Archive for April, 2012

Legislative Update: Appropriations, Sequestration

Friday, April 27th, 2012

House Sets Spending Levels

The House Appropriations committee this week released their FY13 302(b) allocations. Their allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is $150.002 billion. This is more than $6 billion below FY12 levels, and approximately $7.8 billion below the Senate’s allocation. Such a large divide between the House and the Senate likely means that we will see another series of continuing resolutions this fall.

Sequestration Hearing Highlights Harmful Impact on Education

The House Budget Committee held a hearing this week on sequestration. Daniel Werfel of the Office of Management and Budget told of the impact of sequestration on security and domestic programs:

If allowed to occur, the sequester would be highly destructive to national security and domestic priorities, and core government functions. The Administration believes that taking action to avoid the sequester in full in a balanced and fiscally responsible manner must be the primary focus of Congress’s deliberations in the coming months… For non-defense, the cuts would be equally harmful and wide-ranging, for example, cutting funding for education, law enforcement, infrastructure, and research and development.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR) also raised the point of how harmful the cuts would be to education.  Her question to the witnesses was an especially important one for CTE: “What is going happen to our efforts to rebuild the economy and our long term competiveness in a global market when we are doing this to our future leaders?” Mr. Werfel responded that the approximate 8% cut to non-defense discretionary programs would result in a loss of educational services for students, as well as a loss of educator jobs, for districts that are already struggling.

Unless Congress acts to stop it, sequestration will take effect on January 2, 2013.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Report: Community Involvement and Academic and Technical Integration Spur Real-World Learning in High Schools

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A nationwide emphasis on college and career readiness has brought more light to preparing high school students beyond academics. A recent report from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation implores education decision makers to support the integration of academic and technical curriculum that provides students with a full range of skills to succeed in postsecondary education and beyond.

The report, It Takes a Whole Society: Opening Up the Learning Landscape in the High School Years, indicates that more stakeholders – beyond the education community – should be involved to provide students with relevant education and skills. Education today should be delivered through hands-on learning and engagement of outside stakeholders to provide authentic student experiences.

The report lays out current issues in education such as a narrow focus on college preparation and instruction that does not expose students to real-world experiences. The author suggests ways to create a richer secondary education experience for students including the use of Career Technical Education (CTE) for delivering integrated learning. Further, the use of apprenticeships is advised to create an optimal, applied learning environment for secondary students.

Access the full report here.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst  

By Kara in Research
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Career Clusters â„¢ Institute Series: Professional Development for Data-Driven Program Improvement

Wednesday, April 25th, 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.

As a Senior Consultant for NOCTI (formerly the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute), Dr. Sandra Pritz is involved with NOCTI’s partnership projects with the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education. She also coordinates the identification of integrated academics in assessments. Prior to NOCTI, Dr. Pritz taught college-level economics, mathematics, and English and spent almost 30 years at The Ohio State University Center on Education and Training for Employment, where she directed numerous projects based in CTE.


Debra Andrews is a Career and Technical Education specialist at the Maine Department of Education, working in the areas of comprehensive school review and technical standards and assessments implementation. Debra has worked as an educator in Maine for over twenty-five years, teaching third grade in Topsham; training teachers through the Professional Development Center at the University of Southern Maine; and administrating international education programs at Southern Maine Community College.

A key strategy in preparing college and career ready high school graduates is making effective use of the voluminous assessment data available to educators. NRCCTE researchers at NOCTI spent three years researching and pilot testing a professional development model that takes the confusion out of interpreting and using assessment data and helps teachers focus on the data connections between work and real-world student learning in order to create instructional improvement plans.

Career and Technical Educators Using Data-Driven Improvement (CTEDDI is the only evidence-based program designed to prepare both administrators and CTE teachers to use technical assessment data to continuously improve their programs. Educators analyze their own students’ data as they create both classroom- and student-level instructional improvement plans. This session will enable educators to learn about the program, but also to consider its features as they move forward with their plans to use data insightfully.

Delivered by knowledgeable in-state facilitators who also serve as ongoing coaches for teachers and administrators, CTEDDI also sustains valuable communities of practice through an online sharing center. At the Institute, Debra Andrews, CTEDDI administrative leader and facilitator for the state of Maine, will describe the characteristics of on-the-ground implementation at their sites. It is relevant that the following quotation is the tag line on e-mails she sends: “Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a solution.” (Maya Angelou)

To learn more about participating in CTEDDI, visit our website at www.nrccte.

Learn more about the characteristics of professional development that make data matter for both educators and students by attending Drs. Pritz and Andrew’s session at the Institute: Professional Development for Data-Driven Program Improvement.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute

Registration Reminder for NASDCTEc Webinar: Common Career Technical Core Initiative Airing April 27

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Reminder! Register for an upcoming webinar on the 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 (pictured)
E-mail: dfolkers@careertech.org.
Register NOW

Dean also participated in a lively and engaging Education Talk Radio interview April 18 with host Larry Jacobs, discussing the Common Career Technical Core and Career Technical Education.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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CTE IN THE NEWS: Career Education Plan from Obama Administration Unlikely to Bear Fruit for a Year or More

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education unveiled by the Obama Administration this week surfaced questions among key education and policy stakeholders; they rose issue regarding the timing of the document and effectiveness of its funding proposal, according to a recent Huffington Post article.

The article highlighted NASDCTEc’s concerns over the Perkins Blueprint, particularly relative to the proposal that would shift Perkin’s longstanding formula funding into competitive funding. Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director, noted how elimination of formula funding would leave states and regions with little or no monies to support areas that likely need the most help with training and educating CTE students for jobs.

“The details worry us,” said Green, in the article. “The competitive approach has the potential effect of really disadvantaging rural areas … that have smaller staffs and no full-time grant writers.”

