Advance CTE 2019 Spring Meeting Staff Reflections Part 3

April 30th, 2019

This year’s Spring Meeting covered an array of exciting topics. Advance CTE staff reflects on the meeting in this three-part blog series. 

Being Bold in Perkins V Planning

Trying something new is a risk but we did just that at the Advance CTE spring meeting! You see we have been encouraging states to be bold in their approach to crafting Perkins V state plans. And while the mantra of ‘being bold’ has taken hold, we have continued to get the question – what does being bold look like? To answer this question, we decided to try a mini case study approach. We often see that the lesson for oneself is found when offering advice to others.  So, we created a fictional state called “Bolder” and shared out a set of facts and data – demographic, labor market, performance, student outcomes, etc. and asked participants to identify the most pressing opportunity related to equity, quality, career advisement, data, and systems alignment, and how Perkins V can be leveraged to best address these important topics. The goal was to help attendees break free of the strictures of their own state and to ideate, create and incubate bold ideas in a fictitious but reality-based state.

I was encouraged to see the engagement of attendees, who easily jumped in to identify the challenges and opportunities. It got tougher when attendees were asked to rethink or leverage Perkins V to address the challenge or opportunity. In the end, we probably didn’t walk out with a ready-to-replicate set of bold ideas but I do think participants flexed their creative muscles and hopefully will take that creativity back home and do something different as a result – look at their data in a different way, ask a tough question, push a bit harder, reach out to a new stakeholder, revisit an antiquated policy or program, commit to using a new lever in Perkins – that is what being bold is all about!

Kimberly Green, Executive Director

Problems of Practice

At last year’s Advance CTE Spring Meeting we introduced the Problems of Practice session, and it was exciting to see how that session grew in size and scope during this year’s Spring Meeting. This time, we were able to feature 16 different table topics spanning middle school, high school, postsecondary education and workforce development. All those at the table had the opportunity to hear from a state leader about what that particular issue looked like in their state, and then the table had the chance for an intimate conversation about common barriers and strategies for success. I enjoyed not only observing states making progress in thinking through common goals, but also forming new relationships with others at the table. Many state representatives and organizational partners exchanged contact information so that they could keep the conversation going outside of this session. It was great to see states working together to advance shared goals!

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Let’s Double the Investment in CTE!

Earlier this year, Advance CTE and the CTE community launched an effort to double the federal investment in CTE. During the Spring Meeting, we held an engaging session where the Advance CTE regions competed to see which one could commit to securing the most employer signatures. Region B won with a total commitment of 5,175 signatures and all of the regions together committed to over 17,000 signatures. While 26 states and every Career Cluster® are represented in the list of signatures from employers, we still need more signatures to meet our goal.

State and local CTE leaders are critical partners in helping us achieve our ambitious goal. How many employers from your state can YOU get to sign on to the campaign? Sign up to receive information about the campaign here. For more information about the campaign and how to get the word out, visit the share page to find sample Tweets, graphics, email blurbs, and more to help you communicate about the campaign.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager

This Week in CTE

April 26th, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

We know that Career Technical Education (CTE) delivers for each learner. Sharing and promoting high-quality CTE is important to make the case to learners and families. Social media can be used as a communication strategy and tool to advocate for CTE. One example of the effective use of social media is the Arkansas Career and Technical Education and its annual social media campaign contest. Learners participated by creating campaigns that were submitted to be judged. They also gave presentations on their work. Winners were announced by Craig O’Neill, an Anchor for THV 11 News in Little Rock, Arkansas. This work was done as part of Advance CTE’s grant, Strategies to Attract Students to High-quality CTE, funded by the Siemens Foundation.

Watch the video here.

For more tips on using social media, read the social media guide here.

RESOURCES OF THE WEEK

Below are resources take a deeper look into the approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plans:

  • The National Urban League has reviewed the ESSA State Plans in the 36 states and the District of Columbia where they have affiliates. The purpose of this review is to determine the likelihood of the plans to advance equity and excellence for learners. The goal is to highlight promising practices as well as missed opportunities to advance equity in ways in which states can improve as they implement ESSA. Read the report here.
  • The Data Quality Campaign has updated its annual review of state K-12 report cards. For the first time, these cards also include how states are reporting out the information required by ESSA. Learn more here.

