Registration Now Open for 2017 Spring Meeting

January 17th, 2017

Registration for the 2017 Advance CTE Spring Meeting is now open! We hope you will join us May 2-4, 2017, in Washington, DC, to explore the major issues impacting and influencing Career Technical Education (CTE) today.

The annual Advance CTE Spring Meeting draws CTE leaders from nearly every state. This year, you can expect to:

  • Network with your peers from across the country and share best practices
  • Celebrate the one-year anniversary of Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE
  • Engage national experts about the prospects for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Higher Education Act
  • Learn about how other states are implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Act to advance high-quality CTE
  • Honor high-quality CTE programs of study during our annual Excellence in Action Awards ceremony

Early bird rates end on February 28.  Not yet a member of Advance CTE? Join today and enjoy even greater savings on your meeting registration!

Register today!

Welcome to Lynne Gilli, Maryland’s New State CTE Director!

January 10th, 2017

In 1972, Lynne Gilli was a high school senior, an honors student and on track to attend university the following year. But when she requested to take cosmetology classes at her district’s career center, her high school counselor was shocked and actively discouraged the idea.

Because all of her graduation requirements were met, Gilli defied the counselor and took the cosmetology classes, hoping that she could use those skills to help pay her way through college.

Though few may have predicted the impact of that decision, it ultimately led Gilli to being named the Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Career and College Readiness by the Maryland State Board of Education in October 2016.

Gilli is no stranger to the state’s office for Career Technical Education (CTE) – or career and technology education as it is known in Maryland. In fact, she landed her first job there in 1982 after receiving her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Over 34 years, she has worked in various positions in the state CTE office, including coordinating two Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs), managing  CTE state planning and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reporting, and then leading the office’s CTE instructional branch.

“This is a great learning organization,” Gilli said. “I’ve learned a lot from working here.”

During more than three decades as a state CTE leader, Gilli has seen CTE evolve from the narrowly focused, terminal vocational education. Today, CTE students are expected to have the same academic preparation, and now have greater opportunities to explore high-skill, high-wage professional career fields such as engineering, bio-medical studies and computer science. The “new” CTE enables students to earn early college credit and industry-recognized credentials before leaving high school.

“It’s exploded into a much more appealing way to learn. Students aren’t just memorizing procedures anymore. They’re working in teams, learning to communicate and making presentations,” Gilli said. “Through participation in CTSOs – these students are at the top of their game and earning national recognition for their skills.”

Under her leadership, Gilli plans to expand students’ access to high-quality CTE programs of study at secondary and postsecondary levels to better prepare graduates for lifelong learning and success.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate for Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Join us for two webinars in January!

January 4th, 2017

As interest in Career Technical Education (CTE) continues to increase, the need for experts qualified to help ensure students gain the real-world experiences they need for success increases as well. Individuals with industry expertise provide a perspective to students that traditional academic teachers may be unable to do, and can also help students explore and connect with particular career opportunities. Unfortunately, there is currently a national shortage of these experts working in schools.Advance CTE, in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research, carried out two surveys: one of 47 State CTE Directors and one of 260 local CTE teachers and administrators from 26 states. This research informed the findings and recommendations in Advance CTE’s newest report, The State of Career Technical Education: Increasing Access to Industry Experts in High Schools.

Join us for a webinar to discuss the findings from the report, and to hear from the Nebraska State CTE Director, Rich Katt, about his state’s strategies and experiences with this issue.

 

SP_CTE2016State Policies Impacting CTE: 2016 Year in Review 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
2-3 p.m. ET
It’s that time of year again! The annual State Policies Impacting CTE Year in Review report, a joint publication between Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), will be released at the end of January. Now in its fourth year, the report highlights state legislation, board rules and executive actions impacting CTE across the states. Join us for a webinar to unpack notable policies, discuss trends, and hear more about new state policies in Idaho from Idaho State CTE Director Dwight Johnson.
Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications

Happy Holidays from Advance CTE!

