Archive for January, 2014

CTE Caucus Comes to the Senate, White House Releases Additional Information on SOTU

Friday, January 31st, 2014

CapitolYesterday morning Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) announced the creation of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, a bipartisan endeavor focused on promoting CTE inside the Chamber and throughout the country. The Senate CTE Caucus, much like its counterpart in the House of Representatives, seeks to “support efforts to ensure all students have access to high-quality, rigorous career and technical education to prepare them for college and for their future careers.”

During yesterday’s announcement, Senator Kaine explained that his interest in CTE stemmed from one of his defining achievements as Governor of Virginia through the creation of CTE Academies in his home state. Expressing his passion for CTE, Senator Kaine described how CTE programs “strengthen the links between the classroom and the workplace, helping students acquire the education and skills that will help them find employment and enjoy productive, successful lives after graduation.”

Senator Portman tied his interest in the creation of the caucus to some of the priorities highlighted in President Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this week. “We must close this skills gap to get Americans working again,” he said.  “One way we can do that is by focusing on Career and Technical Education that equips workers with credentials, certificates, and other training that will match them with open jobs.”

The caucus’s formation coincides with the arrival of CTE month in February and Congress’s consideration of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act— the sole piece of federal legislation which supports CTE programs throughout the country and represents the largest investment in America’s high schools. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium welcomes the strengthened interest in CTE within the Senate and looks forward to working with the newly formed caucus as they begin a drive for membership within the Chamber.

Senators Kaine and Portman have created a great new opportunity for CTE advocates to have their voices represented in Congress. You can help by contacting your Senator or Representative and urging them to join either of these CTE Caucuses. Remember, the CTE community— that is YOU— are the experts, so please share your knowledge and passion for CTE with Congress as these initiatives and much more get underway.

Don’t know who represents you in Congress? Find out here!

White House Releases SOTU Supplements

Yesterday, the White House released a supplemental fact sheet to more fully outline the proposals contained in President Obama’s State of the Union speech. The fact sheet goes into greater detail about Vice President Joe Biden’s across-the-board review of existing federal workforce training and education programs and lays out actionable next-steps for how to achieve some of the overarching objectives set by the President in Tuesday’s address.

Of particular note to the CTE community is the Administration’s refocused goals for the Trade Adjustment Assistance & Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The President has directed the Labor Department’s Secretary Perez to focus the selection criteria for the program on “job-driven training strategies” which seek to replicate nationally “job-driven training partnerships between regional employers and national industry associations that advance the best practices identified throughout the immediate stakeholder consultations.” TAACCCT, in its final round of funding totaling more than $500 million, is available to community colleges and other eligible postsecondary institutions throughout the country and will likely be a core element to accomplishing the President’s “Opportunity for All” agenda in the coming year.

More information on the TAACCCT grant program can be found here.

Senator Alexander Introduces School Voucher Bill

Earlier this week Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Scholarships for Kids Act. This legislation proposes to consolidate a number of existing education programs to fund $2,100 scholarships for 11 million low-income students across the country in an effort to afford greater access to any public or private accredited school of their parent’s choice.

To pay for these scholarships Senator Alexander has proposed repealing Titles II through VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and a great many other programs under Title I of that Act. For instance, it proposes repealing programs that support magnet and charter schools, a move which would oddly limit the options available to many students and their families— something the bill is aiming to promote not diminish.

Most importantly for the CTE community, the entire Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) has also been included in this proposed consolidation. Unlike ESEA, Senator Alexander’s proposal would repeal the entire Perkins Act, eliminating the sole federal support for CTE programs throughout the country, undermining its global competitiveness, and hampering student access to high quality CTE programs. It is important to note, that this legislation is not likely to move out of the Democrat-controlled Senate Chamber and HELP Committee. NASDCTEc will continue to monitor this and similar pieces of legislation that impact the Perkins Act and the larger CTE community as legislation continues to be introduce this year.

The full bill’s text can be found here and a press release on the legislation can be found here.

