Archive for January, 2010

President Urges Investment in Skills and Education in State of Union Address

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In a State of the Union address that focused mainly on the economy, President Obama outlined measures already taken by his administration – ARRA, bank bailouts, unemployment benefits – and those he wishes to undertake in the coming year to address the financial crisis.  In calling for a new jobs bill, the president said that jobs must be the number one focus of 2010.

As countries like China and Germany are revamping their economies and rebuilding their infrastructures, President Obama declared, “I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”  To that end, the president urged a greater investment in the skills and education of Americans.  Among the proposed and existing initiatives in that area:

Regarding the community college bill that has already passed the House, the president said: “Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.”

As we told you yesterday, President Obama proposed freezing all non-security federal discretionary spending for three years as part of his plan to reduce the deficit.  He said the administration will invest in what the country needs and cut what we don’t need, promising to use his veto power if necessary.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Return on Investment Advocacy Tool

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

State and federal policymakers are making tough decisions on where to direct scarce funding, but outcomes of some studies suggest that CTE is a wise choice if they are seeking a positive return on investment.

Check out our latest leave behind about the return on investment in CTE that we will use to inform legislators and their staff on the Hill about financial benefits to the government, the individual, and the economy.  You can access a copy of it here.  This leave behind highlights return on investment studies conducted in the three states — Oklahoma,  Tennessee, and Washington.

Please feel free to use this document to inform policymakers and legislators in your state about the benefits of CTE!

By Nancy in Advance CTE Resources, Publications
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White House To Propose Three-Year Non-Discretionary Spending Freeze

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

President Obama is expected to announce in tomorrow night’s State of the Union Address that he will propose in his fiscal year 2011 budget freezing all non-security federal discretionary spending for three years in an effort to reduce the $1.4 trillion deficit.

While details have not been released by the White House, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that all discretionary spending not related to the military, veterans, homeland security and international affairs will be subject to the freeze. The limits will not be imposed across the board, however. Some areas would see cuts while others, including education and job creation programs, may see increases. Such a freeze is estimated to save $250 billion over ten years.

The specific details of the proposed freeze will be officially unveiled on Monday, February 1 when the President publicly releases his fiscal year 2011 budget.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Career Clusters Institute: Registration Open, Continuing Education Credits Offered

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

career clusters ADRegistration for the 8th annual Career Clusters Institute has gone live and for the first time the Institute is offering attendees the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units. Educators will be able to acquire CEUs while they learn about the most up-to-date best practices taking place with Career Clusters.

To register for the Institute visit the Career Clusters Web site. Early bird registration continues until February 26.

The Institute has been accredited by the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Louisville to offer 12 hours of CEU earning potential. One hour is equivalent to 1/10 of a unit. The maximum possible units earned will be 1.2 units. Cost is $50 flat rate to participate; educators may earn the maximum units available.

Earning CEUs at the Institute can be done in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Pick up the forms

When you arrive at the Institute, visit the registration desk to pick up your general information/participation form. Hold onto this form until the end of your time at the Institute.

Step 2: Sign-in at breakout sessions

Each breakout you attend will be an opportunity for you to count towards earning CEUs. You must print and sign your name, and provide an e-mail address or telephone number at each session on a form that will be provided to you. This step will verify your participation and is essential for receiving credit. You are not responsible for sending in any sign-in forms.

Step 3: Turn in the paperwork and payment

You will have 6 weeks following the completion of the Institute to submit your general information/participation form and payment. There is a one-time fee of $50. You will submit payment via check (payable to University of Louisville) with your paperwork or call them to pay via credit card:

Julijana Curcic

Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning

University of Louisville

Shelby Campus, 110 Founders Union building

Louisville, KY 40292

If you have any questions about payment at any point, please contact Ms. Curcic: julijana.curcic@louisville.edu, 502-852-5636

Step 4: Receive your certificate!

You will receive a certificate via mail with your name, the Institute’s name, the number of hours accumulated and how many CEUs you have earned. (If you have questions about the certificate, please contact Ms. Curcic from the University of Louisville – see contact information above).

By Erin in National Career Clusters Institute

Secretary Duncan Set to Advance Administration Priorities Through ESEA

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

As reported by Education Week yesterday, Arne Duncan’s first year as Secretary of Education “could place him among the most influential leaders in his department’s 30-year history.” Given oversight of unprecedented amounts of education aid in the economic stimulus package, Secretary Duncan has been able to advance administration priorities such as charter schools, teacher performance pay, common academic standards, and turnarounds of low-performing schools through reform efforts such as the Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation grant programs.

While Department officials have indicated that they plan to implement many of these same reforms through a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year, there is no guarantee that the law will be passed anytime soon. ESEA was due for reauthorization in 2007, but Congress and the Bush Administration failed to work out differences surrounding accountability and teacher effectiveness based on student achievement.  This time around, Secretary Duncan faces critics such as teachers unions and those who believe he is placing too much emphasis on testing.

