BROUGHT TO YOU BY
National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Preparing Students for Careers in the Global Economy

January 6th, 2016

Today, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Asia Society, Longview Foundation and Association for Career and Technical Educators (ACTE) jointly released a new white paper: Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career Technical EducationThis paper explores why it is so critical that global competencies are embedded throughout CTE programs of study to ensure students are fully prepared for the competitive economy, and offers examples of local CTE programs successfully integrating global concepts through partnerships, projects and other student experiences.

Learn more about the paper and this key issue in a blog co-authored by NASDCTEc, Asia Society, Longview Foundation and ACTE at Education Week.

This paper is intended to spark  conversations at the national, state and local levels about ways in which CTE and global competencies can be integrated. To be part of these conversations, please join us for a special #GlobalEdChat on Twitter on Thursday, GlobalPaperJanuary 7 at 8 pm ET as well as an interactive webinar on January 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm ET.

 

Register Today for NASDCTEc’s Upcoming Webinars

January 5th, 2016

Webinar: 2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE

Register today for our newest webinar, where you can learn about state CTE policy trends around the country. Join NASDCTEc and the Association of Career and Technical Education on January 21, from 2-3 p.m. ET, as we unpack the findings of our third annual report, “2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE,” which will also be released on January 21. Check out our 2014 and 2013 reports as well.

Speakers:
Senator Rollie Heath, Colorado State Senate District 18
Alisha Hyslop, Director of Public Policy, ACTE
Sarah Heath, Assistant Provost for Career and Technical Education, Colorado Community College System
Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate, NASDCTEc


Webinar: Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career Technical Education

And don’t forget to register for next week’s webinar on global competencies and CTE! On January 13, from 3-4 pm ET, NASDCTEc , the Asia Society, Longview Foundation and ACTE are co-hosting a webinar to release our joint publication, “Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education.” Local leaders will share what globally-minded CTE programs look like at the classroom level.

Speakers:
JoAnne Honeycutt, State CTE Director, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Larisa K. Schelkin, CEO, President & Founder, Global STEM Education Center, Inc.
Mark Tronicke, Global Exchange Coordinator, Bergen County Academies, New Jersey
Heather Singmaster, Assistant Director, Asia Society
Jennifer Manise, Executive Director, Longview Foundation
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc
Steve DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, ACTE

NASDCTEc Legislative Update: Congress Renews ESEA and Passes an FY 2016 Funding Bill

December 23rd, 2015

United States CapitalJust before the first session of the 114th Congress was set to conclude, lawmakers passed two key pieces of legislation before heading back home for the holiday season. The first among these was a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act— the primary federal K-12 education law which has been due for reauthorization since 2007.

The “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) substantially rolls back federal authority and responsibilities within the context of the new law by providing states and local communities significant flexibility for how to implement the various components of ESSA. Earlier this month the House passed ESSA by a margin of 359 to 64, which was then taken up and passed by the Senate on a similar bipartisan margin of 85 to 12 shortly after, and was signed by the President last week formally enacting ESSA into law.

ESSA contains many promising Career Technical Education (CTE)-related provisions such as a strengthened requirement that state academic standards be aligned with state CTE standards, expanded college and career guidance programs, and an increased focus on CTE student performance data. Notably, a “well-rounded education”—a key concept that the law seeks to promote— now includes CTE as part of the statutory definition.

Implementation of ESSA is already underway, with some of the law’s new provisions going into effect within the next year. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has already started to unpack the new law, recently sending a Dear Colleague Letter to state education agencies, and soliciting input from the public for how best to implement some of ESSA’s key provisions. Comments on this solicitation are due no later than January 21, 2016. USDE has also created a dedicated email for stakeholders to ask questions regarding ESSA implementation as the Department begins to develop guidance for the law’s implementation: essa.questions@ed.gov

Earlier this week ESSA was officially enrolled and is now available to view in its entirety here. NASDCTEc applauds the passage of this landmark legislation and is looking forward to the upcoming implementation process where states and local school districts will have several key opportunities to coordinate, align, and strengthen supports for CTE.

