Archive for December, 2011

Please Welcome New Interim State Director for Georgia David Turner

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome David Turner, currently the Interim State Director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education at the Georgia Department of Education.

David has lived in Georgia his entire life and currently resides in Commerce, Georgia with his wife Jill and their daughter, Brooke. He graduated from the University of Georgia where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. He has also completed a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Rich Agricultural Background

As Turner shared his background information, we found that he taught agriculture in Carroll County, Georgia for eight years. He was selected as the system’s Teacher of the Year in 2000, and was a semi-finalist for the Georgia Teacher of the Year that same year. David also taught agriculture in Towns County, Georgia for three years where he was also selected as the Teacher of the Year in 2008.

From 2008 until this past July, Turner served as the State Curriculum Coordinator for Agricultural Education, and he was also responsible for the annual Agricultural Education budget from 2002 through 2011. Turner served as the Executive Secretary and Treasurer for the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association for five years (1995-2000) and as President for 2001-2002.
In addition to his teaching experiences, Turner served as an extension agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service for three years, and served his community as a County Commissioner in Carroll County, Georgia from 1996-2000. He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Authority. Additionally he has served on the Red Cross Board of Directors, the Lion’s Club and the Rotary Club.

NASDCTEC wants to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Turner. He can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

Legislative Update: ESEA, Balanced Budget Amendment

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

House Democrats Not Optimistic About ESEA this Congress

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has reportedly been working behind the scenes on a bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA, but have failed to reach agreement on key issues. As a result, Chairman Kline (MN) has said that the committee will introduce a series of Republican-only bills in the coming weeks. If the Chairman proceeds with a partisan bill, Ranking Member George Miller (CA) does not believe ESEA will be renewed in 2012. In a statement, he said:

“I have communicated to Chairman Kline my disappointment that he has chosen to go the partisan route. Partisanship means the end to NCLB reform in this Congress. Bipartisanship is the only successful way forward. The Senate has moved a bipartisan bill out of committee. The House could do the same if it had the political will to do so. Our nation’s children deserve a real process for achieving consensus, not partisan political games.”

Senate Votes Against Balanced Budget Amendment

Last week the Senate defeated two Balanced Budget Amendments to the Constitution – one offered by each party. The amendments would have prohibited Congress from spending more than it takes in a given year. Each failed to receive the two-thirds majority needed to send a constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.

Last month the House also rejected a Balanced Budget Amendment. The votes were required as part of the debt ceiling deal reached earlier this year.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Legislation
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Site of 2012 National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute is Legendary Omni Shoreham in Washington DC

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Mark your calendars for the 2012 National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. This legendary hotel is known internationally and is a grand presence in the DC landscape. Since 1930, the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC has played host to presidents, world leaders and inaugural balls, making it a true historic Washington landmark.

Located in one of the most influential cities of the world, this grand luxury hotel offers a resort atmosphere and a personal taste of politics, culture, art and music at its best. The four-diamond Omni Shoreham Hotel is nestled on 11 acres in picturesque Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington, DC and is within walking distance of the National Zoo.

The meeting rooms are grand, the rooms luxurious, the amenities are outstanding – all adding up to the most exciting Institute ever!

Luxurious rooms at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, DC


Highlights for the 10th National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute include the latest release of the validated Career Clustersâ„¢ knowledge and skills statements, green/sustainability knowledge and skills, updated Career Clustersâ„¢ crosswalks, and insight into the Common Career Technical Core.

General registration is set to go live January 23, 2012. Information about registration rates are shared ONLINE. You can make your hotel reservations now. Attendees can register with a Purchase Order from their educational institution. You will be able to register as an individual, or get a group discount if you register a team of 5 or more.

The theme for the 2012 Institute is Setting a New Standard. This exciting event brings together educators from middle school, secondary, and postsecondary levels, school counseling, state education leadership, along with workforce development, business and industry experts, and economic development representatives to gain insight, hear strategies, and plan efforts for coordinating the implementation of aligned educational delivery in communities and states.

Mark your calendar to attend the meeting now!

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager
Learn more: National Career Clusters Institute General Information

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute

Study Shows Most States Have Capacity to Provide High School Feedback Reports

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Nearly all states have the capacity to provide high schools with information on graduates’ postsecondary progress, according to new data released by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC).

DQC, a Washington-based non-profit organization, reported that forty-nine states have the capacity to match K-12 student records with those of public postsecondary education systems. Of those states, thirty-nine currently provide high schools with feedback reports to show how former students fare in postsecondary education. The feedback reports include student information on topics like college enrollment (33 states), remediation (28 states), and degree completion (14 states).

With a nationwide focus on preparing college- and career-ready students, specific feedback is especially critical to high schools as they work to improve programs and student outcomes.

According to DQC, states are positioned better than locals to access and analyze this information, and report it back to stakeholders. States leading the way in this process include Kentucky, Hawaii, Indiana, and Washington.

For more information, view this DQC one-pager on providing high schools with feedback.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research, Resources
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Congress Passes Spending Bill

Monday, December 19th, 2011

This weekend Congress passed an omnibus appropriations package for FY12 that includes funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education programs. The bill includes a 0.189 percent across the board cut to all of these programs, including Perkins and Workforce Investment Act programs. However, because Perkins saw a 1.5 percent cut to advanced appropriations in October, this new bill will restore all of that funding to the states, except for 0.189 percent.

While any cut to Perkins is unwelcome news, we believe that in this fiscal environment a cut of less than one percent is better than it could have been. We have worked hard to maintain Perkins funding over that last several months and we thank you for all of your support and advocacy. Now on to FY13!

