Archive for June, 2011

NASDCTEc Releases New Issue Brief on Progressive State CTE Legislation

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released today the fourth in a series of five issue briefs that address the five principles of the new vision for CTE.

The issue brief, Building Comprehensive Programs of Study through Progressive State Career Technical Education Legislation, addresses the fourth principle statement in the vision: “CTE is delivered through comprehensive programs of study aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework.” The brief highlights efforts in Arizona and Georgia to craft state policy and practice to implement effective programs of study aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework.

Please join us this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET for a webinar that corresponds with this brief.

By Kara in Advance CTE Resources, Publications
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Senate, House Committee Staff Discuss Direction for Accountability in ESEA

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

At a briefing yesterday on Capitol Hill, staff members from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the House Education and the Workforce Committee spoke about the school turnaround process and the new direction of accountability in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

A staff member of the Senate HELP Committee expressed support for the accountability roadmap designed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a model for states to follow when creating accountability systems (Read more about CCSSO’s accountability roadmap on the NASDCTEc blog). Systems modeled after the roadmap would still be required to meet high standards, but they would also be provided with more feedback and support to help schools make continuous improvements. The staffer commented that the HELP Committee would still focus on performance targets in ESEA reauthorization but that targets will be more realistic. To improve the school turnaround process, the staffer said that starting points for the Committee include looking at data, autonomy, school readiness, community buy-in, and student supports.

A staff member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee found a great deal of common ground in the House and the Senate’s views on ESEA reauthorization, but he said that the fundamental difference is in what each sees as the appropriate role of federal government in education. According to the staffer, the Committee is first looking at the progress made at the state and local level, and attempting not to interfere with this progress. The Committee’s primary concern is deciding for what schools should be accountable and to whom they should be accountable.

Both Committees agree that data collection and analysis are key components of the school improvement process.

The House is expected to present an accountability bill this fall that will be the fifth and final piece of its ESEA reauthorization package. So far, the House has approved the first and second bills in this series.

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Webinar Registration Reminder: Building Comprehensive Programs of Study through Progressive State CTE Legislation

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Don’t forget to register today for the upcoming NASDCTEc webinar on Building Comprehensive Programs of Study through Progressive State Career Technical Education Legislation
Webinar broadcast: Thursday, June 30 at 3 p.m. Eastern
Event number: 205 162 877
Event password: pos

Link to Register

Description: A major catalyst in the systemic transition from vocational education to more comprehensive, seamless CTE has been the implementation of programs of study (POS) within the Career Clusters Framework. Join us for a webinar featuring Jan Brite of the Arizona Department of Education and Robert “Skip” Brown from the Georgia Department of Education as they discuss their states’ efforts to connect students with POS and the resulting outcomes. Learn about the role that current state CTE legislation plays in promoting POS, and how POS serve as an effective delivery model for education.

By Ramona in Webinars

New Paper Cites Strong Return on Investment for Adult Ed and Training

Monday, June 27th, 2011

In these tough economic times, how can the Career Technical Education (CTE) community band together to show the value of CTE to individuals and society? Stakeholders in education and many other fields struggle to receive support through dwindling federal or state funds because they often lack the resources or sufficient data to provide strong evidence of program efficacy.

Widely used to evaluate cost-effectiveness, return on investment (ROI) studies in education specifically aim to evaluate the connection between spending and educational outcomes. Strategies that show more efficient overall use of funds demonstrate a higher rate of return on investment.

A new policy paper from the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, an organization that advances 21st Century global education and knowledge, provides several examples of ROI studies that show a positive economic impact for adult education and training. The authors describe how increasing investments in adult education would actually save the government money by reducing societal healthcare, public assistance and incarceration costs in addition to providing direct economic benefits for individuals and society.

Read more about states and organizations that have made efforts to quantify the ROI of adult education in the full report.

By Kara in Research, Resources
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2011 National Career Clusters Institute a Success

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The 2011 National Career Clusters Institute has wrapped up another successful year in Atlanta, GA. Attendees chose from a plethora of exciting breakout sessions and were engaged in three powerful general sessions:

Opening General Session: Connecting the Pieces: Career Clusters, Career Technical Education (CTE), and the Common Core with panelists Jan Bray of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), David Barnes of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Jill Cook of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), and Peter Smagorinsky, Professor of English Education, the University of Georgia.

Middle General Session: Roadtrip Nation Co-founders Mike Marriner and Brian McAllister shared their story of how their simple grassroots idea of learning about careers has become a nationwide movement, sparking a documentary series on public television, books and curriculum, all focused on helping people define their own roads in life.

Closing General Session: USA TODAY Director of Education Resource Development Jan Brown shared how technological innovations are shaping the way our society communicates today in her presentation Thinking Outside the Box, Way Out!

Information on these sessions and more will be posted soon. Resources from the breakout sessions are being uploaded to the website as they roll in.

By Ramona in Uncategorized

NASDCTEc unveils new

Friday, June 24th, 2011

NASDCTEc unveiled this week its new Web site, which will serve as resource for all advocates of CTE – from administrators, to educators, to partners. The new Web site combines NASDCTEc member resources, Career Clusters™ and many resources to help those who want to learn about and support CTE. At, you can:

• Access CTE brand assets
• Generate reports and analysis
• Order Career Clusters™ and CTE materials online
• Subscribe to the NASDCTEc blog
• Obtain research, white papers and CTE backgrounders

To get to the really good stuff, you must use your Member Login!
Many of the robust reports, functionality and resources on the new Web site are available only to NASDCTEc members. Additionally, discounts on events—as well as access to the new CTE logo (both national and state versions) will be available only through the Member Login portal.

