Archive for February, 2017

Perkins Reauthorization Top of Mind for House Reps After Hearing on CTE

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Earlier this morning, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing on secondary CTE, kicking off renewed efforts to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). A recording of the hearing is available here.

Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) in his opening remarks shared examples of CTE’s impact in his home district and charged his fellow committee members to complete its work to reauthorize the Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than ten years. He recognized the committee’s success in the previous session, during which the committee unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that later sailed through the House with a 405-5 vote. That bill was stalled in the Senate, and the Committee is expected to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the coming weeks.

In his opening statement, Ranking Member, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) stated “ Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act presents this Committee with an opportunity to ensure that CTE programs are of high quality, emphasize equity, align with academic and labor market demands, and provide opportunities for all students – especially those historically underserved – to receive credentials that lead to high-skill, high-wage, in-demand career opportunities.”

Witnesses representing both workforce and education organizations praised the important role Career Technical Education (CTE) has played in increasing access to opportunity and closing the skills gap and urged the committee to renew support for CTE programs nationwide.

Mr. Glenn Johnson, representing multi-national manufacturing company BASF shared about the educational programs and supports his organization provides in various communities across the states, but expressed alarm about the growing skills gap and challenges recruiting individuals into the manufacturing sector. According to Mr. Johnson, 11,000 baby boomers turn 70 every day, contributing to the growing need to prepare the future workforce to fill critical jobs.

The conversation in the hearing then turned to two core issues: ensuring all students have access to high-quality CTE and addressing the public stigma that a four-year degree is superior to technical training.

To the former point, Mimi Lufkin of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity urged the committee to focus on underserved students in its reauthorization efforts, specifically to encourage students to pursue nontraditional fields. She shared examples from Douglas County, Oregon and Morgan County, Ohio where efforts to reach nontraditional students led more girls to enroll in a welding program and increased participation of boys in a health science course. Janet Goble, Board member of ACTE and CTE Director in Canyon County, UT, shared a story from her own school district, where a program aimed at introducing middle school girls to non-traditional occupations increased the participation rate of non-traditional high school students from 26 percent to 53 percent.

Finally, Mike Rowe, television personality of “Dirty Jobs” fame and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, argued that participation in CTE would stagnate without a concerted effort to address the stigma around vocational education. He argued that promotion of four-year postsecondary education programs comes at the expense of two-year, technical and apprenticeship opportunities that may better equip students with relevant skills and connect them to a high-wage job.

In the question period, which was well attended by committee members from both the subcommittee and full committee, many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle spoke to the need to change the image of CTE and applauded the witnesses’ inclusion of data in their testimony.

Today’s event comes at a critical point in time, when the Trump administration has signaled potentially dramatic cuts to domestic programs including education. If there is any takeaway from this morning’s hearing however, it is that CTE enjoys broad support, not only from members of Congress in both parties  but also the education and employer community as well.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Legislation, News
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Getting to Know… Georgia

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Note: This is part of Advance CTE’s blog series, “Getting to Know…” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, partners and more.

State Name: Georgia

State CTE Director: Dr. Barbara Wall, State CTE Director, Career, Technical and Agricultural Education, Georgia Department of Education

About Georgia: Georgia CTE is delivered through a combination of comprehensive high schools, charter schools and technical colleges. CTE students in the state are active and high achievers. More than 150,000 students participate in Career Student Technical Organizations (CTSO), and in 2015, 95 percent of CTE concentrators graduated from high school — a considerable achievement compared to a statewide graduation rate of 79.2 percent.

Currently, the Department of Education is working in partnership with the Governor’s office to align CTE programs with Georgia’s 12 economic development regions. This work is part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s High Demand Career Initiative. Gov. Deal launched the initiative in 2014 in an effort to bring together both private sector employers and higher education leaders to learn from one another and discuss opportunities to align education priorities with workforce needs. This work not only illuminated the priority skills and industries for Georgia’s future economy, but also spurred new strategies, such as a workforce needs assessment, sector partnerships, and industry-specific task forces, to help align education with workforce needs. CTE has been at the table throughout this process, listening to and learning from business leaders across the state.

