Archive for August, 2012

CTE in the News: KY Gov. Streamlines CTE to Boost Efficiency

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order this week that would streamline all Career Technical Education (CTE) programs under the Kentucky Department of Education. The move was intended to organize the education system, encourage consistency and address the needs of employers quickly, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader article.

Prior to the executive order, high schools operated CTE programs using local and state funds and reported to the Kentucky Department of Education. However, the state also had 53 technical centers for 123 school districts that reported to the Department for Workforce Investment, according to the article.

Dale Winkler, Executive Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education, said the change will help streamline the programs, which had different curricula and more efficiently work with employers who provide support.

“Industry has really been behind this,” said Winkler, in the article. “Before, they had to go and address two different audiences if they needed to make changes.”

Also, under the order, a committee of educators, employers and other experts will be selected to advise on the program curriculum and career pathways. About 75 percent of Kentucky high school students received some form of technical career education last year.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News

Election 2012: Candidates’ Education Positions

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Yesterday we told you about the newly unveiled Republican party platform which supports local CTE programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels. While this platform reveals where the party as a whole stands on various issues, it does not necessarily reflect the position of an individual candidate. In a new publication from NASDCTEc, Election 2012: Candidates’ Education Positions, we take a closer look at the policy positions of both Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. This document does not cover every education policy issue, but those that the candidates have made public.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy, Publications
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Meet June Sanford, NASDCTEc Region I Representative

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring June Sanford, Region I Representative, and State Director of Connecticut. Region I encompasses Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

June Sanford joined the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in 1999 as an education consultant for school-based School-to-Career and Cooperative Work Education programs. She serves as State Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) and Perkins Program Manager responsible for grant administration, performance accountability data, state-wide program monitoring, and implementation of the Connecticut Career Clusters/Pathway Initiative. June is a state representative for the five-state New England Secondary School Consortium, League of Innovative Schools Committee, dedicated to student success. In addition, June co-leads the CSDE initiative for the Student Success Plan legislated for all students grades 6-12 under the Connecticut Plan for Secondary School Reform.

On the national level, as Connecticut State Director of CTE since 2003, June is a former President of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and has recently rejoined the Association Board of Directors. During her tenure as President, a new Vision for Career Technical Education was established, “Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education”, focused on the preparedness of students for college- and career-readiness.

Before joining the State Department of Education, June was a secondary education teacher for business, marketing, cooperative work education, and social studies, an advisor for DECA and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and grant administrator. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Post University and a M.S. degree in Business Education from Central Connecticut State University. Prior to becoming a secondary education teacher, she was employed in Corporate Human Resources for Timex Corporation as a Compensation Analyst and Benefits Accountant…June has learned how to “take a licking and keep on ticking”.

When asked her goal as NASDCTEc Region I representative, Ms. Sanford said “To share the tremendous importance of Career Technical Education as preparation for all students to be successful in life and in the global economy.”

June brings a wealth of experience and insight into the Region I leadership role. We thank Ms. Sanford for sharing her personal insight and goal for our organization. She can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

Republican Platform Highlights CTE

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With the presidential election just around the corner, convention season is upon us. Republicans are meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate for President. Part of the convention process includes releasing the party’s “platform” or statement of principles. The Republican party’s platform covers a broad swath of issues, including education, jobs and the economy, agriculture, and government reform. The party’s education plank underscores the value of CTE in preparing students for the workplace:

School choice—whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools…We support the promotion of local career and technical educational programs and entrepreneurial programs that have been supported by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the American workforce, which is the best in the world.

The platform also states the party’s belief that the status quo is not working for the higher education system, and calls for “new systems of learning” that can compete with traditional four-year institutions, including community and technical colleges, private training schools, and work-based learning in the private sector. The party also believes that the acquisition of advanced skills is necessary for the 21st century economy, and should focus on STEM fields.

Democrats will convene in Charlotte next week to officially nominate President Obama as their candidate, at which time they are expected to release their party’s platform.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Public Policy
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ACT Scores: 60 Percent of High School Graduates Did Not Meet Benchmarks for College and Career Readiness

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Over half of this year’s high school graduating class, a record number of students, took the ACT college and career readiness exam. The sobering exam results indicate that 60 percent of the high school graduates are at risk of not succeeding in college and careers:

ACT specifies that the minimum score needed in each of the four testing areas indicates that a student has a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or higher, or a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher, in typical first-year college coursework.

An analysis of this year’s scores also reflects disparities between the scores of Asian American and White students, most of whom met or exceeded the benchmarks except in science, and those of Black and Hispanic students, who were less likely to meet or surpass the benchmarks. Just one-third of all students met the science benchmarks.

ACT also surveyed students’ career interests, and found that the career areas of interest for students are not aligned with the kinds of jobs projected to be available over the next decade.

The study suggests several state policy recommendations to increase student preparedness. Suggestions include setting clear performance standards, ensuring monitoring and early intervention, and implementing ACT’s Core Practice Framework.

Read ACT’s analysis of the scores: The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Publications, Research

NCES Report Examines Gaps in Higher Education Access and Persistence

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

In 2008, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Education to produce a report examining the gaps in educational participation and attainment of White males versus Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander males, and the participation and attainment of their female counterparts. This month, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the report, and the findings indicate that gaps in persistence and access continue. The findings include:

Read the full report: Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst


By Kara in Research
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Meet Eleni Papadakis, NASDCTEc Region X Representative

Monday, August 27th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Eleni Papadakis, Region X Representative, and State Director of Washington. Region X encompasses Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Eleni Papadakis was appointed by Washington’s Governor Christine Gregoire in 2007 as the Executive Director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, more commonly known as the Workforce Board. Business, labor and government stakeholders are equally represented on this tri-partite board, which oversees 18 different state and federal funding streams in the state’s comprehensive workforce development system.

