This Week in CTE

June 24th, 2016

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE staff was spread across the country this week with two staff members attending the exciting SkillsUSA competition in Kentucky bringing together thousands of students from across the country to compete.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

This week, Advance CTE launched the Learning that Works Resource Center where you can find all the latest reports, case studies, tools, guides and policies on CTE and career readiness. Be sure to check out the new Resource Center and let us know if you have any materials that should be included! The Resource Center was developed as part of the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership between Advance CTE, CCSSO and Education Strategy Group, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

INFOGRAPHIC OF THE WEEK

WDQC’s new infographic highlights examples of state legislation that requires colleges and universities to report on employment and earnings of program graduates.

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Transportation: A natural vehicle for integrated STEM learning will explore STEM learning in programs using a transportation lens through informal educational settings and will build off of the findings from the 2015 National Research Council’s report on productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Check out the new Learning that Works Resource Center!

June 21st, 2016

resource centerAdvance CTE is excited to announce the launch of the Learning that Works Resource Center! This directory is your destination for high-quality materials focused on Career Technical Education (CTE) and career readiness. In this Resource Center, you’ll find the reports, guides, tools and analyses of state policies you need to support the development and implementation of high-quality CTE and career readiness programs and policies across and within states.

The Resource Center was developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Tools and case studies developed by the partners and other organizations will be added to the Resource Center regularly.

The Resource Center lets your search in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in a specific issue, like data and accountability, you can find all relevant materials sorted topically. If you’re looking for resources to help you roll up your sleeves and focus on implementation, check out the guides and tools.  You can also find tools created specifically for New Skills for Youth. Finally, the Resource Center can help you learn about some promising policies from across the country, like Tennessee’s recent standards revision process.

The materials in the Resource Center have been carefully curated by Advance CTE staff to ensure that remains high quality and useful for you. For a resource to be included, it must:

Learn more about the Resource Center. Have a resource that should be included? Submit it here.

 

This Week in CTE: Op-ed by Kimberly Green

June 3rd, 2016

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Our Executive Director, Kimberly Green, featured an op-ed in Real Clear Education this week calling for a transformation of the education system utilizing CTE as a major strategy.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

One of our 2015 Excellence in Action award recipients were featured in Education Week!

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Association for Career and Technical Education released a fact sheet on how the Every Student Succeeds Act supports Academies and CTE content in the classroom.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Spring Meeting Staff Reflections Part 1

May 31st, 2016

This time last week we were in the midst of our 2016 Advance CTE Spring Meeting which brought over 150 participants from across the country together to dive into all things CTE. From unveiling our new vision to diving into the federal policy landscape, staff takes a look back at what they found most valuable at this year’s meeting in this two-part series. 

Kimberly Green, Executive Director: Each year, Advance CTE hosts an annual awards ceremony that recognizes two categories of winners. The Stars of Education acknowledges leadership in our own community and those in Congress who fight the good fight on behalf of CTE.  This year, Dr. Charisse Childers, State Director in Arkansas won the Rising Star award and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) won the Star of Education award. We also recognize high-quality programs of study through our Excellence in Action Awards. The selection committee has over 100 applications from 30 states to review and selected 11 winners, each in a different Career Cluster.

I had the honor to emcee this year’s awards ceremony and truth be told I had to hold back tears as some of the winners made their remarks. Their commitment, leadership, inspiration and dedication results in changing the lives of thousands of students each year.  And this array of winners is proof that high-quality CTE can be successful in any and every community in our country.

What is common across all the winners is that they all have leaders who have an unrelenting commitment to quality, create cultures of high expectations, see obstacles as opportunities and put the learner first. My hope is by sharing and celebrating these winners, we both shine a light on their accomplishment but also position them as a beacon for others to benchmark against and learn from.

So to our winners, I say thank you. Thank you for reminding us that high expectations bring about excellence.  Thank you for proving that excellence can be found in any zip code and reminding us that high quality programs for all students – ALL students – is an achievable goal. Thank you for reminding us why we do this work but mostly thank you for what you do every day to help students find their voice, their path and their success.

Kate Blosveren Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director: For me, the release of our new vision was the absolute highlight of the Spring Meeting and, in particular, seeing all of our members and partners sign their commitment to this new vision. After over a year of planning – from the early design phase, the Future of CTE Summit hosted with our eight co-conveners, and the work to synthesize the many (many) awesome and innovative ideas to come out of that Summit – seeing the new shared vision in the hands of our members, Putting Learner Success First, was an amazing experience. From the presentation by Advance CTE officers, the panels of our vision supporters and feisty reformers and the Enacting the Vision roundtable, Monday demonstrated how impactful this vision can and will be within and beyond the CTE community and I can’t wait to start putting it into action!