College Affordability and Innovation Act of 2014

On Wednesday, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the College Affordability and Innovation Act of 2014. The proposed legislation seeks to make higher education more affordable for students and promote innovative practices in the postsecondary space that help limit the cost of college.

Among the proposals, the bill would create a pilot program that would incentivize colleges and universities to implement programs that offer high-quality education at lower costs, and reduce the overall time for degree completion. Programs such as competency-based degrees, dual-enrollment, and other accelerated degrees were among examples specifically cited in the legislation.

The accompanying press release can be found here.

The GREEN Act

Last week, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act. The legislation would provide $100 million for a competitive grant program for the development of CTE programs of study which focus on the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. The bill would also promote increased energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy practices in CTE facilities and buildings.

The press release and full text of the law can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in Legislation, News, Public Policy
Tags: , ,

CTE Research Review

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013The U.S. Census Bureau released its long anticipated Measuring Alternative Educational Credentials: 2012, a study designed to measure the impact that non-academic or “alternative educational credentials” —including professional certifications, educational certificates and licenses— have on job placement, earnings and career advancement. Designed to establish the labor market value of alternative educational credentials, the study offers unique insight into the importance of educational achievement outside of and in conjunction with traditional measures such as high school diplomas, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees.

The survey reveals that about one in four adults holds some form of alternative credential, and that these individuals represent a broad cross-section of the American workforce. Notably, the study revealed that an individual possessing an alternative credential was significantly more likely to be employed during the course of the study than an individual without one, and that among individuals with some college (but without a degree) or less, the possession of an alternative credential carried a significant earnings premium. A similar pattern also exists among those with professional degrees.

The report concludes that “while traditional educational attainment provides one route to a productive career, it is not the only path.” As the education system evolves and the market demands greater flexibility and expertise from job seekers, these data make a strong case for reexamining the definition of educational attainment, the value of professional certifications and the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE).

The Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) published Making Workforce Data Work on January 23, 2014. Along with a series of policy proposals, the report makes the case for accurate workforce data, revealing critical contributions workforce data can make to decision making among students, educators, policymakers and industry leaders.

WDQC’s proposals for improving current data collection practices are myriad, but are coherently distilled into a clear set of proposals. By adopting five key reforms, WDQC’s report lays out a pathway to significant improvement in workforce data management. In brief, they are:

1.     Including all students and pathways in charting student progress, not only those in K-12.

2.     Counting industry recognized credentials alongside traditional high school and college degrees in measuring academic achievement.

3.     Assessing employment outcomes for all participants, matching student records to wage records for all participants, allowing analysis of the impact education and training programs have on participants’ careers.

4.     Expanding use of labor market information so that stakeholders can assess the value of educational and training programs against the backdrop employer needs.

5.     Ensuring data access and appropriate use to enable stakeholders to identify programs that lead to individual success after completion.

The report continues with a series of policy proposals for federal and state reform, identifying actionable items to make the five goals outlined above a reality. Taken as a guidepost for future workforce data collection and analysis, the report’s proposals could change significantly how education and training decisions are made, and is worthy of consideration.

Earlier this month, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) unveiled Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2014, its prospectus on the year ahead in higher education. In the report, AASCU identifies 10 key issues —including career technical education, STEM initiatives and promoting college readiness— likely to confront education policymakers over the next year.

The report identifies Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s projection that  nearly two-thirds of the occupations projected to grow the fastest by 2022 will require some form of postsecondary education as the main impetus for expanding the role of CTE in the year ahead.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By Evan Williamson in News, Research
Tags: , ,

Legislative Update: President Obama Delivers the State of the Union Address

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

CapitolLast night, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address which centered on a broad-based agenda to improve the level of opportunity available to most Americans. The President emphasized education as one of the core components to achieving this commendable goal. Although there were no new educational initiatives announced during his speech, he stressed the important role education has in preparing students for entry into the 21st century workforce and highlighted some of his Administration’s initiatives already underway.