In order to access these member benefits, you will need to use the Member Login feature. Here’s how it works:

1. Go to
2. Click on the green “Members” box in the upper right of the home page
3. When the Member Login page appears:

• Enter your Username (your first initial and full last name, all one word, all lower case)
• Enter Password: cte123
• Click “Log In”

4. Select “Member Resources” on the following screen and click on “Continue”
5. Select from the variety of options and resources available on the right-hand menu—and start exploring!

Learn more about the exclusive members-only webinar

Who: NASDCTEc Members

What: Webinar for Members-Only New Website Orientation

When: Wednesday, June 29, 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Eastern

Why: NASDCTEc launches a robust website that will help members stay informed, engaged and mobilized to advocate for CTE.

NASDCTEc recently unveiled its brand new website. Not only does this site have a new look that reflects the look of our CTE: Learning That Works for America brand, it offers a range of completely new features and resources. The site is rich with members-only searchable databases, products limited to our members, and up-to-date news feeds to keep members informed about the policy world. This site will be a powerful new tool in which members will communicate and obtain valuable information and resources so they can serve as strong advocates for CTE and the organization. We highly encourage everyone to participate.
Register for this members-only webinar

By Erin in Advance CTE Resources, News, Uncategorized, Webinars

New Accountability Roadmap May Add Pressure for Faster ESEA Reauthorization

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Last week, NASDCTEc reported on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s efforts to pressure Congress to hasten reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by issuing waivers for states to bypass parts of the current law. Now, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a nonprofit membership organization representing education chiefs from each state, has released a roadmap that will apply further pressure for Congress to take action.

CCSSO’s roadmap, currently a working draft, proposes “next-generation accountability systems aligned with college- and career-ready expectations for all students.” The roadmap is a combined effort of chiefs from 40 states and the District of Columbia to outline areas that should be included in state accountability systems, specifically through ESEA reauthorization. The accountability systems would still require schools to meet high standards, and would also provide more feedback and support to help schools make continuous improvements.

If Congress does not speed up the ESEA reauthorization process, states plan to request waivers to build new state accountability systems based on the roadmap instead of using the federal accountability system, according to leaders at CCSSO. If this occurs, the Department of Education will be inundated with requests for waivers all addressing essentially the same topic. This would unify the focus of the waiver requests received by the Department and would make very clear the kind of accountability systems preferred by states in the new ESEA legislation.

Yesterday, Congress approved the second in a series of education reform bills designed to overhaul NCLB. Despite pressure from Duncan, CCSSO, and others, it looks unlikely that Congress will complete reauthorization prior to the upcoming school year.

By Kara in News, Public Policy, Resources
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Math and Science Subjects of Agriscience Teacher Terry Cornett’s Innovative Teaching Approach

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

In an blog post Agriscience Teacher Terry Cornett Grows His Own, veteran teacher Terry Cornett’s classes have become immersed in promoting locally grown agriculture through education, community outreach, and networking. By using innovative teaching methods to help students who struggle with math and science, Terry Cornett makes agriscience come alive for his students at Liberty Middle School in a rural segment of Hanover, Va. by growing their interest in community farming.

By Ramona in News

PARCC Assessment Consortium Launches New Website

Monday, June 20th, 2011

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is one of two consortia developing next-generation assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The group of 24 states received a $186 million Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create the tests. Recently, PARCC unveiled a new website to provide more accessible information on the consortium’s work.

The website will provide viewers with information on the PARCC consortium, progress in developing and implementing the assessments, and more. In the Classroom is a page dedicated to supporting teachers as they plan for the arrival of the new assessments. Also, the PARCC States site highlights the states participating in the consortium, and gives detailed information about each state’s commitment to college and career readiness.

Stay informed of the group’s progress by signing up for the PARCC mailing list.

By Kara in News, Resources
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Duncan Threatens to Waive Parts of NCLB This Fall

Friday, June 17th, 2011

In an announcement released by the U.S. Department of Education this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan threatened to take action if Congress does not reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) before next school year. Duncan expounded upon his announcement in a recent op-ed.

The Secretary reported that America’s students cannot afford to wait any longer for reform. Duncan wrote that, “While Congress works, state and local school districts are buckling under the law’s goals and mandates.” Schools are rapidly approaching the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) 2014 deadline to have all students meet proficiency goals in reading or mathematics; many schools are not on track to meet the requirements of the old law and will face futile sanctions as a result.

If Congress does not reauthorize ESEA by the fall, Duncan is prepared to take matters into his own hands. As the Secretary of Education, Duncan has the authority to waive certain aspects of the law, including the NCLB proficiency deadline. In exchange, participating states would agree to adopt Duncan’s other efforts, such as expanding charter schools and reconstituting poorly-performing schools.

Despite pressure from Duncan, Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate education committee, stated that Duncan’s decision is drastic. Rep. John Kline, Republican chairman of the House education committee, said of Duncan, “He’d like to get this done before they go back to school in September. We’re not going to do that.”

Opinion articles from former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Rep. John Kline were also published.

By Kara in Public Policy
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