New Report on States’ ESSA Report Cards, A Push for Colleges to Complete Equity Audits

April 26th, 2019

Even though Congress is in recess, new reports and recent events have kept the attention on Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about a new analysis of state report cards required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), equity audits for postsecondary institutions, and two recent events in Washington, D.C. that featured CTE.

Data Quality Campaign Report Sheds Light on States’ ESSA Report Cards   

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has updated its annual review of state K-12 report cards, illuminating for the first time how states are reporting and communicating student progress in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) era. States made some bold commitments in their ESSA plans, but DQC’s analysis shows that there is still work to do. According to their analysis, 41 states do not include disaggregated achievement data for at least one federally required subgroup. Twenty seven states do not include data on postsecondary enrollment. These are challenges states will need to address as they prepare to meet the data collection and reporting requirements under Perkins V.

Center for American Progress Encourages Colleges to Conduct Equity Audits

One part of the Center for American Progress’s (CAP) Beyond Tuition initiative to improve affordability, quality and accountability in higher education is for colleges to carry out equity audits. CAP defines equity audits as “internal reviews of key policies and practices to identify those that fail to effectively serve underrepresented students.” Senator Schatz (D-HI) recently introduced the College Equity Act, which includes implementation of equity audits in colleges and corresponding grant funding based on the outcomes of the audit. Find more information in CAP’s article, Equity Audits: A Tool for Campus Improvement.

Convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education Includes CTE 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Educated hosted a convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education: A Second Chance at Learning with the purpose of highlighting and advancing the “conversation around the administration-wide goal of rethinking education for incarcerated individuals.” The day included panels on state and local programs, student and educator perspectives, as well as remarks from the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson. A common theme, especially when hearing from state and local leaders, was that CTE plays an important role in educational programming for those who are incarcerated. A breakout session in the afternoon on how Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) can support education for incarcerated individuals highlighted that both laws provide opportunities to do so, but there is a lack of clarity on how this can be done. Looking for opportunities for how to promote collaboration across Perkins V and WIOA? Check out Coordinating Across Perkins V and WIOA, a brief from Advance CTE and the National Skills Coalition.

Workforce Preparation was a Resounding Theme at Reagan Institute Summit

The Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) – hosted by the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute, which aims to promote the former President’s legacy through policy and ideas – was held in Washington, DC on April 11. A major focus of this year’s summit was career readiness. Senator Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, made the case for expanding eligibility for Pell grants to both individuals who are incarcerated as well as learners in short-term credential programs. Representative Foxx (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, also made the case for strengthening workforce preparation opportunities in order to ensure that learners do not accrue significant amounts of debt without a credential to show for it. Other policymakers suggested ideas such as using H-1B visa funds to support training in high-need industry areas or piloting risk sharing funding models to hold institutions of higher education accountable for the workforce outcomes of their graduates. Overall, the theme of the day was that support for career preparation in high school and college is widespread.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

An Innovative Approach to Career Advisement in Alabama

April 26th, 2019

This post is written by Kuder, Inc., a Diamond Level sponsor of the 2019 Advance CTE Spring Meeting.

The 2019 Advance CTE Spring Meeting encouraged state CTE leaders to BE BOLD while also sharing concrete examples of how other states have taken risks to gain real results for the learners they serve. As we listened to the speakers and attendees, we reflected on the bold and innovative approaches taken by some of our top clients.

Kuder wholeheartedly endorses CTE’s integrated approach because it includes hands-on learning in the classroom as well as work-based learning. We’ve witnessed firsthand how these experiential learning opportunities can fast-track students to middle- and high-skill, high-demand careers.

We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with many clients who are investing in the future of students with innovative CTE and workforce strategies and initiatives. When we look at large-scale adoptions of the Kuder system, we see a common thread: prioritizing career advisement. Here’s an example of an innovative approach to career advisement that’s being taken by one of our clients.

Alabama’s Success Story

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) sponsors the Alabama Career Planning System, powered by Kuder® (ACPS). The ALSDE provides the ACPS as a free tool for students in grade 6-12 throughout Alabama as one measure to meet the state’s academic requirements and college and career readiness standards.

Alabama’s Plan 2020 mandates that students enter the ninth grade prepared, and with a course plan that addresses their individual academic and career interest needs. The multi-year course planning tool in the ACPS, which is tailored to the Alabama High School Diploma Program, supports the 2020 mandate.

Here are a few ways that the ACPS has supported student success:

  • Over 400,000 unique course plans have been created.
  • Over 100,000 resumes have been built.
  • Over 2 million career assessments have been completed.