One of the most encouraging aspects of last night’s address was the President’s announcement that Vice President Biden would lead reform efforts aimed at improving existing training programs. According to President Obama these efforts are designed to “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.” Closing this skills gap was an overarching goal for the President as he highlighted the successes manufacturers have had in Detroit and elsewhere in using some of these services. In particular he stressed the need for “more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life” while urging businesses and postsecondary institutions to “design training to fill their specific needs.”

The President urged Congress to “concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs” and also highlighted his Administration’s ongoing work to “redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead directly to a job and career.”

Taken together, these statements are encouraging for Career Technical Education (CTE). Through the combination of experiential learning opportunities and rigorous technical and academic instruction, CTE programs are providing students at all levels with relevant, real-world opportunities in and out of the classroom to better prepare them for both college and careers. As Congress considers the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act— the sole piece of federal legislation which supports CTE programs in the United States—   it will be important to build on this success in order to ensure students have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in today’s global economy.

Following the State of the Union speech, President Obama has announced travel plans to highlight many of the priorities outlined in his remarks. Among the many sites and cities on his itinerary, the President will speak next week at McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee— a school which has received honors for its CTE programs. This selection only further demonstrates the central role CTE will have in achieving much of the President’s 2014 agenda. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium applauds this planned event and looks forward to further engagement with both the Administration and Congress to further support and improve CTE programs throughout the country.

The full transcript for last night’s State of the Union can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in Legislation, News, Public Policy

Early Bird Registration Rate Ends Soon for NASDCTEc Spring Meeting – Register NOW

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

DoubleLogoEARLY BIRD REGISTRATION REMINDER for the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

To get the Early Bird registration rate, register now! Early Bird registration runs through February 3, 2014. Registration continues after that date, but at the main registration rate. Our annual Spring Meeting is a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s Capital! Get ready for exciting sessions for State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors, CTE leaders, and individuals who contribute to the CTE community at the national, state, and local levels. These sessions will equip you with the information and tools you need to be an effective leader in an ever-changing environment. We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online and adding more detail and depth to the conversation.

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Noon Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where: Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Agenda DRAFT is online. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

Registration Information

Meals included in your registration fee include three continental breakfasts and two lunches.

Registration Rates and Dates:

Early Bird Registration: January 17, 2014 – February 3, 2014; Main Registration: February 4, 2014 – online registration will close March 17, 2014

Be sure to REGISTER NOW

Hotel Information

Guest rooms have been reserved at the historic Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Avenue), Washington DC 20008. Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. You can make your hotel reservations today in one of two ways:

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW at our special group reservations link (preferred) or Guests can call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) 24 hours a day to make their reservations and request group name: NASDCTEc Spring Meeting 2014.

Please use one of these registration methods to be assured the special room rate of $224, plus applicable taxes. This rate is only available until March 7, 2014 or when our block fills – whichever comes first. So make your reservation today! At the time of your lodging reservation, you will be asked for a major credit card to hold your room. Reservations may be cancelled up until 3 days prior to arrival – by noon Eastern Time, or forfeit one night’s stay plus tax.

More about the Omni Shoreham

Travel to hotel:

The least expensive way to get to the hotel is by metro. Save money by using Washington DC Metro’s Trip Planner to get to the hotel. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive. The Metro rail is just steps away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop about a 5 minute walk away.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Spring Meeting information page

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Spring Meeting

Please Welcome Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju, New State CTE Director for Iowa

Friday, January 24th, 2014

We are pleased to announce Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju has accepted the position of Chief of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Division of Community Colleges, Iowa Department of Education.

He most recently served as the deputy director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the University of Louisville.  His extensive prior experience includes serving as the Minnesota CTE/Perkins system director and in various other positions within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security (now Employment and Economic Development).  In Minnesota, he provided leadership for the development of secondary and postsecondary Perkins consortia and grant activities supporting adult education career pathway development.

