Archive for January, 2012

ED Releases Reports and Feedback from Community College Summits

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education hosted last year regional community college summits, following a White House Summit on Community Colleges in 2010, to provide research and receive input on community college issues. Panelists presented preliminary research related to secondary-postsecondary alignment, partnerships with employers, and other issues. This month, the Department has released the results of this research and a report summarizing the conversations that took place during the summits.

The summary report, Scaling the Community College Summits, provides comments and suggestions from the combined 800 attendees of the summits. Recommendations from participants include:

Researchers also presented draft papers at the summits on strategies to increase student retention and college completion. The final reports are now available, and they include additions made after the summits. The reports include:

The Department will convene several webinars in the upcoming months to highlight each report in greater detail, and we will provide this schedule when it becomes available. To provide feedback, please e-mail

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Public Policy, Research, Resources

Check Out the Skills that Work Toolkit

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Many young people today struggle to connect their education and skills with the job market. That’s why Young Invincibles, a policy and advocacy organization, created the Skills that Work toolkit. It provides job market information for each state in a format to help young people understand their options.

These resources can also be shared with Members of Congress when advocating for Perkins and CTE. For example, the toolkit lists the top ten fastest growing jobs in your state over the next decade that require a 2-year or 4-year degree.  Follow the link to the Skills that Work Website to find out more.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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CTE in the News: Kansas Governor’s Road Map for Education Includes CTE

Friday, January 27th, 2012

As part of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s Road Map for Kansas, he proposes a new method of funding for CTE, which involves paying for full tuition of high school students enrolled in a CTE course/program in a community college or technical school, according to KWHC, a local Kansas news station that highlighted the announcement.

The CTE funding proposal is part of a strategy to meet the Governor’s goal of increasing the percentage of students who are career and college ready upon high school graduation. Currently, CTE is funding through a .5 weighted system among districts. The new funding plan will have the Kansas Department of Education instead distribute money to school districts based on enrollment in technical programs, noted Jon Hummell, Director of Operations, Office of the Governor.
Further, funding will provide to the Kansas Board of Regents to pay the tuition for high school students enrolled in a CTE course/program at a community college or technical college, KWHC said.

Hummell outlined other details of the plan, which include:

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in News, Public Policy
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National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute Update: NBC News Chief Education Correspondent to Speak at Institute

Friday, January 27th, 2012

We are pleased to announce that Rehema Ellis of NBC News will provide thought-provoking, inspirational remarks at the 2012 National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute’s closing Keynote Session on June 20.

With a 25 percent dropout rate nationwide and a rising number of students needing remedial education once they get to college, many would refer to this as a crisis. No longer are poor scores in reading, writing and mathematics the problem of one school or division. Academic success means economic success and the more educated the people are, the more prepared the country will be to compete globally.

How does Career Technical Education, with the Career Clusters™ framework as an essential tool, add to this success? Across the United States and abroad, Ms. Ellis will share what she views as “working” in the education system.


Breakout sessions are now available for viewing – to help you plan an exciting experience! Go to MORE INFORMATION to get details about the Institute.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Career Clusters®

Virginia Shares Plan for Promoting CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ Throughout the State

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In NASDCTEc’s campaign to promote Career Technical Education (CTE), it provides many advocacy tools to help states address key challenges–from workforce development to student achievement, from economic vitality to global competitiveness. Virginia is taking this campaign to heart by maximizing its efforts in sharing this important message by using the CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ logos in their advocacy efforts throughout the state.

At this point, over 43 states have signed on to use the CTE brand logo, brand theme and brand messaging in their communications. In an interview with State Director Lolita Hall (pictured), Virginia’s process for embracing use of the CTE Branding materials was shared, with the intent that it could help other states as they map out their use of the logos statewide.

After the CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ initiative was unveiled at the NASDCTEc 2011 Spring Meeting, the Virginia state staff held a meeting and created a thoughtful plan to promote this initiative, using care in how it would be rolled out, keeping the following tenets in mind:

Ms. Hall noted that the group wanted to acknowledge that use of the logo represented more than ‘just a logo’, but was a reflection of their culture, with a projection of an image exemplifying quality and high standards…that the initiative process in Virginia should have a deep quality and meaning. So, the group developed a plan, detailing how best to post the initiative on the state Web site, for starters. The public relations staff was included in the process, with state staff asking for advice on how best to use the logo. Virginia was thoughtful about how to get state programs and groups to sign on, always keeping the tenets in mind. The group’s mindset was to slow down and think about what the logo means.

The initiative spread in a methodical fashion –

Ms. Hall said that the logo “was introduced slowly, and put on quality work – to emphasize that the logo is associated with quality. “

CTE State Directors have the discretion of allowing third parties to use the state logo, which adds an extra step for states to approve or deny requests. The other choice for State Directors is to allow for third parties, once the user agreement form is submitted, to begin using the logos immediately. Virginia opted to vet all third-party user agreements, and created a validation process to streamline this operation, dedicating a staff member to vet the agreements and notify NASDCTEc of all approvals. Third-party approval is often used by states to find out who is requesting and utilizing the logos at the sub-state level.

