Recent Articles

Framing parents’ attitudes toward career and technical education




vocational education, career and technical education, high schools, public opinion, randomized controlled trials, parent attitudes


In recent years, policymakers and researchers have paid renewed attention to career and technical education (CTE), but public attitudes—especially those of parents—toward CTE remain relatively understudied. Drawing on the history of CTE and more contemporary policy discourse, this study proposes a new organizing framework for conceptualizing how CTE might be discussed in the public sphere, and then uses a survey-based experiment to examine how the ways policymakers talk about CTE might impact parents’ support for CTE-related policies. Using respondents from an online marketplace, results indicate widespread support for CTE and suggestive evidence that CTE may see more support as a public policy when framed through a workforce development lens. These results offer implications for both supporters and opponents of CTE, as well as researchers and policymakers seeking to better understand nuances behind parents’ opinion on an education issue with growing policy salience.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Walter Ecton, Florida State University

Walter G. Ecton is an assistant professor of education policy at Florida State University. His research focuses on the intersections between high school, higher education, and the workforce, with a specific focus on career and technical education in both the K–12 and higher education spaces. He is particularly interested in pathways through education and into early career for students who are historically and currently marginalized in traditional academic settings.



How to Cite

Ecton, W. (2023). Framing parents’ attitudes toward career and technical education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.