Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Arthur Shapiro, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Permuth, Ed.D.


Content Area, Career, Cluster, Cooperative Training, Shared Leadership


The traditional education system in the United States developed a goal of sending a high number of students to post secondary schools. The expectation of going to college starts at elementary school and continues through high school and is pushed by the school district’s hierarchy. Schools annually publish numbers through the Department of Education at state and national levels of students moving to college. College progression has become such a priority that many students feel they have failed if not college bound.

Students not considered academic often move toward vocational education with the intent of post-secondary education to support a chosen career field. Students with lower grades and abilities are routed to vocational classes utilizing a shop model.

The education system identifies and educates students at expected age and grade level requirements. High stakes testing has been established to determine if students meet those educational requirements considered necessary for success.

Students not meeting established math, English and reading requirements are given remediation to bring academic skills to appropriate age and grade levels.

My thesis described a contextual reading program for building reading skills. Content area material is used to teach academic skills in writing, reading and math to levels supporting high stakes testing needed for success.

Contextual reading has improved reading competencies for vocational education students in the CATER program at Kathleen High School in the Polk County School System as well as in the other statewide settings. This has the potential to improve career and technical education (CTE) in other systems.

A contextual approach also has potential to improve teaching and learning in socalled academic areas, and improving scores in high stakes tests. Recommendations for further study include following this line of action for younger and adult students