December 22nd, 2016
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Happy Holidays from all of us here at Advance CTE! As we reflect on this incredible year, we want to say a thank you for your dedication to Advance CTE, and unwavering commitment to providing high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) to learners across the country.
It’s been a transformational year for Advance CTE, and we invite you to share in some of our successes and highlights.
We released Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE, establishing a bold vision for all of education, and calling for a systemic transformation of the education system. 11 partners have joined this shared vision, 36 states have signed onto the Putting Learner Success First sign on campaign, and Advance CTE has shared over 28,000 copies of the vision.
Advance CTE underwent an organizational rebrand to better reflect our membership and reaffirm our core values. With support from the Advance CTE Board of Directors and Membership, we created a brand that reflects our commitment to supporting all the state leaders who are committed to advancing high-quality CTE across the country.
In January 2016, JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched New Skills for Youth, a $75 million, five-year initiative, aimed at strengthening career-focused education.
As part of this initiative, JPMorgan Chase, Advance CTE, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Education Strategy Group have partnered on a multi-year state competition to increase the number of students in the U.S. who successfully complete career pathways and catalyze approaches to the design and implementation of programs and policies to increase students’ career readiness. This year, 24 states and Washington, D.C. received planning and implementation grants to jump start this work.
We launched the Learning that Works Resource Center, a curated database of research, reports, tools, guides and policies focused on CTE and career-readiness. The Resource Center has been visited over 36,000 times, and continues to be updated with new resources and information regularly. Check out the most popular resource in the Resource Center here.
We celebrated our Excellence in Action award recipients, awarded to 11 programs across as many Career Clusters in nine states.

To dig deep on topics ranging from federal policy to industry recognized credentials, we released 10 reports or briefs and published 141 blog posts.
Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

114th Congressional Wrap-Up and Perkins Outlook

December 13th, 2016

United States CapitalFollowing the November elections, lawmakers have been on Capitol Hill for the final phase of the 114th Congress. This lame duck session was formally scheduled to come to an end this upcoming Friday, but the last-minute passage of a continuing resolution (CR) last week allowed lawmakers to adjourn the 114th Congress a week early after the bill cleared the Senate.

With policymakers digesting the results of the elections and planning ahead for 2017, there were not too many education or workforce-related highlights from this final session of Congress to speak of. The dearth of legislative activity did make room for the composition of the respective House (HEW) and Senate (HELP) education committees to become clearer.

In the Senate, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will retain his leadership role of the HELP Committee. Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) will also keep her slot going into next year. This year this duo, along with Senators Enzi (R-WY) and Casey (D-PA), came close to passing a comprehensive reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Act, but unfortunately these efforts stalled as the year wore on. The root cause of this delay were continued disagreements related to the oversight authority of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

With the retirement of Chairman John Kline (R-MN), the House education committee recently named a new Chairwoman—Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)— to lead HEW in the 115th Congress. Rep. Foxx recently won her seventh term in Congress, and has been the Chairwoman for HEW’s subcommittee on higher education since 2010. Prior to her tenure in Congress, she was a professor and administrator at several postsecondary institutions in North Carolina. On the Democratic side of the aisle Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) will retain his leadership position on the committee.

Earlier this year the full House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 5587—comprehensive legislation that would reauthorize the Perkins Act. While there were some remaining items that needed to be addressed as the bill made its way over to the Senate (primarily a fix for the proposed definition for a secondary CTE concentrator), Advance CTE endorsed and supported this legislation’s passage. Unfortunately due to the reasons cited above, the bill lost momentum when it arrived in the Senate.

As we look ahead to the next Congress, lawmakers in both chambers have expressed interest in taking up Perkins reauthorization. However, a specific timeline for the law’s consideration is still unclear and it will be competing with other education priorities such as a renewal of the Higher Education Act (HEA). In the coming year, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for a thoughtful reauthorization process for Perkins in this new environment and will urge lawmakers to build upon the strong foundation laid with H.R. 5587 to support high-quality CTE for years to come.

Be sure to check back here for an in-depth look at what else is in store in the 115th Congress in coming week.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

Congress Averts Government Shutdown with Stopgap Funding Legislation

December 12th, 2016

United States CapitalOn Friday the House and Senate successfully passed a second “continuing resolution” (CR)— short-term stopgap funding legislation that temporarily extends current Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 spending levels through April 28th, 2017. The legislation provides funding for the federal government until this date or until a separate full-year appropriations bill is enacted into law. The current 2016 fiscal year began this past October and the federal government has been operating under the auspices of an earlier CR passed by Congress just before this deadline.

