Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute

Join us Jan. 18-20 in New York City for AFT’s CSI Leadership Institute 2024: Real Solutions, Focusing on CTE.

The AFT’s Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute (CSI) 2024, hosted in collaboration with the United Federation of Teachers Teacher Center along with other partners, will focus on how to build a better bridge between experiential learning and work through career and technical education, internships and apprenticeships.

As our schools and our economy recover in the wake of the pandemic, we must find ways to re-engage students and to deal with workforce shortages that are holding back our economy and impacting our members in education and healthcare. Career and technical education is a proven approach to student engagement while at the same time creating broad opportunities and pathways for all students.

“Career and technical education is project-based experiential learning at its best. It is a 21st-century game-changer. CTE prepares students not only for traditional trades programs like welding, plumbing, carpentry and auto repair, but also for careers in healthcare, culinary [arts], advanced manufacturing and aeronautics, information technology, graphic design and so much more. And it works. Ninety-four percent of students who concentrate in CTE graduate from high school, and 72 percent of them go on to college.” (Randi Weingarten, TEACH 2023 keynote speech)

With the major investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy and the environment made by the Biden administration, we have the opportunity to bring additional resources into CTE, to link education to economic development as well as to expand career pathways, internships and apprenticeships for students.

By being intentional about this—starting by high school, partnering with employers, creating paid internships, and offering industry-approved credentials or college credit—we can set young people on a path to a career or higher education, or both, right out of high school. This is all part of the job of our public schools: preparing kids for college, career, civic participation and life. CTE and experiential education are part of our Real Solutions for Kids and Communities campaign and offer the kinds of classroom initiatives, educator supports and school-based enrichment programs that help kids and communities succeed in the long term.

The 2024 CSI Institute will ensure that our labor-management teams know about these opportunities; we will create the connections among our local leaders, supervisors, principals, administrators and relevant federal and state players, as well as business and technical intermediaries, to help break down the silos among the groups.

During the institute, teams will have access to experts and technical assistance to support the following work:

  1. Share information and resources on existing programs, funding opportunities, models, best practices, and partnerships across federal and state programs with the help of intermediaries;
  2. Identify gaps, missed partnership opportunities and challenges in CTE, as well as how to broaden access to pathway programs, industry credentials and work-based learning;
  3. Involve teachers in the development of resources on career navigation, work-based learning, and externship opportunities; and
  4. Leave with an action plan and network to leverage resources and expertise across state and federal levels and the private sector to make education and workforce programs come together for students, educators and communities.

Special thanks to our planning partners:

CSI 2024 Partners