Programs of Study: Georgia offers programs of study in 17 Career Clusters. These are based on the 16 industry sectors in the national Career Clusters framework plus an additional Cluster focused on energy. While programs of study are developed and delivered locally, the state recently designed frameworks that can be adapted and delivered according to local needs. The state has also worked to increase local flexibility and empower district-level decisionmaking by rolling back rigid regulations on state capital equipment grants.

Postsecondary Counterpart: Funding from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 is split almost evenly between the secondary and postsecondary sectors in Georgia. As such, Dr. Wall has been working to strengthen the relationship between the Department of Education and the Technical College system to create more seamless pathways for students. Recently, parties from both sectors engaged in an effort to examine high school and postsecondary CTE courses and identify connections and opportunities for alignment.

Notable in Georgia: In addition to Georgia’s strong partnerships, high graduation rates and CTSO participation, the state is notable for its efforts to provide professional learning opportunities to CTE teachers and administrators and to engage students in career planning.

Compared to other states, Georgia’s professional development system is unique. Local education agencies can set aside five percent of their Perkins allotment to feed into a statewide professional learning consortium that provides resources and trainings for CTE teachers and administrators. This consortium, called the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Resource Network (CTAERN), provided training for more than 7,900 professionals in the 2015-16 school year alone. By pooling resources across the state, CTAERN is able to provide professional learning supports and resources at scale.

Additionally, each eighth grade student in Georgia is required to develop an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) that identifies coursework and opportunities aligned with that student’s academic and career goals. The IGP is required under HB400, or the Georgia BRIDGE Act, which was passed in 2010. In addition to the IGP, the BRIDGE Act requires local education systems to provide students with career counseling services, career awareness activities and information to guide their academic and career planning.

In January 2017, Georgia’s partnership with business and industry leaders culminated in the launch of the Career Pipeline Toola web-based platform that enables students and families to identify accessible career pathways in their local schools and map those opportunities against corresponding in-demand industries in their region. The tool also provides information to employers about the workforce competencies of the local student population, helping them make critical decisions about staffing and training needs.

Moving forward, Dr. Wall’s office plans to develop and launch an economic development certificate program to recognize school districts that have effectively engaged business and industry partners in their region. This program is designed to build upon Gov. Deal’s High Demand Career Initiative Work and strengthen partnerships between education and employers at the local level.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy
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This Week in CTE: Happy 100 Years!

Friday, February 24th, 2017

HAPPY CTE MONTH!
Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the foundation for today’s Career Technical Education! As we reflect on this important milestone for CTE, we’re excited to share how states, districts, schools, educators, students, parents and employers have lifted up powerful CTE success stories throughout the month, demonstrating how far CTE has come in the last century. Below are some innovative ways they have raised awareness about the value of CTE through a variety of channels.

 

RAISING AWARENESS & MYTH BUSTING
Social media has been an incredible way to raise awareness and share stories about Career Technical Education. A number of advocates used social media to dispel common myths about CTE, such as it is a program for ‘other kids’ or doesn’t prepare students for the breadth of educational and career opportunities. To combat these negative stereotypes, many states and schools focused on fact-based infographics to get the word about what CTE looks like today highlighting how CTE leads to higher graduation rates, postsecondary education, and higher earnings.

Orange Tech College infographic

29 Oregon districts with approved programs of study had CTE concentrator graduation rates of at least 95%

 

SHARING STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES
A number of CTE Month advocates have used Twitter as a platform to share what CTE means to them and their preparation for the future.

