SRI Authors: Todd A. Grindal
Dougherty, S. M., Grindal, T., & Hehir, T. (2018). The impact of career and technical education on students with disabilities. Journal of disability policy studies.
Evidence suggests that participating in career and technical education (CTE) in high school, on average, positively affects general education students when transitioning from education to the workforce. Yet, almost no large-scale causal research has explored whether academic benefits also accrue to students with disabilities in CTE. This omission is glaring given that students with disabilities participate in high school CTE programs at high rates. We use multiple years of administrative data from Massachusetts to estimate the effect of participating in CTE on the academic outcomes of students with disabilities. Compared with peers with similar disabilities who do not participate in CTE, students with disabilities in CTE programs perform comparably on standardized measures of student achievement but have higher probabilities of graduating from high school on time or earning industry-recognized certificates. Implications for policy and practice, particularly with regard to scaling access to similar programs, are discussed.