Competing societal and political values have historically facilitated shifts in the policies surrounding, the goals of, and the practices within Career and Technical Education (CTE). These values, however, are malleable and are developed in response to demands wrought by economic need. This review sheds light on how a confluence of societal and political factors facilitated changes in the values, goals, and practices of vocational education. In so doing, the present manuscript seeks to underscore how modern attitudes about schooling and society may shape the current landscape of the field. This article highlights how shifts in the political and social climate of the country have influenced CTE and have given rise to equity and accountability in the field. As the field continues to evolve, CTE is likely to experience more changes informed by societal values. Thus, this article uses a historical analysis to elucidate how political and social shifts in values will have important implications for CTE policy and practice modernly.

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