Virginia is truly supporting the CTE vision, the CTE brand, and the CTE brand promise as representing the value proposition that CTE is “Learning that works for America.” We applaud you!

For more information on Virginia’s CTE: Learning that works for America™ logo and branding dissemination process, please contact Margaret Watson at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Resources, CTE: Learning that works for America

President Focuses on Education and Skills Training in State of the Union

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In his State of the Union address last night President Obama called keeping the middle class alive “the defining issue of our time.” Throughout his speech, he set out proposals to foster an economy “built to last” predicated on education, a skilled workforce, high-paying jobs, energy independence and fairness that would help bolster the middle class.

The President highlighted the skills gap that exists in industries such as manufacturing, information technology and clean energy: “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job.” In an effort to solve this problem, he called for a national commitment to train two million individuals with the skills they need to land a job, with a focus on partnerships between businesses and community colleges. The President is scheduled to release his FY13 budget on February 13. We hope that his commitment to address the skills gap and provide resources for unemployed individuals will be reflected in his proposal for Perkins Act funding.

President Obama also focused on the current job training system, saying that he wants “to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people…have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help they need.” His hope is that streamlining the system will get people back to work more quickly in the jobs that exist today, and better prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. While he does not mention the Workforce Investment Act specifically, the program has been due for reauthorization since 2003 and has been top priority for the both the House and the Senate this session. Given the President’s mention of the workforce system, we are hopeful that this signals a desire to reauthorize WIA in the coming year.

The President also touched on other education issues such as high school dropouts, calling on states to require students to stay in school until graduation or until they turn 18. In terms of college access and affordability, the President urged Congress to keep student interest rates low and extend the tuition tax credit. He also asked institutions of higher education to keep costs down and was blunt in his commitment to making postsecondary education more affordable, saying, “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.”

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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New ACT Advisory Board Aims to Improve Education-Workforce Alignment

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

ACT, Inc., a nonprofit testing and research organization, convened this week its first National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board.

The Board, comprised of education and workforce leaders, will help guide the Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative, a framework that helps communities align education and workforce development with industry demand.

The Board will also focus on building partnerships in which:

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who will serve as chairman of the Board, stated that “The facts facing us today are clear – the U.S. has a significant and pressing need to improve workplace skills to meet current and future job demands. We see this initiative as a way to move past restating the obvious problem and move toward implementing proven solutions for America’s workforce.”

For more information, visit ACT’s Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative website.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Legislative Update: Congress Returns, Bills Introduced

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Congress Returns to Work

The House returned to Washington this week, and the Senate is scheduled to return next week. First on Congress’ agenda is to begin negotiations to extend the payroll tax cut, TANF, unemployment benefits, and Medicare doctor reimbursements. The current two month extension of all of these provisions expires on February 29th.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has made ESEA reauthorization one of their top priorities this spring. However, Senator Tom Harkin (IA) has said that he will not move the Senate’s ESEA bill to the floor until the House proposes a bipartisan bill. This deadlock makes it increasingly unlikely that ESEA reauthorization will happen this spring.

Congress will also get to work on their budget proposals for FY13 after President Obama releases his budget on February 6th. Many advocates are optimistic that the appropriations process will move more quickly and smoothly than in years past because of the caps set by the debt ceiling deal this summer. Much of the delay surrounding the appropriations process has been due to disagreements over the level of funding. Hopefully, the caps will provide a bipartisan starting point for appropriators.

Bills Introduced

America RISING Act

Rep. Laura Richardson (CA) introduced H.R.3748, the America Realizing the Informational Skills and Initiative of New Graduates (RISING) Act, which would provide grants to assist in the cost of compensation paid by employers to certain recent college graduates and to provide funding for their further education in subjects relating to mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Legislation
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General Registration Set to Go Live January 23 for the 2012 National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Mark your calendars for the 2012 National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute June 17-20, 2012 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in beautiful Washington, DC.

Setting a New Standard is the theme of this exciting event, which 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.

Highlights for the 10th National Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute include:

Beautiful Omni Shoreham Hotel, located in the heart of DC

The legendary Omni Shoreham is the location for the Institute. You can make your reservations online NOW .

Room at Omni Shoreham

For more information, go to the Institute Main Information Page on the Web site.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute
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January “CTE Monthly” Newsletter: U.S. Commerce Department Calls for Investments in STEM and Manufacturing; Information Technology Career Spotlight

Friday, January 20th, 2012

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

The January issue takes a closer look at the Information Technology Career Clusterâ„¢, an area that is projected to experience rapid employment growth over the next several years.

The newsletter also highlights a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce that calls for greater investment in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Manufacturing Career Clusters™ to benefit the nation’s students and the economy.

The January edition of CTE Monthly can be accessed here. To view past newsletters, visit our advocacy tools Web page.

By Kara in Publications, Resources
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