March 15, 2024 | Ian Hatcher

CTE for All

In an article released by co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute last month, Michael Horn identifies six trends to monitor in the K-12 space this year.1 Taking a quick look at the six trends, it’s abundantly clear that all of these trends have a common root problem – schools are failing to prepare students for an unknown future. 

Trend 1 – Rise of Homeschooling

Why are parents choosing to remove their kids from public schools? They aren’t confident that schools are preparing them for their future.

Trend 2 – Parent Power

“Many of the microschools that have popped up are small co-ops that a single teacher, who is disaffected with their public school, decided to create.”1

Again, this is a symptom of a system that isn’t evolving to serve the true needs of the students.

Trend 3 – Education Savings Accounts (ESA)

With policies in place in 13 states, ESAs enable families to shop for services that they feel are right for their child (read, will prepare them for their future!).  

Trend 4 – Challenges for Traditional School Districts

“What’s behind many of these struggles is a one-size-fits-all mindset that clashes with education pluralism and parents’ more active desires for customized support and schooling models to ensure that their children make progress.”1

Traditional school districts need to evolve, and many want to, but being weighed down by old school thinking, policies and funding makes it very difficult to prioritize the right things.

Trend 5 – Portrait of a Graduate and Rethinking Assessment

These are largely aspirational measures around competencies that all students should demonstrate by the time they graduate. The fact that there is no required evidence of competencies is a missing piece, and one that needs to evolve if districts are serious about being certain that their students are equipped to succeed after graduation.

And that brings us to the final trend identified…

Trend 6 – CTE for All

There is a growing realization that the “college-for-all” movement of the last several decades has not served all students well. Many students who start bachelor’s degree programs do not complete them. When they leave college with student debt, the outcomes are horrendous. There is a growing recognition that we need to bring back career and technical education, but that it must not repeat the mistakes of vocational education, which was often a tracked system based on race. Instead, the path forward should be to make sure all students experience meaningful work-based learning as part of their middle and high school experiences. These experiences can help them start to learn about different career options; build their sense of what they like and dislike about them; understand what it takes to do certain careers—the path, the time, the money; and build social capital so they can go out and seize the opportunities that speak to them.

Michael Horn

The symptoms of the problem are clear, but how can schools adapt and shift to address the problem in a real, manageable way? Find Your Grind prepares students for their futures. We’re dedicated to fostering an educational landscape where every student can find their path, recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach to education is outdated. Empowering students to identify how they want to live their lives, and then exposing them to all the possibilities that exist goes beyond just preparing students for the workforce; it’s about igniting passions, unveiling potential career paths, and helping students articulate their preferences, strengths, and areas for growth.

Big problems show themselves in many different ways, as the six trends above demonstrate. Find Your Grind offers a manageable solution that can be implemented within your school day right now. Find out why school districts around the country have already turned to partner with Find Your Grind to make the necessary changes to start to fix this problem.

Are you an educator or administrator & want to learn more? Schedule your personalized demo now.


1. Horn, Michael B. “6 trends to watch in K-12 schools in 2024.” Clayton Christensen Institute, 15 Feb. 2024, 6 trends to watch in K-12 schools in 2024

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