportunities for teacher-student race matching. We hypothesize that these patterns are related: decreased barriers to entry into the CTE teaching profession may support more Black individuals to become CTE teachers.

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