But Secretary Duncan plans to meet with the chairmen and ranking minority members of the education committees and the subcommittees in both houses of Congress about ESEA soon after the State of the Union Address. “The heart of our strategy is to secure bipartisan support and enthusiasm for this on the very front end,” said communications chief Peter Cunningham. He also plans to meet with teachers unions and the corporate and philanthropic communities.

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Obama Administration to Expand Race to the Top Funding

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

On the same day as the first deadline for states to apply for Race to the Top grants, President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, visited Graham Road Elementary in Fairfax County, Virginia to announce their proposal for a $1.35 billion expansion of the grant program in this year’s budget. The President stated that this expansion will allow local school districts to apply for funds.

Forty states and the District of Columbia met the deadline for the first round of funding yesterday. States that did not apply, and states that do not receive grants in the first round, will be able to compete in the second round of competition, which is set for June.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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State Return on Investment Strategies Webinar

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Return on investment data is one of the most important factors that Congress and the Administration will look at to determine levels of funding for federal programs, like Perkins. On January 14, we hosted a webinar, State Return on Investment Strategies, that looked at the work being done in Oklahoma, Washington and Tennessee to collect data on the return on investment in CTE for the state and individuals. The presenters talked about how states are collecting return on investment data, what some of the results have been, and how this data is being used.

Presenters included:

If you missed it, don’t worry!  You can download an archived version of the webinar here.

By Nancy in Advance CTE Resources
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States Implement Innovative, Cost-Saving Strategies: NASBE Report

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Jan. 15 – Educators and leaders from all sectors of education are facing tough fiscal choices and seeking innovative ways to lessen states’ economic hardships on schools. A recent policy update by the National Association of State Boards of Education report highlights states’ initiatives with technology as a means to maximize impact across schools.

Rethinking the State Role in Instructional Materials Adoption: Opportunities for Innovation and Cost Savings is based on a NASBE Winter 2009 Forum that provided insights for State Boards of Education Members and other State Education Leaders. The update addresses the following primary questions:

States highlighted in the report — Texas, California and Indiana — have largely looked to technological resources such as open educational resources that include materials, tools and media used for teaching and learning that are free and open for the public to use. But whichever digital resources states choose to implement, all will require support from education leaders and policymakers to maximize the effectiveness of these new technological strategies, the report emphasized.

By Erin in Public Policy, Publications
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What Lies Ahead for Higher Education in 2010

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

This month the American Association of State Colleges and Universities released Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2010, a brief that outlines what that group believes will be the state higher education policy issues at the forefront of discussion and legislative activity in 2010. While all of the topics are likely to affect postsecondary CTE, such as state budget shortfalls, tuition, and data, some are specifically related to CTE, such as community colleges.

First, President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative (AGI), if passed into law, will invest billions of dollars into community colleges including the Community College Challenge Fund, would give $9 billion in challenge grant funding to community colleges for innovative programs such as workforce partnerships and $500 million to develop online courses.

Second, enrollment capacity at community colleges is a major concern as more and more people return to school due to unemployment or to upgrade their skills.  According to the American Association of Community Colleges enrollment in credit-bearing classes increased 16.9 percent over the last two years.  As state education budgets dwindle, there is a real concern that these open institutions will have to increase tuition or turn students away.

Third, improved data systems could help community colleges track student achievement and attainment in a more efficient and robust way.  In one such proposal, the National Governors Association (NGA) identified four achievement milestones that all states should track: completion of remedial and core courses, advancement from remedial to credit-bearing courses, transfer from a two-year to a four-year institution, and credential attainment.

Finally, college and career readiness standards will be a key focus for CTE in the year ahead.  In 2009, NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers developed national college and career readiness standards to be vetted and adopted by the states in the coming years.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Frank Chong Named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

chongThis week, Dr. Frank Chong began serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the United States Department of Education. This office is housed within the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

Dr. Chong had served as president of Laney College in Oakland, California since July, 2006. Dr. Chong also served as President of Mission Community College in Santa Clara, California and was also Dean of Student Affairs at City College of San Francisco. Before getting into community college administration Dr. Chong was special assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly, Willie L. Brown, Jr. Adding to Dr. Chong’s understanding of education issues he also served as an elected member of the San Francisco Board of Education.

Dr. Chong received a B.A. in Social Welfare and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration, Leadership and Technology from Dowling College.

We look forward to working with Dr. Chong and the rest of the leadership team at OVAE to reinforce the important work CTE programs are doing across the country to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in their educational journey and in the workforce.

By admin in Advance CTE Announcements, Public Policy
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