The Technology Center of Dupage shared the importance of CTE to their students through their “TCD is…” photo campaign with testimonies from students themselves highlighting things that make CTE unique like the opportunity for career exploration, hands-on learning and dual enrollment. Milton Hershey School and McMinnville School also ran similar campaigns sharing students experiences in CTE programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 
MAKING THE CASE TO POLICYMAKERS
A critical audience during CTE Month is policymakers. A number of states, cities and towns have recognized CTE Month through proclamations voicing their support for CTE in their communities. Local and state leaders including city councils, mayors, governors, and members of Congress have used CTE Month to demonstrate their commitment to CTE.
For policymakers who may not be convinced, students, as part of a variety of Career Technical Student Organizations have used CTE Month as a way to make the case for CTE, and its role in their success. Additionally schools across the nation invited their local policymakers for site visits and career fairs to demonstrate CTE programs in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in CTE: Learning that works for America

Looking Towards the Next 100 Years of CTE

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the foundation of today’s Career Technical Education (CTE). As we celebrate this important milestone it’s important to recognize how radically different today’s CTE looks compared to 100 years ago. Today’ CTE programs prepare students for both college and career; support all sectors of the economy; combine academic and technical coursework; encourage hands on learning that prepares students for the real world; provide learners with the ability to explore their interests; and ignites their passion for the future.

Today’s CTE is innovative and engaging and truly prepares students for their future, however there is still work to be done to ensure that all learners have access to these incredible CTE programs, and that all programs are truly high-quality. While it’s important to look back at how far we’ve come, it’s critical that we look towards the future of CTE.

To that end, we encourage you to explore Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE, which establishes a bold vision for the transformation of education, and CTE’s role in that transformation. Supported by 12 national organizations and over 35 states, this vision challenges our community to continue on the path of fierce dedication to quality and equity, while providing the leadership necessary to continue to re-examine, grow and transform CTE into a system that prepares all students for a lifetime of success.

State leaders, educators, administrators and CTE stakeholders are already leading this charge in a variety of ways:

I will support Putting Learner Success First by increasing exposure to as many elements of the career spectrum as are possible. Looking for ways to expand upon the foundations of Manufacturing Day, Field Experiences in Healthcare, exposure to the full range of Engineering possibilities, and experiencing technology careers that are just emerging. – Illinois

By making sure that our CTE programs are of the highest quality and rigor. – Florida

It has been presented to the CTE stakeholders in Arizona and will be crosswalked with our Arizona CTE Strategic Plan. – Arizona

Develop and deliver rigorous, engaging CTE curriculum which drives high levels of student engagement and achievement. – Connecticut

I will be sharing the ‘Putting Learner Success First ” information with all of my constituents during conferences, academy’s and workshops. – Michigan

I will support Putting Learners Success First by encouraging my students to be thoughtful and proactive in making decisions about their future. My goal is to expose them to the many careers and pathways available. – Texas

I’d like to work on accountability for high quality CTE programs and certification for CTE instructors, especially at the post-secondary level. – Illinois

 I fully support the vision and action steps. One example of our support is to have begun the process of aligning CTE programming from middle through post secondary. We will use this as our guiding light. – Florida

As you celebrate CTE Month and a century of CTE, I encourage you to let us know how you plan to support the next 100 years of CTE here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

As Dust Settles from Presidential Transition, A Path for Perkins Emerges

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Transition Update from the Trump Administration

After a contentious confirmation hearing and an unprecedented vote requiring Vice President Mike Pence to break a Senate tie, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education on February 7. In her first weeks on the job, Secretary DeVos reassured state education officials they should move forward with implementing the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) as planned, despite moves from the 115th Congress to eliminate Obama-era regulations on ESSA accountability and teacher preparation. Barring further changes from the administration, state ESSA plans are due on either April 3 or September 18 this year.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted by a narrow 51-49 margin to confirm former congressman Mick Mulvaney to head President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget. It is unclear at the moment exactly how Mulvaney will influence the budget and appropriations process moving forward, though he has advocated widespread cuts to federal spending. Mulvaney’s first task will be releasing the administration’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2017 and 2018. While FY18 begins in October this year, the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on April 28. Congress will need to either pass a new CR or put together an omnibus budget bill by that date to keep the government running through the fall. Advance CTE has been closely monitoring budget and appropriations efforts and will report back as more information comes available.