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager



By Nancy in Legislation
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Please Welcome New Hawaii State Director Bernadette Howard

Friday, December 16th, 2011

NASDCTEc would like to announce Bernadette Howard, the new State Director for Hawaii. Howard has a rich history at the postsecondary level – as faculty, administrator, and Dean of Career Technical Education in locations ranging from Hawaii, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia, with a combined 33 years of community college experience.

Other experience Howard brings to her position is that of grant writer, having have written and administered UHCC campus-level Perkins grants for 11 years; administered Honolulu Community College’s Construction Academy grant, and the Alu Like and USDA grants at Leeward Community College; wrote a successful Title VIII grant for Guam Community College, then served as project director and developed and administered Guam Community College’s postsecondary cooperative education program.

Howard has an amazing resume of achievements: finalist in the national Teacher-in-Space program, ’85 representing Guam; received a Fulbright scholarship to the People’s Republic of China, summer of ’87; received the Distinguished Service to Education award from Phi Delta Kappa, ’87; received the “Our Lady of Peace” award for volunteer service from the Catholic diocese of Honolulu, ’98.

Howard is also the NASDCTEc Region XI representative, which encompasses Hawaii, the Republic of Palau, and Guam.

NASDCTEc extends a warm welcome to Ms. Howard. She is based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, and can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

Mike Rowe Promotes Skills Training in New Video

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Television star and skills training advocate, Mike Rowe, released a new short video to draw attention to the country’s shortage of qualified workers in some vital fields.

While attaining higher education is a positive goal for some, Rowe said there are options for high school graduates who aren’t college-bound. He stated that this focus on “college for all” exacerbates the skills gap and devalues jobs such as welding and plumbing that are critical and rewarding occupations. There are shortages in these areas, Rowe said, because we don’t encourage students to pursue them.

“We’re so focused on getting into the corner office, we forgot how to build a corner office,” he said.

Career Technical Education (CTE) offers students an opportunity to attain knowledge and skills required to succeed in the workforce or further education. Through career pathways, CTE students take rigorous coursework, often including work-based experiences and dual enrollment courses, and acquire valuable skills to help them succeed after high school whether or not they choose to pursue postsecondary education.

View Mike Rowe’s latest video here.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst 

By Kara in News, Resources
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ACTION ALERT – Child Labor Laws Regarding Agricultural Labor

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations relating to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which eliminate the student learner exemptions, particularly related to agriculture experiences. These changes would limit the opportunities for students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in agriculture programs. While the comment period on the proposed regulations has ended, some members of Congress are mobilizing to stop the changes from going into effect. But we need your help!

The National Association of Agriculture Educators has more information on how you can help by asking your member of Congress to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter. Information on the Senate letter is here; information on the House letter is here.

Please note, the timeline is very tight. The deadline to get your Representative to sign on Rep. Rehberg’s letter is close of business Thursday December 15, 2011. The deadline to get your Senator to sign on to Sens. Moran and Nelson’s letter is close of business Friday December 16, 2011.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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New Democrat Coalition Releases ESEA Framework

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate members of the House, released a framework for the reauthorization of ESEA. The framework stresses the need for a comprehensive approach to reauthorization, calling well-educated students “the foundation for a strong workforce, globally competitive businesses, and sustainable economic growth.”

Some of the principles outlined in the framework that are relevant to CTE include:

“These principles will guide us in promoting best practices learned from schools, including charter and magnet schools, and replicate in other schools for positive outcomes. We need to encourage non-traditional approaches to education, such as partnerships with the private sector, to encourage innovation in education. We then need to find successful ways to disseminate this information to discover innovative ways to improve educator effectiveness for better student outcomes.” said Rep. Susan Davis (CA), New Democrat Education Task Force Co-Chair.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Legislation
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Barbara Bitters Honored as White House Champion of Change

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Barbara Bitters was among 12 individuals who were recently honored as White House Champions of Change, under President Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative. Bitters is among those who strive to increase awareness of the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Champions of Change honorees include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nation’s top innovators.

Barbara Bitters is the Assistant Director for the Career and Technical Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and a NASDCTEc Member. Barbara is both the state leader of the Wisconsin Girl’s Collaborative Project ( and the co-leader of the Wisconsin STEM Equity Pipeline Project under the auspices of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) .

As the leader for these two projects, Bitters’ focus has been to develop and refine strategies and activities that attract, serve, and support the success of girls/women and other under-represented groups to build STEM skills and to explore STEM Careers. She was the state Sex Equity Coordinator under federal vocational education requirements U.S for over 12 years. In 1980, Barbara, under an intergovernmental exchange program, served in the Department of Education as a Special Advisor on Women’s Issues and Vocational Equity to the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. She was co-director of the National Leadership Development Conference for Vocational Sex Equity Coordinators from 1979-1987.

Bitters is a Past Chair of the Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE) and is on the Executive Committee of NAPE.

Bitters said “I am thrilled to be recognized as a Champion of Change for promoting access, equity and diversity for girls and women in STEM, and I am proud of the CTE contributions to the development of STEM skills for students and the promotion of STEM Career Development.”

Bitters also shared “I am hoping that people will incorporate this critical career equity work. To get started, become a member of NAPE, and subscribe to Another NASDCTEc Member, Mimi Lufkin, is the Chief Executive Officer of NAPE.

More information

NASDCTEc offers hearty congratulations to Barbara Bitters on her amazing achievement.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in News
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