Archive for March, 2012

Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute Series: Why Use Social Media Technologies in the CTE Classroom?

Friday, March 30th, 2012

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that will be shared at the upcoming Career Clusters â„¢ Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in June.

Kathy Belcher has served as Project Coordinator at the University of North Texas since 2008. She coordinates high school CTE curriculum and professional development resources for STEM and Manufacturing, federally funded by the Educational Excellence Career Grants. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and holds professional teaching certifications in Art Education and General Elementary Education. Belcher serves as secretary for the Texas Technology and Engineering Education association.

Why use social media technologies in the CTE classroom? As a teacher, I will have to learn what the technologies are, how to use them, integrate them into my existing curriculum, make the case to my principal, add planning time to my already busy teaching schedule, and monitor their use.

Social media technologies can support active learning, social learning, and student publication, by providing environments and technologies that promote and foster these interactions (Ajjan, et al., citing Ferdig, 2007). Teachers who use social media technologies in the classroom encourage individual sharing, promote social interactivity, provide a virtual space where learning begun in the classroom can continue beyond the classroom walls, and inspire lifelong learning (Robbie, et al., 2008).
Research in the field reveals many positive student learning outcomes using social media technologies. Listed are some ideas on how to use such technologies to maximize those outcomes:

There are many benefits linked to students’ use of social media technologies in the CTE classroom: increased active and social learning; improved student-teacher relationships; positive experiences in and outside the classroom; and perhaps the one I like best is “Social media helps students learn how to collaborate and collaboration skills are viewed by educators as the “quintessential skill” for students in the 21st century” (Smith, 2010).

Learn more about how you can use social media technologies to support student learning by attending Kathy’s session at the National Career Clusters™ Institute. Attendees will leave with access to FREE curriculum and professional development resources made possible through the UNT/TEA Career Education Excellence Grants.

Register today.

Robbie, D., & Zeeng, L. (2008). Engaging student social networks to motivate learning: Capturing, analyzing and critiquing the visual image. The International Journal of Learning, 15(3), 153-160.
Smith, N. (2010, May 4). Teachers embracing social media in the classroom. TechNewsDaily. Retrieved from
Teclehaimanot. B., & Hickman, T. (2011). Student-teacher interactions on Facebook: What students find appropriate. TechTrends, 55(3), pp. 19-30.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute

Legislative Update: WIA, Budget

Friday, March 30th, 2012

House Introduces Workforce Investment Act

The House this week introduced a comprehensive Workforce Investment Act reauthorization proposal, H.R. 4297, The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. This builds upon three separate bills introduced earlier this session by Reps. Virginia Foxx (NC), Rep. Buck McKeon (CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (NV). Rep. Foxx’s earlier bill, the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act, allowed states to submit a unified plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs, including both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs. Under Foxx’s bill, Perkins funds would have been eligible to be consolidated into a Workforce Investment Fund and used for workforce activities. We shared our opposition to this proposal with the members of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and we are happy to report that new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as the only program that cannot be consolidated in the unified state plan.

House Passes Budget Resolution

Yesterday the House passed the FY13 Budget Resolution introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) by a vote of 228 to 191. This proposal would cap federal spending at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below levels set by the Budget Control Act and the level that the Senate is plans to use.  Such a large difference between the chambers sets up another potentially long and drawn out appropriations process.

Duncan Testifies Before Congress on Budget
This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee to discuss the Administration’s FY13 Budget, much like he did last week before the Appropriations Labor-HHS- Education Subcommittee.  There was push back from this committee about the focus in the President’s budget on new competitive grant programs, as opposed to the long-standing formula programs. Secretary Duncan also spoke about the value of community colleges and the need to increase capacity to meet the growing demand of individuals seeking to upgrade their skills.


Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Welcome New Florida State Director Rod Duckworth

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

NASDCTEc welcomes Rod Duckworth, formerly of Arkansas, to his new role as Florida State Director.

Rod Duckworth joined the Florida Department of Education as the Chancellor for the Division of Career and Adult Education on March 12, 2012. He has extensive state and national experience in Career Technical Education (CTE) having most recently served as the Interim Deputy Director for Career and Technical Education in the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

Beginning his career as a classroom teacher and student organization advisor, he managed several national programs for the National FFA Organization in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Duckworth served as the State Program Director for Agriculture Education in Washington State and was later appointed as State Director of Career Technical Education, a position he held until he returned to his home state of Arkansas in 2007 to serve in various roles in the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

When asked for a goal he seeks to acheive in his new role, Duckworth said “I plan on building on the great work that has already been started here in Florida.”