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager: Along with the roll-out of Advance CTE’s new vision, federal policy was top of mind for many at our Spring Meeting. While we heard much about the forthcoming effort to renew the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins) towards the end of our conference, Perkins was a recurring theme throughout many of the conference sessions during the week.

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) also took center stage with both bills providing unique opportunities (as well as some challenges) for the CTE community in the coming years. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) also provided some timely updates for attendees on some national initiatives of interest.

All in all, it was a great week for Advance CTE members and attendees alike to hear from leading experts, Congressional staff, and other stakeholders about what the federal policy environment has in store for CTE.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Putting Learner Success First

May 9th, 2016

 

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Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE, establishes a bold vision for all of education, using CTE as an essential strategy. The vision calls for a systemic transformation of the education system, and identifies CTE strengths and role in this transformation. It challenges our community to continue on the path of fierce dedication to quality and equity, while providing the leadership necessary to continue to re-examine, grow and transform CTE into a system that truly prepares all students for a lifetime of success. This vision for CTE is supported by Advance CTE and seven organizations including: Association for Career and Technical Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, National Skills Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

This vision is the result a convening held in fall of 2015 that brought together leaders from the local to national levels to help map the current landscape of CTE, and think strategically about a path forward for the field. Advance CTE and co-conveners gathered ideas and recommendations to create a Putting Learner Success First, which offers the following recommendations:

  • All CTE programs are held to the highest standards of excellence
  • All learners are empowered to choose a meaningful education and career
  • All learning is personalized and flexible
  • All learning is facilitated by knowledgeable experts
  • All systems work together to put learner success first

Learn more about Putting Learner Success First in our press release, and read the full document here. Be sure to check out blogs from two of our supporting organizations, Association for Career and Technical Education and National Skills Coalition.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

How States are Making Career Readiness Count: A 2016 Update

May 3rd, 2016

In May 2014, Achieve and Advance CTE (as NASDCTEc) released Making Career Readiness Count, the first analysis of the ccrcoveruse of career-focused indicators in states’ reporting and accountability systems to increase understanding and catalyze action through guidance and recommendations for states to take steps to ensure that the “career” in their CCR accountability and public reporting system is not an afterthought but rather a powerful lever for success.

This report was timely and influential, cited in the Career Ready Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Kaine, which then became an amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as well as the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Career Readiness Task Force report, Options and Opportunities: Making Career Preparation Work for Students, which was endorsed by 41 states.

Since the original release of Making Career Readiness Count, two significant events have occurred that are pushing states to take a closer look at their accountability systems to better capture a broader range of college and career readiness outcomes for students: the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now known as ESSA) and the launch of the New Skills for Youth initiative, a competitive grant program, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co, which requires participating states to transform their systems – including state accountability systems –to support high-quality career-focused education for all students.

It is within this environment that Achieve and Advance CTE have partnered again to release How States are Making Career Readiness Count: A 2016 Update. This new report provides state-by-state information on how and which career-ready indicators states are including in their reporting and accountability systems, and highlights promising practices in several states at the forefront of this work. It also raises some important areas for consideration as states begin or refine their focus on career readiness.

Findings in Brief

  • Thirty-four states publicly report and/or include career-focused indicators in their accountability systems, an increase from the 29 states reported in 2014
  • Thirty-two states currently publicly report on at least one indicator of career readiness for high school students, the majority of which report on dual enrollment participation or success or postsecondary enrollment.
  • Twenty states, include some measure of career readiness in their accountability formulas or as bonus points, with dual enrollment participation or success and industry-recognized credentials the most common indicators.
  • Over half of states with career-ready indicators in their accountability systems utilize “meta-indicators” or composite measure of college and career readiness or career readiness that may include components such as AP, IB, or dual enrollment. As a result, it can be very difficult to ascertain how much weight or value career-ready indicators have within states’ accountability systems.

Read How States are Making Career Readiness Count: A 2016 Update and read Making Career Readiness Count for critical background information.

Kate Blosveren, Deputy Executive Director

This Week in CTE

April 1st, 2016

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE(S) OF THE WEEK

This week, Advance CTE, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CCSSO announced the 25 recipients of phase one of the New Skills for Youth grants. Twenty-four states and Washington, D.C. will receive $100,000 six month grants to develop career readiness action plans. In addition to a national press release, many states distributed press releases or were covered in articles including: Oklahoma, Delaware, Montana, South Carolina, Illinois, Utah, Massachusetts and Kentucky.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The Institute for Education Sciences released a variety of new grantee areas in education research, including CTE. Research should address policies, programs and practices that increase career readiness in secondary education students.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Sheila Ruhland, Institutional Leader and Board of Directors Representative, Applauds Advance CTE

February 18th, 2016

As President of Tacoma Community College, someone who has held a number of positions at various community and technical colleges and a graduate of Madison Area Technical College (Madison College) myself, I am a strong believer in the importance of high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) as an essential component of a student’s education.

