Archive for November, 2010

Resource Center in Chicago Area offers Manufacturing Training Through a Strategic Mix of Industrial Retention, Training, and Educational Initiatives

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The Careers in Manufacturing Program, a career technical education program offered by The Jane Addams Resource Corporation, a non-profit community development organization, is enabling low-income working adults in the Chicago area achieve self-sufficiency by providing skills training and support services.  The 20-week training program is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. The curriculum includes training in use of computer numerical control machine tools, safety, precision measurement, blueprint reading, and includes OSHA certification for safe forklift operation. Additional training includes computer use, work readiness including problem solving, and sound financial education to round out the broad scope of the program. According to the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, Chicago is the largest manufacturing center in the United States. Many adults who have been downsized because of the economic downturn have been able to receive advanced training for viable manufacturing positions in the Chicago area. Manufacturing is one of the 16 Career Clusters, tools for seamless transition from education to career.

By Ramona in Career Clusters®
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Congressional CTE Caucus Names New Co-Chair

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Rep. Jim Langevin (RI) has been named the new Democratic co-chair of the House Congressional CTE Caucus. Rep. Langevin will fill the vacancy left by Rep. Brian Baird (WA) who is retiring this year. The Republican co-chair position is currently being filled by Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH). Founded in 2007, the Congressional CTE Caucus has approximately 60 members, and has as its mission to “enhance awareness in Congress of the importance of career and technical education in preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce in America.”

At both the state and national levels, Rep. Langevin has focused his policy efforts on national security, health care and stem cell research. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on the Budget. Rep. Langevin also serves a Democratic Regional Whip for New England and as a member of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s Senior Whip Team, where he is responsible for educating other Democratic members on key issues and helping to craft the party’s strategy and legislative agenda.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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New NCES Brief Series Highlight Privacy Issues Related to SLDS

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Due the increased mandatory reporting and expanded record keeping required by the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has authored a new series of briefs on different topics related to the protection of personally identifi­able information in students’ education records. These SLDS Technical Briefs provide “best practices” to guide states that are developing Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.

The first brief in the series, Basic Concepts and Definitions for Privacy and Confidentiality in Student Education Records, discusses basic concepts and definitions, namely “personally identifiable information,” “privacy,” and “confidentiality.” The brief also touches on concepts such as disclosing confidential information, protecting confidentiality by de-identifying and making data anonymous, data stewardship, and privacy frameworks.

Topics for future SLDS Technical Briefs include:

You may send any feedback about this and future SLDS Technical Briefs to NCES at

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Ohio Hosts Information Technology Program Designed To Draws Girls’ Interest

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Some 3,000 girls from across the state participated in Ohio’s We Are It Day program, designed to increase middle and high school girls’ interest in traditionally male-dominated careers. Those include information technology and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Virginia Shank of the Warren, Ohio Tribune Chronicle reported that The Ohio Department of Education, Office of Career-Technical Education, sponsors the activity in collaboration with the Ohio IT Business Advisory Network, with 17 sites across the state participating. The program is supported through funds from the Federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

By Ramona in News

NAEP Data: Students Make Modest Gains

Friday, November 19th, 2010

High school seniors have made modest gains in reading and math since 2005, according to results in the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the Nation’s Report card). However, most students, about “62 percent of children leave high school without the necessary reading and comprehension skills required to be college- or career-ready,” according to a Nov. 19 Education Daily article.

The recent data report arrives at a critical time as education stakeholders are seeking ways to identify strategies to prepare students for college and career readiness as they leave high school. The average score in math rose three points since 2005 on a 300-point scale. The average national reading score rose two points since 2005 on a 500-point scale, but that average score was lower than in 1992, according to National Center for Education Statistics.

The data underscores the persistence the education community requires in order to prepare all students for college and career readiness.

By Erin in Research

Legislative Update: Congress Returns, Leadership Elections, Appropriations

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Congress Returns for Lame Duck, Holds Leadership Elections

Congress returned to Washington this week for the lame duck session that could take them up to Christmas. On Tuesday the Senate held their leadership elections for the upcoming 112th Congress, but because the Democrats held onto the Senate, the leadership will remain the same as in the 111th Congress. Sen. Harry Reid (NV) will remain Majority Leader while Sen. Richard Durbin (IL) will be Majority Whip.  Republicans elected Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) to be Minority Leader and Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ) as Minority Whip.

On Wednesday leadership elections were held in the House, where there will be changes in the now Republican controlled House. Republicans elected Rep. John Boehner (OH) as Speaker of the House, Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) as Majority Leader, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) as Majority Whip.  The Democrats, meanwhile, elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) as Minority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) as Minority Whip, and Rep. James Clyburn (SC) as Assistant Minority Leader, which is a new position.