“In Alabama, Career Technical Education programs are essential for students to pursue their passions, to explore various career opportunities, and really bridge the information they learn in the classroom to how it applies to real-world situations,” said Sean Stevens, ALSDE Education Administrator of Counseling and Guidance.

“What the Alabama Career Planning System is able to do,” Stevens continued, “is provide educators with the tools they need to help students discover their passions, and then provide students with an avenue to explore careers they may not have even considered.”

Capitalizing on Students’ Interests

The ACPS uncovers students where their interests lie. It also enables CTE program leaders to build curriculum around those interests. For example, Cullman High School leveraged Kuder assessment data to develop new CTE curriculum based on students’ expressed interest in the Health Science Career Cluster.

“We found that 60 percent of our students were interested in some form of medicine,” said Stacey Tankersley, a Registered Nurse who serves as a Health Science Program Teacher at Cullman High School. “So, we created a program that targets those students to give them an introduction into health care.”

Tankersley explained that the growing local demand for health care workers was, of course, another catalyst for launching the program. Cullman High School recognized that it could develop a pathway to capitalize on students’ interests while supporting workforce development in their community at the same time.

The Cullman High School Medical Academy offers students two foundational courses and a competency-based therapeutic services course. It also offers an internship, which enables students to learn at a hospital, extended care facility, rehabilitation center, medical office, imagery laboratory, pharmacy, veterinary hospital, dental/optometrist office, or other local health care facility.

Career Coaches Close the Gaps

In addition to the ACPS, Alabama is addressing its workforce skills gaps with the Career Coach Initiative. The program increases awareness in youth about career opportunities with over 100 career coaches throughout the state.

The career coaches cultivate students’ understanding of the process necessary to obtain their career goals, encourage and advise students as they complete Kuder assessments and build multi-year course plans, and help students navigate their post-graduation education and career paths. The career coaches also serve as the “missing link” between schools, businesses, and community leaders through networking with local chambers of commerce, regional workforce development councils, etc.

“I believe having career coaches in every high school is a huge factor that differentiates our approach to CTE,” said Melissa Godsey, a Lawrence County, Alabama career coach. “We help integrate the value of CTE in any field and encourage students to explore their options. I feel that we help students understand the significance and value of CTE,” she said.

Godsey pointed out that assessments help students begin meaningful exploration of career pathways and related education and training options based on their personal results. She and her fellow career coaches take students through this discovery process by identifying where students’ interests and values intersect with local industry needs and trends.

But Alabama isn’t relying solely on its career coaches to ensure students are future-ready: “Career development is the responsibility of all educators,” said Stevens. “Career development is everyone’s responsibility in school.”

New Advance CTE Report: Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner

April 25th, 2019

College enrollment has increased over the past 10 years and is projected to continue growing over the next 10 for both full- and part-time students. At the same time, institutions face low retention and graduation rates. One policy that shows promise in increasing completion rates, especially for adult learners and those who served in the military, is credit for prior learning (CPL). CPL practices have been found increase access to and the affordability of postsecondary opportunities for a variety of learners — particularly adults and members of the military.

CPL policies can be found at the state, postsecondary system or institutional levels — and most often a combination of the three. Overall, control of CPL implementation tends to be greater at the local level than at the state level. Although creation and implementation of a formalized CPL policy typically falls to the state’s higher education system or the individual institution, state-level leadership can play a vital role in building support and momentum among stakeholders. 

To help states explore the significant impact of CPL and what their role should be in supporting these opportunities, Advance CTE- with support from the Joyce Foundation- examined research and best practices in Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner. This report features data on the benefits of CPL for learners, as well as best practices in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee and Virginia across topics such as CPL for military service members, portability of credits, building in apprenticeships and industry recognized credentials in CPL, and communicating about CPL opportunities.

The report concludes with recommendations for how states can support CPL with and without statute. The strongest action a state can take is to enact a state statute that calls for implementation of CPL in all public two- and four-year institutions. Minimally, every state should have statewide policies that address CPL’s quality and consistency and ideally make implementation mandatory at each public institution. Aside from state statute, the report recommends that CPL should be incorporated into the state’s broad postsecondary agenda in the following ways:

  • Visible state leaders, such as State CTE Directors, governors and state higher education officials, should elevate CPL to be part of the conversation around education and workforce development.
  • The state should lead the efforts to publicize what CPL opportunities exist.
  • The state should facilitate coordination among the state, system and institutional levels in how CPL policies are developed and implemented.

