BROUGHT TO YOU BY
National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Spring Meeting Recap: A View from the Hill: Reauthorization

April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting to share information on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and other important Career Technical Education (CTE) issues. With Perkins becoming eligible for reauthorization this summer, representatives from key Congressional committees shared their thoughts on CTE and possible timing for reauthorization.

Crystal Bridgeman, a Senior Education Policy Advisor on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, discussed the importance of improving the quality and accessibility of CTE, aligning the programs with labor market demands, and creating stronger performance accountability measures. While she emphasized the value of Perkins and CTE, Bridgeman suspects that reauthorization for expired legislation, such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), will occur before Perkins reauthorization.

Rosemary Lahasky, a professional staff member with the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Education and the Workforce, also highlighted the importance of CTE. She stressed that the focus for Perkins in the House will be on providing more flexibility for states and locals. While Lahasky also anticipates that Perkins reauthorization will fall behind legislation such as ESEA, she expects for Perkins hearings to begin at some point this year.

Please visit the NASDCTEc blog for the most current news and information on Perkins reauthorization and CTE legislation and policy issues.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Spring Meeting Recap: Two Minute Roundup Panel

April 19th, 2013

This year, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) surveyed Career Technical Education (CTE) State Directors to learn more about CTE-related challenges and successes experienced in their states over the last year. Responses from each state were compiled into a “Two Minute Roundup” document. This resource is intended to spur conversation and connectivity between states that may experience similar accomplishments or difficulties.

Earlier this week at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, a Two Minute Round Up panel featured CTE leaders who delved further into their respective state’s successes and challenges.

Meg Harvey, CTE State Director at the Maine Department of Education, described several CTE initiatives in Maine including the launch of a five year associate degree pilot program. View Meg’s powerpoint presentation here.

Kathy D’Antoni, Assistant State Superintendent of Schools at the West Virginia Department of Education, highlighted her state’s work on simulated workplaces. She also presented a new online resource called “in|site.” The website provides hundreds of resources, many that align with West Virginia’s academic and CTE standards, to help better prepare students for postsecondary education and careers. Kathy’s presentation is available here.

Rita Johnson, Senior Director for Workforce Innovation at the Kansas Board of Regents, discussed the Kansas state legislature’s plan to enhance the CTE system by providing free college tuition to students for all technical courses in approved programs at various institutions in the state. An overview document of Kansas’ work is available here. Rita has also provided several video clips that promote CTE programs in the state in areas such as welding, nursing, and information technology.

Visit our Spring Meeting Resources webpage to view additional resources.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager 

State-Driven Group Releases Next Generation Science Standards

April 11th, 2013

A consortium of states released this week the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a final set of internationally-benchmarked science standards that identify practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be college and career ready.

Teams from 26 states worked for 2 years with a writing team to develop the NGSS. The state-driven process was managed by Achieve and was primarily funded by the Carnegie Corporation.

The NGSS are based on a Framework for K-12 Science Education published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011. Rather than focusing solely on practice, the standards also bring a stronger focus to science content and a greater emphasis to critical thinking. The NGSS are research-based and take into account research on how students learn science most effectively – striving for a more holistic, investigative approach to science.

Susan Codere, a project coordinator for NGSS in Michigan, emphasized the importance of preparing students to be both college ready and career ready. Codere said of the NGSS, “Our conversation about education always includes workforce training. Whenever we adopt a new set of standards we make sure to promote the opportunities the standards afford, not just in terms of college readiness, but in terms of workforce readiness. That’s particularly relevant with the NGSS.”

The NGSS can be viewed here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

CLASP Releases Federal Funding Toolkit for Career Pathways Initiatives

April 4th, 2013

CLASP, an organization aiming to improve the lives of low-income individuals, has recently released a comprehensive resource to help state teams identify and use federal resources to support career pathways models.

The Federal Funding Toolkit is comprised of four parts:

Introduction: This introductory document describes the importance of career pathways, defines the term, and explains the relevance of the toolkit.

Using the Toolkit: This document describes who should use the toolkit, how to use it, and an overview of 10 federal programs that could potentially support career pathways.

Funding Options Worksheet: These customizable worksheets list sample tasks to design, implement, and sustain career pathways.

Summary of Federal Programs: Each summary identifies federal programs that relate to career pathways and can be used to support these initiatives. The summaries include information on: type of program, eligibility requirements, type of services or support provided, and an analysis of how the program can support career pathways. Federal program summaries with relevance to Career Technical Education (CTE) include:

View the entire toolkit here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Gordon Commission Report Lays Out 10-Year Vision for Assessment

March 12th, 2013

Following two years of study, the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education released a set of recommendations calling for a more balanced approach to testing in the United States.