Eleni came to Washington with more than 25 years of experience in the workforce development arena–from service delivery through state and federal policy work. Eleni came to Washington from Commonwealth Corporation, a Massachusetts quasi-public corporation, where she established the Center for Workforce Innovation, a research and demonstration arm of the state’s workforce development system, and a national consulting organization on economic and workforce development strategies Leading up to that role, Eleni oversaw the development and implementation of numerous state-wide and regional initiatives, for special population groups and for targeted industry sectors, including biotechnology, fiber optics, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, telecommunications and software. She also helped facilitate Massachusetts’ transition to WIA and the development of a state plan to eradicate healthcare workforce shortages.

Eleni has also worked in business–including operating her own small business, a bistro-entertainment venue–and lead a multi-service community-based organization for 9 years. Eleni holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and Bachelors in Psychology from Clark University, both in Worcester, Massachusetts.

When asked for her goals as a Board Member, Eleni said “My interests are in making certain that high quality Career Technical Education is accessible to all students, that we have clear and accessible pathways from secondary to post-secondary education, and that career success for all students is our ultimate mission.”

NASDCTEc appreciates Eleni’s willingness to serve as a Board member. She can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

CTE in the News: Wisconsin Program Preps Students for College and Career

Friday, August 24th, 2012

All students should be prepared for college and career, say Wisconsin educators who are leading a program to help improve students’ graduation rates, transition services, and post-school outcomes, according to a recent Education Daily article.

The Wisconsin Career Pathways program was designed to serve all students. Starting in ninth grade, students are asked to choose a career to study and take classes in their chosen field.  The Wisconsin Technical College System partnered with the state department of instruction to develop the program, which is web-based and modeled after the National Career Clusters ™ Framework.

“The idea is that students are making their own plan to prepare for the future,” said Marge Rubin, director of College and Career Pathways at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis.

“Research shows that students who have plans are more successful than those who don’t.”

The program intends for students to explore different jobs within the career of their choice so they understand the academic and technical requirements, demands and outlook for those jobs, and what postsecondary options within the state can help them achieve their college and career goals.

“There was this great divide. Students either had to choose between preparing for college or a career,” Rubin said. “All students need to be prepared for both.”

Education Daily is an online publication available only to its subscribers.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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How CTE: Learning that works for North Carolina is making a Difference

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The NASDCTEc office has recently been inundated with requests for use of the CTE: Learning that works for North Carolina logo, so I called Rhonda Welfare, third party approver and asked “What’s going on?” Her explanation follows. Rhonda, Senior Analyst, CTE State and Federal Accountability, NC Department of Public Instruction, is a guest blogger will tell us what North Carolina is doing with the campaign.

North Carolina Career and Technical Education (CTE) has long understood the importance of marketing CTE. We have been involved in marketing activities and have assisted local districts in their marketing efforts for many years. Most recently, a strategic plan developed for North Carolina CTE by business, community, and education stakeholders focused on how marketing the CTE message can make a difference. We didn’t need to convince our locals that marketing is critical. In fact, they push us to do more!

At the state level we began using the new logo shortly after its release in 2011. We used it on everything we released – brochures, meeting handouts, agendas, PowerPoint presentations – and talked it up at every opportunity. As local users expressed interest, we told them to have their CTE Administrator request the logo directly from NASDCTEc to ensure that it was used in ways that reflected the CTE brand message. This summer we sent an e-mail to the administrators at all 115 of our local districts reminding them about the logo and the procedure for obtaining it. The message was timed just as they were developing materials for the fall and it opened the floodgates. About half of our local districts have committed to using the logo, and we anticipate that number will increase as others see it used more widely around the state.

We are happy to have access to an attractive, professional quality CTE logo that conveys a message that is important to us in North Carolina and around the country. Having it available in different formats has been particularly useful. The response from our users and from those who see the logo on our materials has been overwhelmingly positive.

For more information about how you too can grow state usage of the CTE: Learning that works for America state logos like North Carolina is doing, please contact Rhonda Welfare, Senior Analyst, CTE State and Federal Accountability, NC Department of Public Instruction at Many states have signed on to use their state logos; in this case State Director Jo Anne Honeycutt opted for North Carolina to review all eligible third party user agreements prior to being given access to their state logos. Rhonda Welfare is the designated person who makes decisions regarding granting access to the state logo.

Does your state have access to the CTE: Learning that works for America state logos?Learn more
Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in CTE: Learning that works for America

New Poll Reveals Shifting Views of Public Education

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

This year’s PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools shows that the public’s opinion concerning education and funding is shifting. When asked in 1996, whether it was more important to balance the federal budget or improve the quality of education, nearly two thirds of respondents said “improve education.” However, this year 60 percent said that it’s more important to balance the federal budget. Given the state of the economy in 1996 versus today, this shift could be in response to the fiscal crises occurring at all governing levels in recent years.

That being said, the poll also revealed that the public feels that lack of funding is the biggest challenge facing public schools in their communities, with 35 percent of those surveyed citing it as the top challenge, compared with 23 percent a decade ago. Parents, at 43 percent, felt even more strongly that lack of funding is the number one challenge facing public schools.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Public Policy
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