The full report can be found here and a webinar on CPL featuring CPL leaders from Virginia and Louisiana can be accessed here.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Perkins V: How can states improve program quality?

April 25th, 2019

While improving Career Technical Education (CTE) programs has always been a hallmark of the Carl D. Perkins Act, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) brings a new opportunity to put the quality of CTE programs front and center. Perkins V requires a description of how local recipients are approved for Perkins funding and how the local application promotes continuous improvement in the state plan, and the comprehensive local needs assessment that all local recipients must complete at the beginning of the grant (and update at least once every two years after that) includes a review of whether CTE programs are of sufficient size, scope, and quality to meet the needs of all students served by the local recipient and are meeting labor market needs. In addition, Perkins V provides the flexibility to states to use many other levers to require, incentivize and support program quality. How can states use the opportunity Perkins V offers to improve program quality? Check out the resources below to learn more.

REPORTRaising the Bar: State Strategies for Developing and Approving High-quality Career Pathways: All states have processes in place to review and approve career pathways, but not all use them to promote and uphold quality standards. This report describes a few approaches states can take — such as defining quality criteria, using fiscal and accountability policy to incentivize adoption, and providing regional supports — to promote quality through the pathways approval process.

TOOLPolicy Benchmark Tool: CTE Program of Study: This tool is designed to help states evaluate and strengthen their CTE program approval policies and processes. It lays out the non-negotiable elements of an effective policy for approving and evaluating programs of study, encompassing both secondary and postsecondary CTE, and offers an assessment rubric that state leaders can use to identify gaps in their current state policy and prioritize areas for improvement. The tool will also help states plan for implementation and program reapproval to ensure they have policies and programs that are high-quality and aligned with the state’s vision and definition of success.

GUIDEEnsuring Career Pathway Quality: A Guide to Pathway Intervention: As labor markets shift and contexts within districts and institutions change, all career pathways — including secondary and postsecondary pathways developed by the state, district or institution — must go through a natural life cycle. Once a career pathway has been approved and implemented, it is natural for the conditions that surround and support the pathway to change over time. This guide outlines the different types of intervention needed for pathways, and explores the steps leaders should take when making decisions to transform or phase out pathways that do not have labor market relevance.

Policy Profiles

  • Nebraska: ReVISION: Nebraska’s reVISION grant process allows schools to evaluate their career preparation and career guidance systems and receive state support to improve those systems in a way that is tailored to each school’s greatest areas of need.
  • Florida: Postsecondary Program Approval and Articulation: The Florida College System and State Board of Education worked together to ease the burden of program approval processes by designing and validating curriculum frameworks at the state level.
  • Tennessee: Standards Revision Process: The Tennessee Department of Education undertook three multi-step phases to overhaul the state’s CTE standards (which are organized into courses). This process brought the standards into alignment with the K-12 standards and embedded them within full and rigorous programs of study.

Looking for additional resources? Please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.

The Colorado Community College System is creating a new vision for career and technical education – and using Advance CTE’s Policy Benchmark Tool to support that process

April 23rd, 2019

As Colorado’s population and economy continue to boom, employer demand for skilled workers is at an all-time high. Career Technical Education (CTE) can meet that need and more. Last October, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), which houses the state’s CTE operations, began the process of developing a statewide strategic plan for CTE. Branded “Next Gen Ed,” the plan aims to strengthen Colorado communities with a new direction for the role of CTE – not just as academic and technical preparation, but as a complete and impactful experience that prepares learners for their career, life, and civic participation.

Across the state, we are hosting visioning sessions with business and industry leaders, community members, and parents to understand how we can work together to provide an education for students that meets future workforce needs. Some of the topics being discussed are perceptions of CTE, work-based learning, and the transition from postsecondary education to the workforce. A critical aspect we’re also addressing in constructing our strategic plan is CTE program quality, and to help us do that, we’re using Advance CTE’s Program Approval Policy Benchmark Tool.

The Benchmark Tool is designed to help states evaluate and strengthen their secondary and postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) program approval policies and processes. It specifies the core elements that an effective program approval policy should have, and provides a step-by-step guide for CTE leaders to identify gaps in current state policy and prioritize areas for improvement. This can better ensure that all postsecondary CTE programs are of the highest quality and relevance.