Before entering the public sector, Dr. Kotamraju taught at several higher education institutions.  Pradeep is a prolific writer and researcher with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois and degrees from George Washington University and the University of Delhi.  Among other work, he has served as a senior consultant for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant evaluations, president of the Association for CTE Research, and on the National Council on Workforce Education Board.Pradeep_Kotamraju_72ppi

As chief of the CTE bureau, Pradeep will be responsible for the direction of statewide efforts related to secondary and postsecondary CTE and veterans education. This includes connecting research, policy, and practice to advance secondary CTE modernization and representing Iowa nationally as the state director for CTE.

When asked about his new role, Pradeep said “I am excited to become Iowa’s State CTE Director and join a team at the Iowa Department of Education that is already undertaking many wide-ranging projects involving secondary CTE, community colleges, adult education, and workforce development, all working together to rethink Iowa’s CTE programs, administration, policy, and accountability systems. The overarching goal of these endeavors is to ensure that all Iowans are able to access a fully vibrant 21st century CTE.”

Please welcome Pradeep, who can be reached at pradeep.kotamraju@iowa.gov.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

Omnibus Spending Bill Passes Congress Amid Retirement Announcements

Friday, January 17th, 2014

CapitolAs we shared previously, last month Congress successfully came to an agreement known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The deal set overall spending levels for the next two years and provided $63 billion of relief from the harmful spending reductions known as sequestration, split evenly between defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending through FY14 and FY15. However, this agreement merely set the framework for the federal budget— it was still up to Congressional appropriators to determine the level of funding each of the departments, agencies, and programs would receive under the new $1.012 trillion overall spending level established under the deal.

For the past month appropriators have been in negotiations to craft 12 individual spending bills as part of a larger omnibus spending package which incorporates each into a single piece of legislation. Earlier this week, details of the omnibus appropriations bill were announced and an additional $53 million was appropriated for the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins). This increase, best understood in comparison to the previously lower levels mandated by sequestration, will provide additional funding for the basic state grant program under Perkins which will help alleviate some of the fiscal pressures placed on states over the past few years due to austerity measures at the national level.

The bill also proposes a change to the name of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) to the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) among other general provisions included in the legislation. Both the House and the Senate have passed the omnibus bill by wide margins and it has been sent to President Obama for final passage which is expected shortly. As Congress considers the reauthorization of Perkins in 2014, this increase in appropriations is a vote of confidence for the CTE community and the opportunities they provide for students across the country. NASDCTEc and its partners applaud these positive developments and look forward to working constructively in the coming year to renew this important law.

Changes to the House Education and Workforce Committee as Miller, McKeon Make Exits

Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) have each announced this week that they will not be seeking reelection. Both members currently serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee (HEW) and have had long distinguished careers in the House of Representatives.  Interestingly both have also served as former Chairmen of the HEW and have been champions of education issues throughout their long service. These announcements come at a time when Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is also set to retire next year, leaving his post as Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee. These announcements will have larger implications for the composition and leadership of each committee in the next Congress, likely impacting the legislative priorities for each. NASDCTEc would like to thank each of these members for their many years of service and for their dedication to education issues throughout their long tenures in Congress.

NGA Sets Out 2014 Agenda

On Wednesday the National Governors Association (NGA) held its annual State of the States Address. NGA Chair and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin along with NGA’s Vice Chair and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper both offered remarks which laid out the association’s agenda for the coming year. Although the association expressed frustration with recent Congressional gridlock, they outlined the contours of a partnership between the federal government and the states which they termed “flexible federalism”— something that they argued would give states greater flexibility in determining how best to implement and administer programs and policies to better fit their unique needs.

Among the many priority areas outlined in the address, NGA urged Congressional action on a number of education and workforce development legislation including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and certain provisions of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Governor Fallin stressed the importance of aligning education and workforce programs to the needs of businesses and labor markets, while also calling for wider adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Although there was no direct mention of the Carl D. Perkins Act in the address, many of the themes contained in the Governors’ remarks touched on the importance of Career Technical Education and highlighted the need for some form postsecondary education as a “new minimum” for entry into “America’s 21st Century workforce.”