While it had seemed likely that Congress would pass comprehensive spending legislation for the full fiscal year during the current lame duck session of Congress, as they have several times in years past, incoming President-Elect Donald Trump requested that these critical funding decisions be further delayed until next spring.

This decision leaves the outlook for funding for important federal programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Act, uncertain in the interim. This year’s earlier CR required a 0.496 percent across-the-board cut to all discretionary federal programs, including the Perkins Act’s basic state grant program. Due to the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) sequester caps, which significantly restrict the amount of funding available for programs like Perkins each year through the next decade, this reduction translated into $5.5 million in fewer funding for Perkins, students, and the CTE programs the law supports.

At that time, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) revised states’ Perkins allocations in October and 30 states received reduced grants amounts due to the passage of this temporary legislation.

This most recent CR re-adjusts this half percent reduction somewhat to 0.19 percent to stay within the BCA caps. However, USDE is not likely to reimburse states for the difference between these two spending cuts until a full-year spending bill is successfully enacted.

The ongoing uncertainty caused by the current series of stopgap funding measures from Congress is already creating uncertainty for states and local school districts who need to prepare budgets for the upcoming academic year. Moreover, the budget process for the next federal fiscal year (2018) will begin in late winter of 2017 further complicating matters as efforts to fund federal programs like Perkins increasingly overlap.

Advance CTE encourages the CTE community to let their members of Congress know how important it is to restore cuts to Perkins in the coming months and pass comprehensive legislation that replaces these counterproductive CRs moving forward. To do so click here. Be sure to check back as the outlook for Perkins funding continues to evolve.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

This Week in CTE

December 9th, 2016

 

 

EXCELLENCE IN ACTION AWARD APPLICATIONS DUE NEXT WEEK!

The 2017 Excellence in Action award applications are due next week! Be sure to submit your program of study by Wednesday to lift up the innovative and exciting ways you’re providing students with high-quality CTE. Apply today!

CTE MONTH IS AROUND THE CORNER!

CTE Month is right around the corner and we’re getting geared up to celebrate around the theme, “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!” This is our community’s chance to showcase the vast importance of CTE, and celebrate the successes of our state leaders, educators, administrators, partners, and students. This year, the Association for Career and Technical Education is hosting a Thunderclap, which will amplify the importance of CTE Month on social media. Be sure to join your fellow CTE advocates here!

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

States Continue to Make Progress on ESSA Implementation

December 6th, 2016

Last week we provided an update on new federal regulations clarifying the implementation timeline and requirements for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Of note was the decision to delay the submission deadline for state plans to afford state agencies more time to meaningfully engage and gather input from stakeholders. This has been a priority activity for many states over the past several months. As state agencies have worked to draft and finalize their ESSA plans, many have made use of surveys, focus groups and listening tours to gather feedback from students, parents, educators and other relevant stakeholders.

To date, draft ESSA state plans are available for public comment in 10 states (though several others have released draft components): Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Washington. At this point, several states have proposed strategies to leverage ESSA’s accountability requirements to encourage and expand quality career pathways through a College and Career Readiness indicator (CCR). California is a notable example, having adopted a such a system in September, though other states are considering this as well.

Based on feedback from stakeholders, Delaware proposed a “College and Career Preparation” indicator that includes the percent of students demonstrating postsecondary preparation through CTE pathway completion, dual enrollment, and other academic indicators such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and SAT exam scores. Additionally, Oklahoma’s state plan proposes using industry credential attainment, along with AP/IB, as one measure of student access to postsecondary opportunity. And in South Carolina, the Department of Education designed its ESSA plan around a 90 percent college and and career readiness goal for graduating students by 2030. As an interim measure of progress towards this goal, the plan proposes adopting a “Prepared for Success” indicator that measures high school students’ scores on WorkKeys assessments, participation in Youth Apprenticeships, completion of state-approved CTE pathways and industry credential attainment. This list is by no means exhaustive, but nonetheless provides a snapshot of how some states are approaching this opportunity.