In Colorado, we are using the tool to assess our state-level postsecondary policies, and we are introducing the tool to our academic discipline groups, which include key faculty from specific program areas from all the state’s community colleges. While the tool focuses on policy, using it means taking a deep dive into practice. How do we actually align programs of study with academic and industry standards? What does it mean to collaborate with our high school counterparts and with industry? These conversations have been supported by Advance CTE through a grant from The Joyce Foundation.

We know there is still a need for more career development in Colorado; we want all students regardless of interest to be prepared to enter the workforce and beyond. Our hope is that CTE will drive the state’s education, workforce and economic priorities. I am excited about our new CTE vision and strategic plan; I know it will contribute to stronger communities and will benefit this generation and future ones.

To learn more about CTE in Colorado and to stay up to date on the visioning process, visit coloradostateplan.com.

Sarah Heath, State CTE Director and Associate Vice Chancellor, Colorado Community College System

Congratulations to the 2019 Excellence in Action Award Recipients!

April 19th, 2019

During the 2019 Spring Meeting, Advance CTE held an award ceremony to recognize the eight Excellence in Action award recipients that represent some of the best Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in the country. Hailing from seven states, these programs provide clear pathways into college and careers, rigorous academic and technical coursework, strong industry partnerships, and effective work-based learning experiences that offer opportunities for career exploration and subject-matter mastery.

Katie Fitzgerald, Advance CTE, Communications Manager, opened the ceremony by sharing that over the past five years, Advance CTE has awarded nearly 50 high-quality programs of study from 15 Career Clusters® across 23 states. These award-winning programs provide learners from diverse communities with the supports to succeed in their education and career of their choice. Advance CTE recognized the following award winners and their Career Cluster areas:

  •       Como Park Senior High School, MN (Business Management & Administration)
  •       Henderson County High School, KY (Health Science)
  •       Irving High School, TX (Transportation, Distribution & Logistics)
  •       Kaukauna High School, WI (Manufacturing)
  •       Mishicot High School High School, WI (Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources)
  •       Nashua High School North, NH (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)
  •       Questar III BOCES Rensselaer Educational Center (Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security)
  •       Susan Miller Dorsey High School, CA (Arts, A/V Technology & Communications)

Award recipients traveled across the country to be recognized in front of state and national leaders. Hannah Chan, the Program Manager of the Academy of Finance at Como Park Senior High School in Minnesota, stated that the program is near and dear to her heart because she is a first-generation college student and wished she had this type of program when she was in high school. The Academy of Finance program serves a diverse student population with 88 percent minority learners and 31 percent English language learners served in this program.

Nels Lawrence, the instructor for the Manufacturing program at Kaukauna High School in Wisconsin, spoke about how he has taught learners who now serve as employers and partners mentoring his students. He stated that the awards program is an example of the type of publicity CTE programs need to change the old perceptions.

In the remarks from Dr. Francine Brown, an award recipient from Nashua High School North, she suggested a new motto for the state of New Hampshire, “In keeping with the theme of the conference, I’m going to be bold and suggest a new motto, Learn CTE and fly!”

Following the ceremony, attendees were invited to participate in the gallery walk event. During this event, attendees could visit the award winner recipients and ask them questions about their programs. Award winners had tables with brochures, and even video presentations to help attendees get to know their programs better and see learners in action.

Learn more about the 2019 Excellence in Action awards here.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

April 19th, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

National Excellence in Action Award Recognizes Eight Exceptional Career Technical Education Programs of Study

Eight Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study received the 2019 Excellence in Action award from Advance CTE. Hailing from seven states, these programs represent the best of CTE, with each providing clear pathways into college and careers, rigorous academic and technical coursework, strong industry partnerships, and effective work-based learning experiences that offer opportunities for career exploration and subject-matter mastery

Learn more about each winner here.

Check out the Excellence in Action Award Recipients in the news:

Perkins V Innovation and Modernization Grant Now Accepting Applications

On April 15, applications became available for the Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale evidence-based, field-initiated innovations that modernize CTE, increase program effectiveness and alignment, and improve student outcomes. Over $2 million in total are available for this grant, and up to six grants will be awarded to scale evidence-based innovative programs that lead to better student outcomes and program effectiveness.