“The primary purpose of assessment ought to be to inform and improve teaching and learning,” said Dr. Edmund Gordon, chairman of the commission and emeritus professor at Yale University and Teachers College, Columbia University.

The report also emphasizes the need for more research in the field, particularly around the role of technology in changing what is assessed, how it is assessed and how to make results more useful for teachers and students.

The report includes three recommendations for policymakers:

  • States should create a permanent Council on Educational Assessments modeled after the Education Commission of the States.
  • President Obama and Congress should use the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and other federal laws to promote new ideas about assessment.
  • The U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in collaboration with the philanthropic community, non-profit, for-profit sector, professional teacher organizations and universities should commit to a 10-year research and development effort to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s assessment enterprise.

The 30-member Gordon Commission includes scholars, policymakers and practitioners.

Read the full report here.

Report: State Policy Approaches for Incentivizing CTE

February 28th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) has become a top priority in education policy – receiving recognition from governors and members of Congress – because of its relevance to local, state, and national economies.

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), a group that facilitates the exchange of information among state policymakers and education leaders, released this month an issue brief describing how states are depending on CTE to address many issues – such as the skills gap and alignment of education with labor market needs – and what states are doing to incentivize the use of CTE. Some incentives include:

  • “Carrot” policies to encourage high school students to earn CTE credentials or to perform well on WorkKeys
  • “Stick” policies for schools and districts to ensure that CTE students are progressing toward career readiness
  • Development of supports for students at risk of falling short of career readiness

The report also draws attention to the integration of academic and technical courses and content through the Common Core State Standards and the reframing of dual enrollment programs to include CTE.

View the ECS issue brief here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Releases New Papers

February 22nd, 2013

The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a state-led initiative organized by the Center for Law and Social Policy, has released two working papers to help identify criteria that define high-quality career pathways and to create shared performance measures.

In the first paper, The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways, a conceptual model is provided of career pathway state and local/regional systems and career pathways programs. The paper defines important terms, provides examples, and describes the Alliance’s approach to creating a framework for quality criteria and performance metrics.

The second paper, A Framework for Measuring Career Pathways Innovation, presents a framework for measurement and looks at key considerations when developing career pathway metrics including:

  • Level of measurement
  • Use of metrics
  • Scope of each measure

The working papers are part of a greater initiative to  identify benchmarks of high-quality career pathways and the most relevant metrics for measuring their success.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New Report Highlights State Sector Strategies

January 18th, 2013

Sector strategies effectively unite employers from a given industry with other stakeholders – including government, education, training, economic development, labor, and community organizations – to identify and address the regional workforce needs of that industry. Career Technical Education (CTE), which inherently connects education and training with industry needs, is key to the success of sector strategies.

A new report from the National Skills Coalition, the National Governors Association, and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, lays out a snapshot of states’ sector strategies today and actions that policymakers and state leaders can take to create and support sector strategies.

Reviews of the sector strategies show statistical support that this workforce training model improves participants’ employment opportunities and increases their wages. Sector strategies also address the skills gap by focusing resources on industries that align with job providers in the region, encouraging relationships between workforce programs and industry, and increasing alignment of state programs and resources.

More than half of states are considering or implementing sector strategies, and over one thousand sector partnerships across the country are already in place. For state leaders interested in creating or expanding sector strategies in their state, the report also provides suggestions on how to do so despite the current fiscal environment.

The full report can be accessed here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

ED Releases New Provisional High School Graduation Rates

November 29th, 2012

For the first time since all states have adopted a common, rigorous measure for four-year high school graduation rates, the U.S. Department of Education has released preliminary data on how states measured up for the 2010-2011 school year.

The graduation rates and data notes are available on the Department’s website.

Using the new measure, 26 states reported lower graduation rates and 24 states reported unchanged or increased rates for the 2010-2011 school year. However, the new graduation rates are not comparable to those of previous years since a new formula was used.

The top ranking states were:

  • Iowa: 88 percent
  • Vermont and Wisconsin: 87 percent
  • Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas: 86 percent

The lowest ranking states were:

  • New Mexico: 63 percent
  • Nevada: 62 percent
  • District of Columbia: 59 percent

The new graduation rates show state leaders’ willingness to create more uniformity and transparency in reporting these data. Additional information can be found at ED Data Express.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

November CTE Monthly: Sequestration Could Impact Over One Million CTE Students; Career Readiness Definition Released

November 20th, 2012

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the November edition, read more about:

  • Possible Impact of Sequestration on CTE Students
  • Career Readiness Partner Council Releases Definition of Career Readiness
  • Case Studies of Successful Business-Education Partnerships

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

Series

Archives

1