MASSACHUSETTS — The following is a statement from Executive Director Kevin Farr regarding the ongoing conversation on career and technical school admissions policies:
“A crucial conversation is being had right now about admissions practices at career and technical education schools here in the Commonwealth. As career and technical education administrators, MAVA’s membership is deeply committed to serving all students and ensuring our schools are diverse and equitable. We continue to reflect upon the best practices and what we can do to ensure our schools are welcoming and accepting of all students, from all backgrounds.
“As we come together to identify solutions to potentially improve admissions practices, we hope to expand this conversation even further so that we may identify additional opportunities to increase access to career and technical education, for which demand has increased dramatically in recent years.
“There are simply not enough seats in our schools to meet the demand among young people and the need for skilled employees in growing industries in the Commonwealth. While we have worked to expand educational opportunities at our schools by offering after-school programs for high school and adult students, we hope the state will enhance its efforts to increase access to career and technical education in order to meet the demand. The Baker-Polito Administration and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have long been supportive of CTE and we believe this is also a key step in ensuring we’re meeting the needs of all students.
“Further, it is our hope we can collectively identify opportunities to reduce the awareness gap. We’re finding that too many young people are not fully aware of the opportunities open to them through their local vocational school. It is our hope we can partner with sending public schools to further educate students about the vocational programs available to them.
“We are deeply cognizant of the life-changing impact a vocational education can have in a young person’s life — it’s why many of us were attracted to this work in the first place. Our students, families, staff and communities should know that we’re dedicated to doing right by our young people, and ensuring equitable admissions practices and opportunities is an integral part of that mission.”