Archive for December, 2010

Tireless CTE Advocates Honored at Convention

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

At the recent Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) annual convention, the following educators were honored and recognized for their achievements. These leaders are from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Florida, and Maryland and have demonstrated a passion for creating new programs and initiatives to advance Career Technical Education (CTE) in their home states.

The award recipients are:

 •Teacher of the Year: Gary Weese, Automotive Technology Instructor at Caddo Career & Technology Center in Shreveport, Louisiana

•Outstanding CTE Educator: Jeanette Capshaw, Special Projects Director, Moore Norman Technology Center, Norman, Oklahoma

•Outstanding New CTE Teacher: Buddy Neasbitt, Instructor, Criminal Justice Academy at Great Plains Technology Center, Lawton, Oklahoma

•Outstanding Teacher in Community Service: Joe Wollinger, Chef and Culinary Arts Instructor, Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville, Wisconsin

•Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award: J.C. Perrin, Senior Vice President, U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Florida and member of the West Boca Raton High School’s Community Academies Advisory Board (CAAB)

•Lifetime Achievement Award: Rhonda Hoyman, Supervisor of Technical Programs for Baltimore County Schools, Towson, Maryland

 Congratulations to these deserving winners, who are tireless advocates for CTE.

By Ramona in News

Legislative Update: Veterans’ Training Bill, Appropriations, America COMPETES

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Veterans’ Training Bill Passed; Expands Eligibility to Area CTE Centers

Late last week the House passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 by a vote of 409-3, after it was cleared by unanimous consent in the Senate earlier in the week. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. This bill will allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. The new eligibility provisions will go into effect on October 1, 2011. This is a tremendous victory for CTE and a recognition of the high quality programs that our area CTE centers offer!

Congress Passes Short-Term Continuing Resolution

The House on Tuesday passed a continuing resolution (CR) by a vote of 193 to 165 that would fund the government and all federal programs at FY10 levels through March 4. The Senate approved the bill earlier on Tuesday by a vote of 79-16. With the shift in power in the House, and the weakened Democratic hold over the Senate, there is sure to be a more partisan fight over spending as expiration of the CR draws near in March. Soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner (Ohio) has already said that he wants to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels.

America COMPETES Act Passed by Congress

The House this week passed the America COMPETES Act by a vote of 228 to 130, after it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate last week. The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature. The goal of the bill is to improve the competitiveness of the United States by investing in innovation through research and development. There are a variety of provisions in the bill that will impact STEM education, such as the coordination of federal STEM education efforts, grants to increase the number of STEM teachers, and other improvements in STEM education. Because Congress wanted to pass this bill before the current session of Congress ends, the House had little choice but to accept the Senate version of the bill which scales back funding from the original House bill and reauthorizes the bill for three years instead of five.

By Nancy in Legislation
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CR Clarifies Definition of Highly Qualified Teacher

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The continuing resolution (CR) introduced by the Senate (summary here), which would fund the government through March 4, 2011, includes a definition of “highly qualified teacher” that would make it easier for alternatively certified teachers to become “highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind law. While this language has been in regulation since 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down the regulation in September, saying that it went too far. The U.S. Department of Education regulation allows uncertified candidates in alternative-route programs to teach for up to three years while they seek certification. If passed, the CR would supersede the Circuit Court’s decision.

By Nancy in Uncategorized
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Nevada is Latest State to Join College Completion Effort

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Nevada is aiming to move up from its bottom rung ranking for the number of adults with college degrees by joining a national agenda to increase the number of college graduates in the next decade.

The state is now among 24 others that joined the Complete College America, a nonprofit dedicated to equipping individuals with a college degree or credential of value. Just 38 percent of individuals age 25-34 hold an associate degree or higher, according to a Community College Week article. In comparison, about 28 percent of individuals in Nevada have earned such degrees.

The effort across states underscores stakeholders concerns over preparing individuals to compete in and support the national economy. Complete College America notes that over the next decade, more than 60 percent of all new jobs will require a college education.

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: Appropriations

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Senate May Vote on CR This Weekend

As we told you last week, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government until September 30, 2011, and we are awaiting action by the Senate. This week the Senate introduced an omnibus appropriations bill as a substitute, but last night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Senate would not vote on it because they did not have enough Republican support to pass it.  Instead the Senate plans to propose a CR that would be shorter than the one passed in the House.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College Ranked as Fastest Growing in Nation

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

In Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College campuses  topped the list of colleges with the fastest growing enrollment. In a report released by Community College Week, nine Ivy Tech campuses were ranked as the fastest growing community colleges in the nation. Multiple Ivy Tech locations offer Career Technical Education programs to students in Indiana.

“It is clear that Hoosiers recognize Ivy Tech as an affordable and accessible option helping students start their careers and affording our communities with skilled workers.” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. “We look forward to continuing to change the lives of our students and serve the employers and our partners throughout the state.”

Community College Week releases its yearly rankings based on enrollment from one year prior and considers only students who are enrolled in courses that accrue toward an associate degree, certificate or other formal award.

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

More about Career Technical Education programs offered by Ivy Tech:

Workforce Training Provider

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest workforce training provider, awarding nearly 20,000 certifications and one million hours of training annually. Ivy Tech prepares workers for jobs in Indiana’s highest priority fields, like health care, advanced manufacturing, logistics, and life sciences, ensuring that Indiana’s economy will stay strong long into the future.

Ivy Tech’s Workforce Certification and Assessment Center

Ivy Tech’s Workforce Certification and Assessment Center is designed to help students advance their careers by providing them with credentialing opportunities that match their skills. Students can earn industry-recognized certifications that will give them job-ready competencies. Certification testing is available in a variety of fields, including tests for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Airport Certified Employees, Dementia Care Professionals, IT, and Certified Nursing Assistants.