Please welcome Mr. Duckworth into his new role.

Rod Duckworth’s full contact information is:
Mr. Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 744
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE State Director

Report Finds Increasing High School Graduation Rates and Fewer “Dropout Factories”

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

A new report from America’s Promise Alliance finds that the national high school graduation rate has improved and fewer schools have been labeled “dropout factories,” or schools that graduate less than 60 percent of students on time.

The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, states that the national graduation rate increased by 3.5 percent from 2001 through 2009 from 72 percent to 75.5 percent.

Texas, Florida, and Georgia had the most significant decrease in the number of “dropout factories” with a total of 238 schools in the three states no longer meeting the definition.

The report also highlighted Georgia’s efforts to address the high school dropout crisis. The state’s College and Career Academies (CCAs), charter schools that provide rigorous CTE curricula based on local labor market needs, were recognized as a model for increasing graduation rates through partnerships with business and industry. Many of the CCAs collaborate with businesses, such as the Georgia Power Company, to design Career Pathways in high-demand areas. Data on Georgia’s CCAs shows that:

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Register Now for April 27 NASDCTEc Webinar: Update on Common Career Technical Core Initiative

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Register now for an upcoming webinar: Common Career Technical Core Initiative

When: Friday, April 27, 2012 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is coordinating the state-led effort, which will complement and support comprehensive college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSI) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCTC will build a common connection among states to help prepare CTE students for College and Career.

Forty-three states (including the District of Columbia and a Territory) have signed a declaration of support for the CCTC initiative, pledging their involvement in the development stage. Hear about the purpose, process, the progress to date, and information on how to get involved during the upcoming public comment period.

Presenter: Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director, NASDCTEc

Register NOW

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars

Webinars Focus on New CTE Courses, Global Partnership Strategies

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) this week  is inviting the CTE community to join in on two free webinars. The webinars will offer insight into new developments in CTE courses and global partnership strategies.

Project Management for CTE—Life Skill, Job Skill, Certification Skill (Mar. 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT): This webinar shares the latest in the development of PMforCTE, an initiative connected to one of the newest approved CTE courses in the state of Washington. Beginning with a pilot high school class involving Rotary and local businesses and a state-level program advisory committee, PMforCTE is responding to current learning needs driven by industry demand and the importance of 21st-century skills. Stakeholders will share their experiences implementing PMforCTE in a pre-engineering classroom, a summer work training program and a Jobs for America’s Graduates program. Register for this free event now.

Partnering for Global Impact—A Case Study in Success (Mar. 28 at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT): Learn lessons on how to build global partnerships from this case study on workforce development, international connectivity with community and technical colleges and industry. Join ACTE for a case-study webinar on how a group of CTE providers worked with business partners and educational organizations to train automotive instructors in Morocco. The webinar will explain how administrators, instructors and leaders from Gateway Technical College, Shoreline Community College, Snap-on Inc., ACTE, BEPG Inc. and the National Coalition of Certification Centers, along with a school in Morocco, are working toward common goals. You can register now for this free presentation.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News, Research, Webinars
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Forty-One States and DC Declare Support for Development of Shared Set of CTE Standards

Monday, March 26th, 2012

NASDCTEc announced today that state leaders from across the nation are uniting to spearhead an initiative to develop a Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a set of shared state standards for Career Technical Education (CTE).

NASDCTEc  is coordinating the state-led effort, which will complement and support comprehensive college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSI) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCTC will build a common connection among states to help prepare CTE students for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand jobs. Forty-one states; Washington, DC and Palau have signed a declaration of support for the CCTC initiative, pledging their involvement in the development stage.

A range of stakeholders from business and industry to educators will be involved in the multi-step process to develop the CCTC. The development of the standards will be led by working groups made up of state-nominated experts from a variety of sectors. Their involvement will help ensure that the CCTC reflects the timely education and workforce needs of today’s global economy.

The working groups convened for the first time this week. Later in the spring, NASDCTEc will seek public comment on the draft standards. Final standards are scheduled for public release in June 2012, at which point states will move individually to adopt and implement the CCTC.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director, News
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CTE in the News: California Invests in CTE Programs to Train Students for Energy Industry

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

California is investing $3.2 million in a project that integrates academic and Career Technical Education, business partnerships and internships with the intent of grooming students to work in jobs in the clean technology and renewable energy industry, according to The Epoch Times.

