JVER v28n1 - Editor's Note
Joe W. Kotrlik
Louisiana State University
This issue is my first as Editor of the Journal of Vocational Education Research (JVER) . Morgan Lewis continues to serve JVER as Managing Editor and has been very supportive in my transition. I especially want to thank outgoing JVER Editor Jay Rojewski, AVERA President Ted Lewis, the members of the JVER Editorial Board and all of the reviewers for their advice, service, and support. Your willingness to provide information has made my job much easier.
Four manuscripts are published in this issue. In his Presidential Address, Jay Rojewski addresses the globalization and internationalization of research on career and technical education. He offers his perspective concerning the role of international research for an organization dedicated to the investigation of career, vocational, and technical education in all forms and contexts, the American Vocational Education Research Association (AVERA). He concludes with several recommendations, including a possible name change for AVERA, the appointment of a committee to chart the future directions of AVERA on the issue of international research, and the need to plan and implement collaboration with IVETA. Given the ongoing changes in vocational, career, and technical education in the U.S. and the implications of changes in the Perkins Act, AVERA members should read and give serious consideration to his points of view.
The study by Dennis Field addresses high school students' applied technology proficiency as a result of participating in applied and traditional courses. Using the Work Keys Applied Technology Test and hierarchical linear models, this study compared the applied technology skills levels of high school students enrolled in various applied and comparable traditional courses. Field concluded that performance is comparable for the two groups of students when certain demographic variables are taken into account.
David Neumark and Ann Allen report case study research on the effects of school-to-work in Michigan. The goal was to see if an "exhaustive case study" of Michigan school-to-work initiatives could provide a more convincing picture of the positive effects of school-to-work programs than has been reported in other national studies. This paper provides a solid foundation for the need for future research on school-to-work programs.
Both the Field and Allen, and the Neumark studies report program evaluation research and complement Sheila Ruhland's review and synthesis of state and local Tech Prep evaluation efforts. Ruhland recommends a management-oriented evaluation guide those responsible for the planning, data collection, and analysis of Tech Prep program and student outcomes data.
The article by Eisenman, Hill, Bailey, and Dickison describes their assessment of a university-based institute on integrated academic/occupational learning and complements the other studies reported in this issue. An analysis of teachers' discussions, interviews, written products, and classroom observations were used to trace the transformation of teachers' thinking about the purpose of integrating academic and occupational curricula as they experienced other workplace cultures and implemented collaborative projects in their schools.
All of these papers provide focus to the need for high quality program evaluation research in vocational, career, and technical education. The research reported answers some of our questions about quality programs and also provides an excellent foundation for future research.jwk