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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: CTE and the Common Core State Standards Implementation

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

Margaret Reed Millar of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) described at the National Career Clusters Institute work taking place through the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative and the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS), and how Career Technical Education (CTE) is a part of the CCSS implementation.

Millar discussed the tendency for U.S. education to cover content that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” The CCSS, a set of high quality academic expectations adopted by 45 states, are helping states focus on fewer concepts in greater depth to provide students with a richer, more meaningful education. Millar stressed the importance of communication between districts, teacher colleges, and business and industry to ensure that students are college and career ready upon graduating high school.

A variety of digital resources are available to support CCSS implementation including;

  • CCSS implementation video vignettes from CCSS authors and the Hunt Institute
  • Achieve the Core Web site, including free CCSS resources and tools

NASDCTEc President and State Director Dr. Patrick Ainsworth also discussed work taking place in California to incorporate CTE into CCSS implementation. Ainsworth described how CTE is a central part of education reform in California; CTE is represented on every CCSS committee, and has its own section in the state’s CCSS implementation plan.

Currently, California’s CTE standards are being aligned to the CCSS. Ainsworth described CTE standards as a tool to foster the career readiness of all students and to develop a highly skilled and educated workforce which contributes to economic prosperity. He also suggested that incorporating CTE in CCSS implementation requires an emphasis on teams and groups, and on using technology to demonstrate learning and mastery.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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