Seeing Hope for Flagging Economy, West Virginia Revamps Vocational Track

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Media Outlet: New York Times

Mary Alice McCarthy was quoted in the New York Times about how the United States is an outlier in the international field of technical education. 

When it comes to technical education, the United States is an outlier compared with other developed nations. Only 6 percent of American high school students were enrolled in a vocational course of study, according to a 2013 Department of Education report. In the United Kingdom, 42 percent were on the vocational track; in Germany, it was 59 percent; in the Netherlands, 67 percent; and in Japan, 25 percent.
“We are so focused on academic routes as opposed to other routes that can be high quality,” said Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills at New America and a former official at the Education and Labor Departments. “There’s a desperate need.”


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Mary Alice McCarthy is the director of the Center on Education and Skills with the Education Policy program at New America. Her work examines the intersection between higher education, workforce development, and job training policies