Congress Approves Massive $1.1t Spending Bill

Throughout most of 2015, Congress has struggled to come to consensus on how to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. After missing the initial FY 2016 funding deadline on October 1, Congress passed a series of stop-gap measures— known as continuing appropriations resolutions (CR)— that temporarily extended previous FY 2015 funding levels in an effort to avert a government shutdown this past autumn. These CRs also served the dual purpose of providing additional time for lawmakers to negotiate a broader agreement on federal spending for the remainder of FY 2016.

This negotiation process unfolded in two interrelated stages. Following the passage of the first CR in October, Congress and the Obama Administration announced and later ratified a two-year budget deal that provided much-needed relief from the Budget Control Act’s sequester caps— current legislative requirements that constrain federal spending on domestic programs, such as the Perkins Act’s basic state grant (BSG) program, into the next decade. This agreement increased these caps for FY 2016 and FY 2017, but left the important task of designating specific funding amounts for programs to separate appropriations legislation.

Last week, this type of agreement— known as an omnibus that combines several appropriations bills into one comprehensive spending package—was unveiled by Congressional negotiators last week and quickly passed by both Chambers before the President signed the measure into law.

The omnibus provides level funding for the Perkins Act BSG program for FY 2016 and restores earlier proposed cuts to the law’s national programs section, which supports CTE research and technical assistance projects. While other education and workforce development programs received modest funding increases from this legislation, those programs are largely authorized by laws that were recently renewed by Congress such as ESSA and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)— a fact that underscores the importance of Congress taking up Perkins reauthorization in the second session of the 114th Congress.

Odds & Ends

  • New Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John King visited Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, PA last week to tour the school’s CTE programs. More on the visit here.
  • The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and IBM called for the reauthorization of the Perkins Act in a U.S. News and World Report Op-Ed this week. Read the piece here.
  • The Technical Education and Career Help (TEACH) Act was introduced last week in the House— a companion bill to the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act introduced earlier this year in the Senate. The bill aims to strengthen the CTE teacher pipeline by supporting partnerships between LEAs and teacher preparation programs among other positive provisions. Read the bill here.
  • USDE recently announced that they will host a webinar on their ongoing “Experimental Site” initiative for dual and concurrent enrollment programs on January 13, 2016. Letters of interest are due no later than February 1, 2016 and additional information on this particular Ex-Site effort is located here. Register for the webinar here.
  • The Workforce Data Quality Campaign recently released its second annual “Mastering the Blueprint” report which assesses state progress towards strengthening and expanding their workforce data infrastructure. Read the report here.

 Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

NASDCTEc Welcomes Jeralyn Jargo!

December 22nd, 2015

Jeralyn Jargo is Minnesota’s newest State CTE Director and has big plans for CTE in the state. Jargo has held a wide array of jobs in the education sector including teaching high school science, setting up programs of study in respiratory therapy, serving as an academic dean for a two-year college, and most recently, was the vice president of advancement and innovation at Century College.

Throughout Jargo’s career, one thing that has always held true is that collaboration across sectors and industries is critical to creating the best possible outcomes for students. One project Jargo facilitated in her most recent position was a Shark Tank-like grant initiative where students participated in a series of workshops and mentorships before delivering an idea or product to a multi-disciplinary panel of judges comprised of community leaders; business partners; and faculty in science, engineering and marketing. Winners were awarded $5,000 scholarships. This innovative approach at awarding scholarships allowed students to work across disciplines and sectors, an experience they are sure to repeat in their careers.

As the State CTE Director, Jargo is working to build an environment where collaboration like this and innovation are key components in the way her department functions, and how programs of study are delivered to students. “The majority of us aren’t going to go to Harvard or play for the Cubs, so how do we help the masses of folks who learn by touching and smelling and participating,  who are going to have a job that requires critical thinking and transferrable skills, concepts that all come from a foundation of CTE?”