Appropriations Action Uncertain

During the lame duck, Congress hopes to resolve differences on the FY11 appropriations bills. There is currently a continuing resolution (CR), set to expire on December 3, which is keeping the government and federal programs running. The hope had been to pass an omnibus appropriations bill before the CR expires, however, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that he is opposed to an omnibus bill. This would mean that Congress would have to pass a longer CR and deal with appropriations in the next session.

By Nancy in Legislation
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The “New Normal” in Education: Doing More with Less

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

At today’s American Enterprise Institute event, “Bang for the Buck in Schooling: A Conversation with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan”, Rick Hess set the context for Secretary Duncan’s remarks about doing more with less. Hess stated that there has been a three generation spree of education spending – education spending up each year since 1933. Per pupil spending since 1960s tripled. But the recent Congressional elections show that it will be hard to maintain this level of spending in education, despite the need for schools to do better. He suggests one way to save money is for schools and districts to use more technology.

Secretary Duncan spoke about the New Normal: “For the next several years, preschool, K-12, and postsecondary educators are likely to face the challenge of doing more with less.” While this new reality sounds daunting, he was optimistic that this could be an opportunity to make dramatic changes if we are smart, innovative, and courageous in rethinking the status quo.

While there has been much talk in recent weeks about the amount of federal education funding and the need to cut spending, Duncan stated that the federal investment in K-12 education is just eight percent. State funding makes up about half of education spending, while local spending represents 44 percent. With half of all education spending coming from the state level, the following points were alarming:

Duncan stressed the importance of making cuts that would not impact the classroom, such as deferring maintenance and construction projects, cutting bus routes, lowering the costs of textbooks and health care, improving energy use and efficiency in school buildings, and reducing central office personnel. But while these changes are essential, they are hardly sufficient.

“By far, the best strategy for boosting productivity is to leverage transformational change in the educational system to improve outcomes for children. To do so, requires a fundamental rethinking of the structure and delivery of education in the United States,” said Duncan. Some of the key areas that he felt we must focus on are reducing dropout rates, boosting college and career readiness, and ensuring that there is no longer a need to spend billions of dollars a year on remedial education because students should have learned these skills in high school.

Duncan also talked of doing away with “factory model of education” which has no place in the 21st century when schools must prepare all students for college and careers. Instead, he would like to see more personalized instruction, the smart use of technology, rethinking policies around seat-time requirements and class size, and compensating teachers based on their educational credentials.

He also encouraged districts to maintain a diverse and rich curriculum, which can be tough when money is tight. But, as he said, it is this diverse curriculum that makes school exciting, fun, and engages young people in coming to school every day. This comment immediately made me think of CTE. As we all know, CTE has been shown to help keep students engaged in school, and cutting it would do a great disservice to students in every district. So, at a time when state and local budgets are tighter than ever, we must make the case for CTE as a way to keep students in school and for transforming the “factory model of education.”

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Webinar Recording Now Available for CTE: Up to the Challenge

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Did you miss the November 16 NASDCTEc webinar CTE: Up to the Challenge, Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready?  The recording is now available. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and P21 highlight the demand for skills in the global economy and the ways in which educators can meet this demand by drawing on both career technical education (CTE) and 21st century skills. The groups recently released a joint report, Up to the Challenge, which describes how fusing the four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation) and CTE can make college- and career-readiness a reality for every student.

By Ramona in Advance CTE Resources

Reminder to Step Up to the Challenge with NASDCTEc Webinar November 16

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Reminder to NASDCTEc Members and Friends:

Sign up now for the following NASDCTEc webinar!
Title: CTE: Up to the Challenge, Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and P21 highlight the demand for skills in the global economy and the ways in which educators can meet this demand by drawing on both career technical education (CTE) and 21st century skills. The groups recently released a joint report, Up to the Challenge, which describes how fusing the four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation) and CTE can make college- and career-readiness a reality for every student.
When: November 16, 3 p.m. EDT
Register NOW

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements

Degree and Certificate Attainment Linked to Strong Employment Outcomes, Report Says

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Students with both an associate degree and a certificate in information technology (IT) had the strongest employment outcomes in terms of likelihood of employment, hours worked, and earnings, according to a recent Community College Research Center (CCRC) issue brief that examined Washington state students.

The Employment Outcomes of Community College Information Technology Students explored the role of community colleges in educating IT workers and examined two key issues:  students’ employment outcomes by the type of community college IT preparation they complete, and the type of employers that tend to hire community college IT students. CCRC assessed data on students who were enrolled in an IT program at any Washington State community and technical college during the 2000-01 academic year and who completed their program or left college by the spring of the 2004-05 academic year.

The students who followed in likelihood of employment, hours worked, and earnings were those with an IT associate degree, and then followed by students with an IT certificate. Students who earned no credential but focused their studies in IT had the weakest employment outcomes, according to the brief.

By Erin in Publications
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