Having dedicated my professional life to supporting CTE students and programs, it has been so exciting to see CTE in the well-deserved spotlight. The future of CTE is very bright, with employers investing their time, money and resources; Congress and the Administration supporting such efforts like apprenticeships, community colleges and career readiness; and increasing demand from students, parents, educators and employers for an education system that truly prepares one for a long and fulfilling career.

Speaking as both an institutional leader and as the Board of Directors representative for all Advance CTE associate members, I believe this is the perfect time for the organization to undertake a rebrand, particularly one that better highlights the many voices it takes to deliver high-quality CTE. The Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work brand clearly articulates the many state leaders who are necessary to build the partnerships and programs that are key to workforce and economic growth in our communities.

Advance CTE has engaged the organization’s leadership and members every step of the way through this process, evident by a brand that perfectly represents the breadth and depth of their work, mission and members. It has been an exciting journey and I am looking forward to continue my life’s work to ‘advance CTE.’

Sheila K. Ruhland, Ph.D. President, Tacoma Community College

Announcing our new name, Advance CTE!

February 16th, 2016

Print

We are thrilled to announce the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium has launched the new name, Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work.

Advance CTE, the sole organization dedicated to representing state leaders of Career Technical Education (CTE) for nearly 100 years, will continue the tradition of serving as the voice for our state CTE leaders, as well as carrying out our overall vision of an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals and the U.S. economy for success under this new brand.

Thank you for your continued work in CTE and support of our organization. We hope you enjoy the new name and look.

Vision & Mission
Our name may be different, but our Mission and Vision remain the same. Our current name and tagline strongly reflect our:

Vision: Through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, we support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers and poises the united states to flourish in a global, dynamic economy.

Mission: Support visionary state leadership, cultivate best practices and speak with a collective voice on national policy to promote academic and technical excellence that ensures a career-ready workforce.

What’s Changed?
While our logo and name have changed, the majority of our resources, our membership structure, our Board structure and staff all remain the same. We have revamped and retooled a few sections on our website including the CTE: Learning that works for America section to make information more easily accessible and up-to-date.

Learn More
We’ve developed a variety of resources to further explain what the new brand means and how it will impact the organization. You can find more information on our updated About Us page, FAQ and Press Release, and, please reach out with any questions or comments.

2015 Annual Report
2015 was an amazing year of growth and change for the field and for us – of which our new brand is a reflection. From the continued interest in CTE on Capitol Hill, in state houses across the country, by major national reform organizations, and even in the media, CTE is very much in the spotlight as a strategy for and solution to addressing many of our education and workforce challenges. Learn more about our many accomplishments throughout the year in our 2015 Annual Report.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Welcome Rita Johnson, Kansas’ Newest State CTE Director!

January 28th, 2016

Rita Johnson, Kansas’ newest State CTE Director, has had a lifelong career in education. She began teaching in 1973, and after a stint as an executive assistant and office manager outside of the education sector, Johnson returned and served in a variety of roles including business and computer studies coordinator, college competency-based curriculum specialist, director of admissions and student affairs, director of administrative services and as an institutional effectiveness specialist. While serving in these roles she also managed the Carl D. Perkins grants for both a large urban school district as well as the local technical college. After working on the Perkins grant for a number of years, Johnson made the leap to the Kansas Board of Regents, where she had to quickly shift focus from a local to state perspective, further expanding her growth and knowledge of Career Technical Education (CTE). Now as the Regents Vice President for Workforce Development and Perkins State Director, Johnson is witnessing a resurgence in strategies that were popular when she began her career such as work-based learning, employer engagement and apprenticeships.

While the role of employer engagement in CTE remains a priority, her major focus is strengthening the connection between secondary and postsecondary education programs throughout the state. Though students should absolutely have a broader-based education and the chance to explore a variety of careers and pathways in high school, Johnson wants to ensure there are realistic intersections to pathways where learners have a multitude of options. Pathways should enable high school graduates to continue their education or jump into the workforce with the ability to re-enter the education system at any time to gain more skills as they advance through their careers. “Students should be able to find a pathway that is within their passion and interest,” said Johnson. “As they explore a wide swath of careers, I hope we strengthen these connections so that students can see a pathway to where they want to go.” In addition to creating strong pathways, Johnson described the work to be done in educating students, parents and guidance counselors about the vast opportunities that CTE provides.

As Johnson reinforced the idea that education should be a lifelong pursuit, it was clear this concept is evident in her own life as she describe her excitement at beginning this new chapter as the State CTE Director in Kansas.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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