One way Jargo will tackle this challenge is by building meaningful and authentic partnerships with business, industry and policymakers in the state. “There is a huge window of opportunity to focus on the understanding of CTE,” said Jargo. “It’s a very good time to promote CTE. The business community is more and more engaged and they are powerful advocates for the system.”

In addition, Jargo wants to improve the support students receive as they move in, out and back into education. A successful program would be one where students are supported through these transitions, or as Jargo put it, “If you fly over the Twin Cities and look at the on and off ramps…That’s what CTE would look like. Traffic would be flowing at a steady rate.”

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Excellence in Action: Marine Academy of Science and Technology

December 17th, 2015

Thank you to all of you who submitted applications to our 2016 Excellence in Action awards! We are digging through the applications ospreynow and are blown away by the number of innovative, exciting and inspiring programs of study from big cities to tiny rural towns. We’re looking forward to announcing the winners in late February.

While learning about all these new programs of study, we thought it would be a good time to look back at one of our 2015 award winners, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), the award recipient in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster. This program has been educating secondary students in Highland, New Jersey for 34 years. Students get the chance to work with the nearby National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab, a 65-foot research vessel, and a four-year naval science program through the NJROTC, all while earning up to 17 college credits.

In addition to the program of study’s goal of preparing students for postsecondary education, students are also provided with work-based learning opportunities working hand-in-hand with some of the best scientists in the country at the North East Fisheries Science Center, or on research projects with the National Park Service.

MAST has set up students for incredible success, with 100 percent of students graduating high school and enrolling in postsecondary education, 50 percent of whom enrolled in a STEM field. Learn more about MAST and our 2015 award winners.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Upcoming Webinar: CTE and Global Competency

December 17th, 2015

Being globally competent is increasingly a requirement in today’s economy, where individuals are called upon to compete, connect, and cooperate on an international scale. Career Technical Education (CTE) programs offer a unique platform for teaching global competencies, providing the rigorous and authentic setting necessary to prepare students for the competitive world economy, while offering a more engaging, motivating and relevant education.

To explore the ways in which CTE and global education intersect and can be integrated, Asia Society, Longview Foundation, NASDCTEc and ACTE partnered on the new publication Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education, which will be released in early January 2016.

Join us on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 3-4 p.m. ET for a webinar on this critical issue, featuring local leaders sharing what globally-minded CTE programs look like at the classroom level. Register today!

Speakers include:

  • Jo Anne Honeycutt, State CTE Director, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Larisa K. Schelkin, CEO, President & Founder, Global STEM Education Center, Inc.
  • Mark Tronicke, Global Exchange Coordinator, Bergen County Academies in New Jersey
  • Heather Singmaster, Assistant Director, Asia Society
  • Jennifer Manise, Executive Director, Longview Foundation
  • Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc
  • Steve DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, ACTE

This Week in CTE: ESSA

December 11th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Congress is Getting Rid of No Child Left Behind. Here’s What Will Replace It
Yesterday, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, replacing No Child Left Behind. While the vast majority of power is shifted from the Federal Government back to the States, here’s a rundown of what’s left of No Child Left Behind, and what changes with the new law.
More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

NASDCTEc Endorses Proposed Every Student Succeeds Act

December 2nd, 2015

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is excited to announce its endorsement of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the proposed legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“The Every Student Succeeds Act is a significant, bipartisan legislative achievement that provides states and schools with the opportunity to offer every student equitable access to a high-quality education that truly prepares them for postsecondary and career success,” said Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director.

The Career Technical Education (CTE) community has long-advocated for federal policy that improves collaboration between academic and CTE courses and programs.  “By recognizing that all students need a combination of academic, technical and employability skills in order to succeed and thrive in the dynamic global economy, ESSA represents an important step forward in federal policy. To that end, we urge members in both chambers of Congress to vote in support of this legislation’s swift passage.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act is the product of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations to reauthorize ESEA, the law formerly known as No Child Left Behind, which has been due for renewal since 2007. Earlier this year, NASDCTEc released a set of legislative recommendations calling for a bill that would more effectively leverage CTE in a new ESEA law.

