Opening General Session of the Joint NASDCTEc/OVAE Spring Leadership Meeting Held April 18-20, 2011

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) partnered for the 2011 Spring Leadership meeting in Washington, DC, from April 18-20, 2011. The meeting highlighted a new branding for CTE and the future direction for our work: “Career Technical Education: Learning that Works for America.”

Dr. Phil Berkenbile

The meeting was opened with a welcome by NASDCTEc President Dr. Phil Berkenbile, State Director of Oklahoma, who set the tone for the meeting and positively remarked on the numbers of attendees present, thanking them for their participation and support of career technical education (CTE).

He then introduced Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. Reflecting on two of OVAE’s CTE initiatives: to provide assistance to states to improve program quality, implementation, and accountability; and to establish national initiatives that help states implement rigorous career and technical education programs, Dr. Dann-Messier emphasized that among the strategies for improving CTE, top initiatives included a focus on rigorous programs of study, an enhanced accountability system, and a more detailed implementation plan for programs of study.

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier

Citing that the fiscal 2011 bill negotiated by the President and Congress reflects tough choices that need to be made, Dann-Messier challenged the group by saying that CTE programs need to be strengthened. This comment would be further echoed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on April 19, when he also addressed the group, saying “CTE programs need to strengthen their rigor and relevance – and deliver better outcomes for students.” Duncan’s Speech

Dr. Pat Ainsworth

NASDCTEc Vice President Dr. Pat Ainsworth, State Director of California, asked for the roll call of the states, a newly-revived past tradition, which enabled each state called to have a representative stand and announce those from their state in attendance. Pat was pleased to report an exceedingly high turnout of states in attendance, and welcomed several new members to the assembly.

Dr. Berkenbile continued the meeting with sponsor acknowledgements and recognition, rounding out the session with highlights of the meeting’s agenda.

More blogs on the meeting sessions and activities will be posted within the next several days – stay tuned!

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