Other states have found opportunities to prioritize career readiness strategies throughout the ESSA planning process. For example:TN ESSA

  • In response to its cross-state listening tour, Tennessee released an update on its ESSA plan development, reporting that one of the priority themes from the listening tour was creating a bridge to postsecondary. As such, Tennessee aims to leverage its ESSA planning to encourage and expand access to early postsecondary opportunities, including industry credentials and postsecondary credit attainment.
  • In compliance with ESSA’s requirement of challenging state standards and assessments, the Montana State Board of Education in November approved an updated standards review schedule to ensure that standards in specific program areas are regularly reviewed and revised. The first cycle of review, beginning in 2016, will examine standards for CTE, Digital Literacy, and Computer Science.
  • Washington State’s plan proposes utilizing the state’s High School and Beyond Plan as a strategy to support student learning and achievement. Students develop their High School and Beyond Plans in middle school with support from family members and school based counselors. The Plan identifies the student’s interests and abilities and defines a plan that is linked to his or her career goals.

With ESSA state plans due to be submitted in 2017, many states have yet to formalize their strategies under the new K-12 education law. Advance CTE  will monitor state plans and proposals as they are released to share emerging strategies and opportunities to leverage the law to advance career readiness and CTE as ESSA continues to be implemented over the coming years.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

Betsy DeVos Nominated to Head U.S. Department of Education

November 30th, 2016

B99468301Z.1_20161123141018_000_GOR18773B.1-0President-Elect Donald Trump has been busy the past few weeks identifying individuals to fill key cabinet-level positions in his new administration. Just before Thanksgiving Day Trump announced that Betsy DeVos would be his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Her nomination will need to be considered by the Senate Education Committee (HELP) next year and is subject to confirmation by the full chamber.

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who heads the Senate HELP Committee, applauded DeVos’ nomination saying, “Betsy DeVos is an excellent choice. The Senate’s education committee will move swiftly in January to consider her nomination.” The chairman also noted that he looked forward to working with her on the ongoing implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and on the forthcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the next Congress. While much is known about DeVos’ positions on secondary education, particularly her steadfast support charter school policies and school choice, her views on many postsecondary issues remain somewhat less understood at this time.

Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the lead Democrat on the Senate HELP Committee, issued a more measured statement regarding the nomination saying, in part, “I look forward to meeting with Betsy DeVos and talking to her about her vision for the Department of Education and whether and how it includes expanding access to educational opportunities for students across the country.”

Mrs. DeVos is best known for her political advocacy in the state of Michigan promoting pro-charter school policies. She also is the Chairwoman for the American Federation for Children—an advocacy organization focused on promoting school choice policies at the federal, state, and local level among other endeavors.

DeVos and her husband Dick are also ardent financial supporters of the Republican Party, particularly in their home state of Michigan where Dick ran an unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Through this work, the couple has been extremely successful in enacting pro-school choice policies in the state of Michigan to promote charter schools via voucher programs and tax credits among other policy prescriptions. Mrs. DeVos’ husband also founded and runs the West Michigan Aviation Academy— a theme-based charter school in Grand Rapids, MI focused on the aviation and engineering fields.

While Mrs. DeVos’ views on CTE are unknown, her upcoming nomination process in the 115th Congress will shed more light on this critical topic and more. With Senators Murray and Alexander set to lead the HELP Committee next year for their respective parties, and further changes to the committee composition likely, Advance CTE will continue to monitor and engage with this process to ensure CTE and related federal legislation are prioritized by the incoming USDE leadership team.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

Two weeks left to apply to the 2017 Excellence in Action Award!

November 29th, 2016

Submit your program of study for this nation-wide award that recognizes innovative and exemplary programs across the 16 Career Clusters. In its fourth year, the Excellence in Action award has recognized 26 programs of study from across the country representing the best of  Career Technical Education (CTE). Join this cohort and submit your application to the Excellence in Action award by December 14. Iowa

Why Should You Apply?

Receiving the Excellence in Action award means your program of study will be showcased on a national level through conferences, webinars, in the media, on our website and in our blog. It’s a chance to show the rest of the country how your program of study prepares students for successful and meaningful careers through high-quality CTE. If you want to see examples of some stellar programs of study, take a look at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 winners.

For questions about the application, or application process, email awards@careertech.org or call 301-588-9630.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

 

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