The conference report for the Every Student Succeeds Act was released earlier this week and is expected to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives later today. It will then move to the Senate next week for further consideration.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Welcome to Colorado’s Newest State CTE Director, Sarah Heath!

November 30th, 2015

Sarah Heath, Colorado’s newest State CTE Director began her career in education by chance, occasionally substitute teaching a computer applications class at a local high school while finishing her undergraduate degree in business in Georgia. Dr. Heath found that working with students was much more compelling and fulfilling than her previous work on management information and database systems, and when the job became available, Dr. Heath took on a full time teaching position.

Upon completion of her master’s degree in business education at the University of Georgia, Dr. Heath became very active in the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education, attended the national conference, and worked on a variety of committees. Finding she excelled in leadership roles, Dr. Heath rose the ranks quickly after transitioning to the administrative side of education, and became the state program director in Georgia.

After completing her PhD in Georgia, Dr. Heath moved to Colorado and worked as the local district CTE director for the Jefferson County (Jeffco) Public School system, the largest public school system in Colorado, while also serving as ACTE’s national president. While at Jeffco, she experienced a completely different CTE system than in Georgia. In Georgia, the state oversees much of its CTE, from professional development of educators to course selection. In comparison, in Colorado, CTE is controlled primarily at the local level. And, whereas Georgia has a long history and tradition of CTE, Dr. Heath saw a greater need for stronger workforce and employer engagement strategy in Colorado.

In her new role as the State CTE Director, Dr. Heath is committed to creating stronger connections between business and industry partners and local districts. Instead of business taking a passive approach to CTE, Dr. Heath envisions a system where employers from the state, regional and local level will take center stage and not only serve on advisory committees, but also direct the curriculum of CTE programming. “Employers can talk about their needs, and CTE can be an answer to those needs,” said Dr. Heath. “We need to help agencies, associations, industry and education across the state be a part of each other’s way of doing business. CTE is relevant to what business is doing, and the more we can demonstrate that the brighter our future will be.”

In addition to engaging industry as equal partners in the development of CTE in the state, Dr. Heath will focus on using the data and employment projections from labor and workforce agencies and organizations in Colorado to assist in deciding what is relevant to a student’s education, and training locals to make programmatic decisions the same way.

In addition to building relationships between education and industry, Dr. Heath wants to create more defined transitions between secondary and postsecondary CTE, along with raising the profile of CTSOs and their value to students.

After years of working with Dr. Heath in her role as ACTE national president, NASDCTEc is excited to have her join our ranks as one our newest State CTE Directors!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

NASDCTEc Legislative Update: Congress Aims to Move Past No Child Left Behind as Funding Deadline Edges Closer Once More

November 24th, 2015

United States CapitalCongressional negotiators have announced an agreement on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)— the law formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Due for reauthorization since 2007, lawmakers have struggled to find consensus for how to address NCLB’s most readily apparent flaws while honoring its long legislative legacy rooted in the civil rights movement.

As we shared earlier this summer, both the House  and the Senate passed respective bills to reauthorize ESEA. Since that time both Chambers have been working on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to develop a framework agreement that would serve as the basis for a compromise between the two proposals. Last week that framework was announced along with the creation of a formal conference committee— a move that has been exceptionally rare over the past decade.

ESEA conferees were announced last week and met twice before approving this framework (along with a few amendments) last Thursday by a margin of 39-1. A summary of this framework agreement— now known as the “Every Child Succeeds Act” or ESSA— can be found here.

It is important to note that this agreed upon framework must now be turned into a final bill and Congressional staff are now busy translating the aspects of this agreement into formal legislative text. That text must then be approved by both Chambers of Congress and signed into law by the President. The conference report and final text of ESSA is expected to be available on November 30th. The House is expected to consider the legislation shortly after this followed by the Senate. Lawmakers are aiming for final passage before the end of this December.