A webinar will be held by the U.S. Department of Education on April 25 to provide additional information. Read more about this opportunity here.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects CTE, sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

A high-quality program of study should include opportunities for learners to learn real-world skill through hands-on, work-based learning experiences such as apprenticeships. In this video, hear from 2019 Excellence in Action Award recipient Nels Lawrence of the Kaukauna Manufacturing program of study in Wisconsin. Get an inside look at the state-of-the-art machine shop equipment that uses industry-standard, computer-aided design software such as SolidWorks and AUTOCAD. The manufacturing industry has evolved to include more advanced technical skills and these learners are receiving the hands-on learning they need to be competitive in this career field.

Watch the video here.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Grace’s Path to Success Infographic

The Data Quality Campaign released a new infographic that shows how access to data can help learners and families navigate the many choices along the education and workforce journey. The infographic follows one student, Grace, as she uses data to make important decisions that help her reach her goals. Read more about what can be achieved when learners and their families have data throughout their journey and the steps state leaders can take to help make this happen in their communities. Learn more and download the infographic here.

Advance CTE 2019 Spring Meeting Staff Reflections Part 2

April 19th, 2019

This year’s Spring Meeting covered an array of exciting topics. Advance CTE staff reflects on the meeting in this three-part blog series. 

Exploring Equity in CTE

At the 2018 Spring Meeting, Advance CTE formally launched our initiative on equity in CTE with a panel and breakouts devoted to that topic. This year I had the great honor of presenting on the results of that work so far, including the adoption of Advance CTE’s Statement on Equity in CTE, as well as the release of three publications under the Making Good on the Promise series.

I then moderated a panel of national experts on equity topics to reflect on how we can continue to tackle this work as a community of state and national leaders. The panelists were: Kisha Bird, Director of Youth Policy, CLASP; Nina Salomon, Deputy Program Director, Council on State Governments Justice Center; and Johan Uvin, President, Institute for Educational Leadership. The panelists discussed using data to ensure equitable resource distribution, developing partnerships across agencies and states to further equity efforts, and how state agencies can increase diversity within their own hiring practices. States have numerous opportunities under Perkins V to advance equity for each learner using CTE, but they will require bold action and some tough conversations. I am excited to continue to support our members in this work.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

Drawing on the content of the Making Good on the Promise briefs, Advance CTE hosted a series of equity breakouts during the 2019 Spring Meeting. These equity breakouts challenged state leaders to think about how they can examine and use data to define the equity problem in their respective states; build trust with historically marginalized communities; ensure access to CTE opportunities for each learner; design a supportive environment for each learner; and deliver equitable outcomes for learners.

I was one of the facilitators for the equity breakout that focused on building trust with historically marginalized communities. I was struck by how open and honest state leaders were about equity gaps in their respective states and their commitment to closing those gaps. Participants in the session discussed how to engage historically marginalized communities and message high-quality CTE to appeal to various populations. As state leaders continue to work towards closing equity gaps, I’m excited to see how they will be bold in their approaches.

Brianna McCain, State Policy Associate

A Conversation with CTE Champions in Congress

At last year’s Spring Meeting, I moderated a discussion about the prospects and plans for the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 and while I remained optimistic, it was unclear if the law would be reauthorized in the 115th Congress. Fast forward one year and the reauthorization – the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) – has been on the books for more than eight months! However, we certainly wouldn’t be in this position without the leadership of the law’s co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA). Advance CTE was thrilled to have these two dedicated CTE champions join us at this year’s Spring Meeting and I was honored to have the privilege of moderating the conversation.

During this session, the Congressmen discussed why they got involved in the reauthorization. Representative Thompson (R-PA) shared how CTE “is a significant rung on the ladder of opportunity,” while Representative Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) discussed how CTE plays a role in restoring America’s middle class and connecting to postsecondary education, as he pointed out that, “Even if a four-year degree isn’t in everyone’s plans, a quality postsecondary education has to be.” Both Congressmen are looking forward to the implementation of the law and emphasized the importance of engaging the many stakeholders that CTE has and the opportunity to coordinate and collaborate with business and industry leaders. When asked about how the federal investment in CTE has made a difference in their districts, Representative Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) described an automotive technology program in his district that enrolled nearly the same number of male and female learners and how the program was making in a difference in his community and Representative Thompson (R-PA) told a story about how a CTE program in Pennsylvania was transformational in the life of a learner with a disability. The bipartisan agreement about the value and promise of CTE was clear – Representatives Thompson (R-PA) and Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) have visited each other’s districts and enjoyed sharing about their joint appearances and interviews. It’s not a surprise as to why – the energy and excitement they have for CTE is sure to inspire any audience, let alone a room full of CTE leaders at our Spring Meeting!

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

 

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