The Perkins Act of 2006: Connecting Career and Technical Education with the College and Career Readiness Agenda

January 28, 2008 

Policymakers and educators around the nation are wrestling with an important challenge – how to raise expectations for high school achievement, while increasing relevance and engagement in learning to keep students in school. Career and technical education (CTE) is receiving renewed attention as a strategy for increasing school engagement and rigor as policymakers grapple with these complex challenges, particularly in light of the 2006 reauthorization of the Perkins Act. Although their approaches may look different, the Perkins Act and the American Diploma Project focus on a common objective: ensuring that all American students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge they need to be ready for college and careers.

This policy brief informs leaders, particularly those who are implementing the ADP agenda in states, about the opportunities to align and coordinate strategies between ADP and the Perkins Act. It addresses the components of the new Perkins Act, discusses CTE more broadly in the context of the ADP agenda and offers a number of complementary and mutually supportive strategies state ADP leadership teams could employ to implement the ADP agenda and the Perkins Act.