While the official legislative text has not been finalized, ESSA seeks to significantly roll-back the federal role in K-12 education by providing states broad authority (and flexibility) for how to implement the law. A broad overview of the agreement’s main contours can be found here.

NASDCTEc will provide a detailed analysis of ESSA’s CTE-related provisions of interest once it has been finalized and will continue to keep the CTE community abreast of this ongoing reauthorization effort.

Congress Passes Budget Agreement Providing Temporary Relief from Sequester Caps

As we shared previously, Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015” (BBA) which provides $80 billion in sequester relief over the next two fiscal years by temporarily raising current limits on federal spending (known as sequester caps) through FY 2017 for both defense and non-defense discretionary programs.

The deal also suspends, but does not raise the nation’s “debt ceiling” through March 15, 2017 putting the twin issues of federal spending and the nation’s debt limit off until after the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

Currently the federal government is operating on a “continuing appropriations resolution” (CR) which temporarily extended FY 2015 funding levels into the current 2016 federal fiscal year which began on October 1st of this year. This CR expires on December 11th, 2015 and Congress must act before that time to pass funding legislation to avert another government shutdown.

Although the BBA agreement provides an overall increase for how much funding is available to Congressional appropriators for federal Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, those same lawmakers must still pass separate legislation designating specific dollar amounts for individual agencies and departments which administer federal programs such as the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins).

That process is currently underway and ahead of it NASDCTEc and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees urging them to restore Perkins funding to at least pre-sequestration levels or $1.123 billion for the law’s basic state grant program.

As a reminder Perkins derives its funding from the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill whose subcommittee has been given an overall allocation of $161.69 billion—a $5 billion increase over the FY 2015 level. That extra $5 billion in the FY 2016 Labor-HHS-ED 302(b) allocation must now be divided up among many programs, including Perkins, that are all competing for a portion of these newly available funds.

In an effort to ensure that Perkins funding is restored through this process, please be sure to contact your member of Congress to remind them about the importance of investing in CTE.  As the federal appropriations process continues and the December 11th deadline draws closer, be sure to check back here for more updates on Perkins funding.

Postsecondary CTE Bills Introduced in the House

Earlier this month two separate proposals to boost federal financial aid support for postsecondary CTE programs were introduced in the House.

The first of these, known as the Jumpstarting our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, was introduced by Reps. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Brenda Lawrence (D-MI). The JOBS Act is a companion bill to an earlier Senate proposal sponsored by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). The legislation aims to change current program edibility requirements for the federal Pell grant program to serve more students who are enrolled in qualifying shorter-term postsecondary CTE programs.

The CTE Opportunity Act, another companion bill to an earlier Senate proposal, was recently introduced by Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Ryan Costello (R-PA). House CTE Caucus co-Chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) also cosponsored this bill which would increase access to federal financial aid available under Title IV of the Higher Education Act for qualifying shorter-term postsecondary CTE programs. Read more about the legislation here.

NASDCTEc supported both of these proposals and looks forward to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act where this policy recommendation and many more can be fully realized.

Odds & Ends

  • The Obama Administration recently announced a new experimental site program (made available under HEA) that will expand eligibility for the federal Pell grant program to students who are concurrently or dually enrolled in postsecondary coursework. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) is currently inviting applications from qualifying programs for the 2016-17 academic year and hopes to support up to 10,000 students. More here.
  • USDE’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) recently announced a new initiative titled “Potential Role of Secondary Career and Technical Education Programs in Preparing Students for Apprenticeship Programs”. The National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF) has been selected to provide support to this project and more on this announcement can be found here.
  • USDE has also recently unveiled a new transparency agenda aimed at improving the postsecondary accreditation system. Read more about the effort here.
  • The Obama Administration announced more than $375 million in public and private funding to support “Next-Generation” high schools—an effort to fundamentally redesign the high school experience by focusing on many of the elements contained in a high-quality CTE program of study. More on the announcement here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

 

Series

Archives

1