The full address can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in Legislation, News, Public Policy

Announcing the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

Friday, January 17th, 2014

DoubleLogo

ANNOUNCING the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

NASDCTEc is pleased to invite you to participate in our annual Spring Meeting, a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s Capital!

Get ready for exciting sessions for State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors, CTE leaders, and individuals who contribute to the CTE community at the national, state, and local levels. These sessions will equip you with the information and tools you need to be an effective leader in an ever-changing environment.

We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online and adding more detail and depth to the conversation.

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Noon Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where: Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Agenda DRAFT is online. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

Registration Information

Meals included in your registration fee include three continental breakfasts and two lunches.

Registration Rates and Dates:

Early Bird Registration: January 17, 2014 – February 3, 2014; Main Registration: February 4, 2014 – online registration will close March 17, 2014

Be sure to REGISTER NOW

Hotel Information

Guest rooms have been reserved at the historic Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Avenue), Washington DC 20008. Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. You can make your hotel reservations today in one of two ways:

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW at our special group reservations link (preferred) or Guests can call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) 24 hours a day to make their reservations and request group name: NASDCTEc Spring Meeting 2014.

Please use one of these registration methods to be assured the special room rate of $224, plus applicable taxes. This rate is only available until March 7, 2014 or when our block fills – whichever comes first. So make your reservation today! At the time of your lodging reservation, you will be asked for a major credit card to hold your room. Reservations may be cancelled up until 3 days prior to arrival – by noon Eastern Time, or forfeit one night’s stay plus tax.

More about the Omni Shoreham

Travel to hotel:

The least expensive way to get to the hotel is by metro. Save money by using Washington DC Metro’s Trip Planner to get to the hotel. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive. The Metro rail is just steps away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop about a 5 minute walk away.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Spring Meeting information page

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

 

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Spring Meeting

Financial Aid Toolkit Now Available from the U.S. Department of Education

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the launch of an online “one-stop shop” aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers, such as staff or volunteers at community-based organizations, who assist students through the process of selecting and financing their higher education. The Financial Aid Toolkit, available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database, making it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support their students. Press Release

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Resources
Tags:

Announcing Excellence in Action Award – Now Accepting Applications

Friday, January 17th, 2014

CTE_Logo_RGBThe National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is pleased to announce our first annual Excellence in Action award, which will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation.  Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success. All winners will be honored at the Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: National Career Clusters Institute in Phoenix, Arizona on June 16, 2014.
This award is a terrific opportunity for CTE educators at all levels with truly excellent programs of study to be recognized on a national stage. Winning programs will be selected by a panel of State CTE Directors.

All winners will receive:
• The opportunity to share their programs of study with other CTE educators at the 2014 Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: National Career Clusters Institute.
• Two free registrations to the Achieving Excellence Institute.
• A banner to hang in their school or institution of higher education.
• A digital banner to use in email and print materials as they so choose.
Winners will also be featured:
• In a national press release, which will be distributed to national media.
• In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
• In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
• In a stand-alone blog on Learning that Works blog.

How to apply: You can complete the application online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ExcellenceActionAward or email a hard copy version to info@careertech.org with the subject line: Excellence in Action Award

Application deadline: All applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday February 4.

Print

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute
Tags:

Calling all Presenters for Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

CTE_Logo_RGBCalling all Presenters!

The Call for Presentations is NOW OPEN for Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute.

We are looking for sessions that feature high-quality programs of study, with proven track records of success; offer strategies for successful collaboration, implementation and innovation at the classroom, district or system level; and/or provide opportunities for participants to engage in interactive and hands-on learning activities.

MORE DETAILS
Proposal Deadlines
Proposals will be accepted through February 21, 2014. Speakers will be notified of status early March, 2014.
Submit your proposal now!
Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Career Clusters®, CTE: Learning that works for America, National Career Clusters Institute

 

Series

Archives

1