Buzz on the Hill around CTE Month

This year’s CTE Month – an annual celebration of Career Technical Education (CTE) – coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act. On the Hill, there is growing enthusiasm and recognition of the progress CTE has made over the past century. Last week, the Senate passed a resolution praising CTE for helping students develop the skills and abilities they need to be successful in the workforce. The resolution garnered a record 31 co-sponsors before it was passed.

Also, a Valentine’s-Day CTE Caucus event celebrating the past, present and future of CTE drew a crowd. Advance CTE’s very own Kimberly Green spoke on the panel, sharing the history of federal involvement in CTE from Smith-Hughes through today. A video of the event is available here.

Perkins Reauthorization A Top Priority for 115th Congress

Members of the House Education and Workforce Committee are coalescing around a possible springtime reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). In an op-ed for Real Clear Education, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) wrote that passing an updated Perkins Act was a top priority for her committee, one she aims to “finish … in the coming months.” The Committee has scheduled a hearing on strengthening CTE at the secondary level for February 28 and is rumored to be planning to reintroduce a bill that is in close proximity to last year’s H.R. 5587 shortly thereafter. That bill passed the House in September on a 405-5 margin but stalled in the Senate.

Perkins reauthorization is top of mind for the nascent Trump administration as well. Speaking at the 2017 Community College National Legislative Summit, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remarked:

I know that there are many items on your legislative agenda, from reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and the Perkins Act, to ways community colleges can help transform the nation’s infrastructure, to allowing Pell Grants to have flexibility in supporting students working to graduate more quickly. And in the days ahead, I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts and working with you as President Trump’s vision continues taking shape.

As always, subscribe to our Legislative Update blog series for the latest updates on Perkins and other federal activities related to CTE.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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State Research Shows Positive Outcomes for CTE Students

Monday, February 20th, 2017

In 2015, the most recent year data are available, CTE students nationwide graduated at a rate of 93 percent — approximately 10 percentage points higher than the average. Now, new research from Wisconsin and Washington adds to the growing body of evidence that secondary Career Technical Education (CTE) leads to positive postsecondary outcomes.

State Research Shows Positive Outcomes for CTE Students

The Public Policy Forum, a research organization based out of Milwaukee, recently published a report examining the CTE system in both Wisconsin and the local Milwaukee region. The study draws upon Wisconsin’s CTE Enrollment Reporting System (CTEERS) and district-level surveys of CTE graduates and finds that two-thirds of students in Wisconsin enroll in CTE courses. The most popular area of focus for these students was Business & Information Technology. The study also revealed positive outcomes for CTE students, including:

However, the data revealed inconclusive results related to performance on academic assessments. Additionally, the report identified a 6.3 percent statewide decrease in CTE teaching assignments from 2009 to 2016 — a trend the state has been working to reverse through recent legislation making it easier for CTE teachers to get certified in the state.

Washington Audit Highlights CTE Student Achievement

A report from the Washington State Auditor’s Office examines outcomes data for students in both the 2012 and 2013 graduating high school classes and finds that secondary CTE students demonstrated high post-high school achievement. The study was commissioned to examine the impact of Washington state’s $400 million investment in CTE — a system that reaches 300,000 high school students statewide.

The study finds that, within the population of students that did not go on to a four-year degree, CTE students were 11 percent more likely to “achieve” than non-CTE students. According to the study, “achievement” is measured as persistence in apprenticeship programs, persistence in community and technical colleges, employment and certificate attainment. Additionally, CTE programs accommodated a higher proportion of students receiving free and reduced price lunch and students with disabilities than other non-CTE programs, indicating that CTE could be a strategy for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities to acquire the skills needed for high-demand, high-wage careers.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Publications, Research, Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE: States Support #CTEMonth

Friday, February 17th, 2017

We’re over halfway through #CTEMonth and states, employers, districts, schools, educators, parents and students have honored and celebrated CTE in a number of ways already. States have been critical in supporting this effort throughout the country, from providing resources to the local level, to meeting with policymakers.

States Develop Coordinated Approach to Support Local Schools 

Alabama Department of Education developed a CTE Month communications plan with tips on how to get positive media coverage, sample social media posts, blog ideas featuring educators and students, and a sample press release. Additionally, they provided their network with a sample proclamation, calendar and sample announcements to help schools in Alabama get the word out, and raise awareness about their CTE programs.