NASDCTEc this week released a statement noting concerns of the Perkins Blueprint.

Echoing concerns over the Perkins Blueprint funding proposal, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) said in a statement that she “supports the Administration’s push to build on the successes of CTE programs,” but has “concerns with the funding mechanisms being proposed,” according to the article.

Finally, the article speculated that the Perkins Blueprint will likely not see much traction during this election year, adding that “no congressman has indicated he or she would sponsor a CTE reform bill along the lines of Obama’s proposal.”

“It’s part of a campaign strategy to emphasize employment,” said Jack Jennings, a former longtime Democratic congressional education staffer. “That’s Obama’s weak spot.”

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, WIA, Career Pathways

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Department of Education released their Perkins reauthorization blueprint yesterday. See our previous blog entry and statement here.

Senate Sets Spending Levels for Subcommittees

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee released their 302(b) allocations, or spending levels, for each of the 12 subcommittees. In the Senate, they are using as their top line number the cap set by the Budget Control Act — $1.047 trillion. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee would receive $157.722 billion to divide up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. The House is expected to release its 302(b) allocations next.

House Holds WIA Hearing

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a legislative hearing this week on H.R. 4297, the “Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012.” The hearing provided members an opportunity to discuss and gather expert feedback on the legislation. Among other things, this bill would consolidate 27existing workforce related programs into one flexible job training program, require the makeup of WIBs to be two-thirds employers, and require States to adopt common performance measures.

DOL Releases Career Pathways Resources

The Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor released technical assistance resources for the Career Pathways Initiative. The Career Pathways Initiative was launched in June 2010 to increase credential attainment and improve access to training opportunities for disadvantaged individuals. The new resources can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Department’s Perkins Reauthorization Proposal Raises Questions and Concerns

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. This Blueprint outlines the Obama Administration’s plan for reauthorizing the Perkins Act, and revolves around the following four themes:

  1. Alignment: Effective alignment between high-quality CTE programs and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors;
  2. Collaboration:  Strong collaborations among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs;
  3. Accountability: Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs for all students, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance; and
  4. Innovation:  Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.

 

While we support the themes encompassed in the Blueprint, we worry that the details related to each of these areas could have an adverse affect on CTE programs. For example, the proposal to award funds to consortia on a competitive basis could result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. You can read our joint statement with ACTE here. We will provide more detailed analysis in the coming days.

For more information from the Department of Education, you can access a summary of the Blueprint, as well as their press release.

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Career and Technical Education Leaders Respond to Department of Education Perkins Blueprint

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, at Des Moines Area Community College, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the Administration’s proposal for Perkins reauthorization. NASDCTEc, together with ACTE, issued a statement immediately following the release:

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On April 19, 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, outlining the Obama Administration’s proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) appreciate the Department’s focus on Perkins, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), at a time when many industries face a shortage of well qualified skilled workers. However, some of the details in the Blueprint raise serious concerns.

While we support the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation—we worry that the details in the Blueprint could have an adverse affect on CTE programs and result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. As the reauthorization process moves forward, CTE stakeholders across the country are looking forward to providing input to develop a new law that will best meet the needs of CTE students and our nation’s economy.

We believe that a new CTE law should provide sufficient resources to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE, beginning early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and building pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary education, postsecondary education, and the labor market. To achieve this goal, we believe it is critical that the new law focus on improving program quality by building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways.

Recent data prove that CTE is making the difference in the lives of students, in communities and for businesses all across our nation. We are eager to work with the Department of Education, the Obama Administration and Congress to develop federal policy and legislation that builds on strengths, expands opportunities and access for more students to be successful in college and careers, and helps keep our nation’s economy strong and prosperous.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Welcomes Dr. Philip Cleveland, New State Director for Alabama

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Dr. Philip C. Cleveland has been named the new Alabama Director of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development for the Alabama Department of Education. This is a newly created position, which will include an expanded role to work with the Work Force and Economic Development Councils.

Dr. Cleveland’s past experiences include serving as a teacher, Career Technical Education Director, Principal, and interim community college President.

Dr. Cleveland is currently the Principal at J.B. Pennington High School. He returned this position in 2011 following his tenure as Vice President for Learning/Dean of Applied Technologies at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville where, he oversaw the process of earning accreditation for the technical programs, was instrumental in developing the Tech-Prep program statewide, and increased enrollment in Wallace State’s technical programs by 30 percent.

His career has included serving as the Blount County Career and Technical Education Director, and service at J.B. Pennington High School as an Agriscience Education Instructor, Assistant Principal, and finally as Principal.

Dr. Cleveland holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Agriculture Business and Economics, a master’s degree from Auburn in Agriculture Education, an A.A. from Alabama A&M in Agribusiness Education, and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Cleveland will begin this position on June 1, 2012. During this transition, Dr. Cleveland will spend time in Montgomery getting acclimated to his new role.

Please welcome Dr. Cleveland. His contact information is:

Dr. Philip C. Cleveland
State Director of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development
Alabama State Department of Education
P.O. Box 302101
Montgomery, AL 36130-2101
His e-mail is pcleveland@alsde.edu.

NASDCTEc offers best wishes to retiring State Director Sherry Key, an active CTE advocate for many years.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE State Director

April “CTE Monthly” Newsletter: Report Assesses Progress toward Postsecondary Credential Attainment; Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications Career Spotlight

Wednesday, April 18th, 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 April issue highlights the Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications Career Cluster™, an area that is expected to see an increase in jobs over the next decade. A CTE high school in Dallas, Texas, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, is featured in this month’s newsletter.

Also highlighted is a report from the Lumina Foundation, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, that assesses the nation’s progress toward postsecondary degree and credential completion.

Access the April edition of CTE Monthly, and view past newsletters on our advocacy tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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