Apprenticeship Programs

This degree program is a working partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and individual national Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs) in providing the technical education component, and Ivy Tech Community College providing the general education for the academic courses of the degree. This joining together of education and training expertise provides for the delivery of a uniform Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Ivy Tech Community College currently has partnering agreements in place with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and JATCs in the State of Indiana:

 New Growth

Ivy Tech recently acquired new space to grow the services they can offer in the Indianapolis area. The new 196,000-square-foot facility will be called the Indiana Center for Workforce Solutions. Programs will include culinary, healthcare, life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and energy. The added space and new technology will allow Ivy Tech to provide real workplace simulation labs and offer more than 2,500 certification exams including high-stakes nationally recognized tests. Plans include conference rooms equipped with videoconferencing capability that can be used to connect multiple employer locations around the state for training.

In addition, the center will offer pre-employment services to individuals by assisting with resume writing, interviewing skills, and soft-skills training while also providing additional services for displaced workers.

By Ramona in News

U.S Makes Progress in International Assessment

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The United Sates is making incremental gains in science and math on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment but scores remain below the international average, according a report released this week. Experts reacting to the data say the progress is encouraging.

Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics,

and Science Literacy in an International Context compares the academic performance of students across 34 industrialized countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. PISA is intended to illustrate how well students can apply their academic knowledge in the real world.

The United States has ranked near the middle among the OECD countries – a status that has fueled talks regarding academic standards and students’ ability to be globally completive. The nation’s improvements in science and math are notable bright spots given the shortages of qualified workers in fields that heavily involve those subjects. The nation ranks 17th in science and 25th in math.

In reading, the nation has remained stagnant in its performance and ranks 14th.

With global competition on the mind of educators, economists and other stakeholders, it is clear that the latest PISA report will further fuel conversations about how the nation can best prepare students to lead our nation.

By Erin in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: Appropriations, Leadership Selections, Child Nutrition

Friday, December 10th, 2010

House Passes Continuing Resolution, Senate Expected to Vote on Omnibus

On Wednesday night, the House passed a year-long continuing resolution (CR) by a vote of 212-206 that would fund all government programs at last year’s levels until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2011). All Republican members voted “no,” along with 37 Democrats. The plan had been for the Senate to present an omnibus appropriations bill as a substitute for the House continuing resolution. If the Senate were to get the 60 votes necessary for cloture, the bill will be sent back to the House for consideration. The omnibus bill would contain about $19 billion more in funding than the House CR and would contain congressional earmarks. However, it appears the Senate will not vote on this until next week.

House Select Committee Leadership

The House Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday announced new chairmen and ranking members for the slate of House committees for the 112th Congress. The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee will be Hal Rogers (R-KY), while Norm Dicks (D-WA) will serve as ranking member. As expected, John Kline (R-MN) will chair the House Education and Labor Committee and George Miller (D-CA) will be ranking member.

Child Nutrition Bill Passes Congress

Last week the House passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which passed the Senate in August, and it now heads to the President for his signature. The goal of the bill is to improve children’s health and reduce childhood obesity nationwide by requiring school meals to meet new nutrition standards. The bill also gives the federal government the authority to apply nutritional standards to all food sold during the school day, including in vending machines, a la carte lines and other venues. There has been some concern that the new standards could impact CTE programs that sell student prepared food to raise money for their programs, but the bill does allow for an exemption for school-sponsored fundraisers that are approved by the school and are infrequent within the school.

By Nancy in Legislation
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A Look Inside: A Synopsis of CTE Trends

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Earlier this fall, NASDCTEc hosted a webinar highlighting the recent trends seen in CTE governance, teacher shortages, funding and Career Clusters implementation, based on results collected and analyzed from the 2010 State Profile Survey. We are now happy to announce the release of A Look Inside: A Synopsis of CTE Trends, a four-part series analyzing state CTE data and initiatives:

Each section within the series provides a closer look and a better understanding of the structure and trends within CTE. While states are grappling with how to plan for the future in this uncertain economic climate, this series can help provide insights into the movement of CTE throughout the United States.

By Nancy in Advance CTE Resources, Publications
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ACT, Inc. Finds That Most Students Today Would Not Meet Common Standards

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

With 44 states having signed on to adopt the Common Core State Standards, a new report from ACT, Inc. finds that most students today would not be able to meet the standards. A First Look at the Common Core and College and Career Readiness reports that “only one third to one-half of the 11th-grade students are reaching a college and career readiness level of achievement.” The findings of the report are meant to serve as a baseline of students’ current college and career readiness.

Regarding English Language Arts, only 31 percent of students are able to understand complex texts at the level required by the common standards for college and career readiness. To remedy this, ACT recommends that states should ensure that students are reading progressively more complex texts as they advance through the grades. Because only 35 percent of students are able to use language skillfully and to use a rich vocabulary, the report suggests that states should ensure that students gain sufficient understanding of how language varies by context; how to use language effectively for different audiences, purposes, and tasks; and how to gain and use a vocabulary adequate for college and careers. The report also found that students struggle with reading and understanding texts in content areas such as science, history and technical subjects. As a result, states must ensure that teachers in these subject areas use their unique content knowledge to foster students’ ability to read, write, and communicate in the various disciplines.

In Mathematics, a mere 34 percent of students were able to master the foundational number and quantity concepts that will be required in the common standards. ACT proposes that in the early grades, students would benefit from problem solving in novel contexts and hands-on experiences, while in middle and high school, teachers should help students to see connections between Number & Quantity and other Common Core mathematics conceptual categories, particularly Algebra.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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