In Mississippi, Mississippi State University created a toolkit that districts can use to promote their local programs and CTE overall. In
the toolkit, they provided a templated poster to announce events, CTE Month-branded press kit with letter head, a state profile and pathway specific flyers, and CTE-fact graphics, one for each day of the month, providing a coordinate set of messages and branding to use at the local level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

States and Students Engage Policymakers 

In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education’s office of Career and Technical Education met with Career and Technical Student Organization presidents and Commonwealth officials as Governor McAuliffe signed the Proclamation designating February as Career and Technical Education Month.  The Governor spoke at length with the students about Virginia’s initiative: Profile of a Virginia Graduate, which focuses on skills and attributes such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship, to be successful in life.  The Governor identified Career and Technical Education students as a perfect example of what the initiative hopes to achieve.

 

 

 

 

 

In Kentucky, the Department of Education held an event where State Officers from each of the Career and Technical Student Organizations gathered for training on the legislative process including a debate of current issue and role plays of actual legislative visits.  The following day, State Officers visited legislative leaders to share more the value and impact of CTE.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Resources

Highlights from Advance CTE’s 2016 Annual Report

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Advance CTE is excited to release our 2016 Annual Report, sharing our major accomplishments, partnerships and initiatives from the last year.

There’s no question 2016 was an incredible year for the field and for our organization!

Just consider:

 

Some of our major highlights include:

We hope you enjoy reading about Advance CTE’s major accomplishments of 2016, none of which could have been possible without our members, partners and the greater CTE community!

Kate Blosveren Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Resources

Welcome to Laura Arnold, Kentucky’s new State CTE Director

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

In September, Laura Arnold was named Kentucky’s State CTE Director, and her path to becoming State Director can be drawn directly back to the many Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers, role models and advisers who encouraged and supported her along the way.

“The CTE world is like a family and really supports students,” Arnold said. “It just shows the importance of teachers in the lives of kids and how they shape students not only in high school but also professionally.”

As a high school student in Kentucky, Arnold served as the state president of the Future Homemakers of America, now known as the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. After graduation, she earned a home economics degree from the University of Kentucky and soon after, took her first job teaching middle school Family and Consumer Science. Six years later, Arnold received an education leadership certificate and served as a principal at one of the state’s area technology centers for about five years.

In 2011, one of her fellow principals, Dale Winkler, became the State Director and asked Arnold to join him at the Kentucky Department of Education. From 2011-2015, Arnold worked in a variety of roles including, as a curriculum manager and Division director for the 53 state-operated area technology centers.

When Winkler left the state in 2015, Arnold was tapped to serve as the interim State Director, and continued in that role until being officially named to the position in September 2016.

Arnold is a key player in the state’s New Skills for Youth initiative. Kentucky was recently awarded $2 million to continue its efforts to strengthen and expand career education pathways for students. Check out this snapshot of the state’s initial work.

Moving forward, the state is examining how it might shift its delivery of K-12 CTE to a regional approach that lets school districts and area technology centers collaborate in order to provide more access to quality programs. This major shift would also require new partnerships and approaches to funding.

“I think we have to think outside of the box, and do things differently than we ever have before,” Arnold said.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate for Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE State Director, Uncategorized
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Explore major trends in student engagement at the 2017 Spring Meeting

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Advance CTE Keynote Will Explore Student Engagement

For years, Gallup has polled high school and college students, recent graduates and their parents to gauge their perceptions, aspirations and experiences within the U.S. education system. In this session, hear from Tim Hodges, Ph.D., Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice, as he leans on years of research to share what students, parents and employers want.

Early bird registration for the 2017 Spring Meeting ends in two weeks! Register today to save $100.

In case you missed it last week, we released an agenda packed with informative panels, engaging breakout sessions and impactful small-group discussions exploring the latest in federal policy and trends in CTE. Register today to save $100 on your registration!

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Spring Meeting

 

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