The California Department of Education and the California Energy Commission has teamed up to offer Clean Energy and Technology Academies. The program, which is structured similarly to the state’s California Partnership Academies, is a three-year program for students grades 10 -12 in which students gain a balance of academics, real-world-learning and technical skills training so they can succeed in the energy industry specifically, the article said.

To date, 48,000 students are enrolled in the program, which reaches 21 schools across the state.  Academies will be eligible for the new funding in installments, pending their ability to demonstrate that they offer courses and educational experiences that meet set academic and industry-specific requirements intended to ensure the academies are preparing students to truly succeed in the energy industry.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager 

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: Budget, ED Priorities, DOL Priorities

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

House Marks Up Budget Resolution

Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the House Budget Committee released his budget resolution this week, which will serve as a blueprint for the House as the appropriations process moves forward. The budget passed committee by a vote of 19-18. The resolution sets the FY13 discretionary cap at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below the cap set by the Budget Control Act last summer. The proposal would cut education, training, employment, and social services programs by $16.4 billion, which is 22 percent below FY12 levels. The resolution specifically targets Federal job training and workforce programs, calling them duplicative, and proposing to streamline the system and consolidate existing programs into “career scholarship programs.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has said that the Senate will adhere to the spending levels set in the Budget Control Act and will not release a budget resolution.

Secretary Duncan Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday to discuss the budget and policy priorities of Department of Education.  Duncan spoke about some CTE-specific proposals such as increased funding for career academies and community colleges. He also addressed the need to reauthorize the Perkins Act:

The Administration’s reauthorization proposal would transform CTE by increasing the focus on outcomes and career pathways that ensure that what students learn in school is more closely aligned with the demands of the 21st century economy, while creating stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary education. The proposal would also promote innovation and reform in CTE.

A number of members, from both sides of the aisle, expressed concern that the President’s budget would cut or freeze existing programs, in exchange for funding new programs such as the Community College to Career Fund.

Secretary Solis Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee this week about the budget and policy priorities of the Department of Labor. Solis began her testimony by saying that the labor market grew stronger last year, and that over 2 million private sector jobs were created, while the unemployment rate fell in 48 states. However, there is still work to be done and the President’s budget outlines the steps his administration intends to take to address unemployment and the skills gap.

As we told you after the President’s State of the Union address, he plans to create an “economy built to last,” founded on strengthening manufacturing, energy, education, and skills training for individuals. Secretary Solis outlined the proposed programs in the President’s budget that would help address these issues. For example, the Community College to Career Fund would help community colleges to partner with business and industry to develop training programs for workers to enter high growth and high demand industries that meet the needs of local employers.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Tribute to Pioneer in Career Technical Education Dr. Byrl Shoemaker

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Dr. Byrl Shoemaker passed away March 1, 2012 at the age of 93. Dr. Shoemaker was a major contributor to education, including the development of the system of Career Technical Education Programs in Ohio; the development of the two-year Post High School Technician Education Centers that have grown into the system of Community Colleges over Ohio state; and the development and implementation of a system of certifying automotive repair training programs that meet standards set by the automotive industry at the national level.

The Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education stated that “Dr. Shoemaker, along with Governor Jim Rhodes, was the architect of the CTE system that we have in Ohio. His vision and passion for CTE was unmatched. He was an avid supporter of CTE, attending functions and advocating for CTE every chance he could.”

Dr. Shoemaker was a former State Director, Division of Vocational and Adult Education, Ohio Department of Education, Columbus, OH from1962 until his retirement in 1982.

In an article from the Ohio Department of Education-Career Technical Education Web site that describes a presentation given to Dr. Shoemaker honoring his service to Career Technical Education, an excerpt states that “He worked closely with Governor James Rhodes in the movement to establish 49 joint vocational school districts throughout the state. As a result of his efforts, hundreds of thousands of youth and adults have had the opportunity to prepare for a life of productive employment and financial independence. In addition to his work to establish joint vocational school districts throughout the state, he was instrumental in the adoption of vocational school operating standards, which assured access to a comprehensive program of vocational education for 11th- and 12th grade students. Ohio was the first state in the nation to adopt such vocational education standards.”

NASDCTEc recognizes the achievements of this remarkable individual who dedicated his career to promote Career Technical Education across the nation.

Dr. Shoemaker Obituary

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE State Director, News