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

Adding Industry Recognized Certification to your CTE Program

March 12th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. We encourage you to join Certiport’s hospitality suite on Thursday evening, April 9th! Details available at the Certiport exhibit table at the Spring Meeting.

In today’s digital age, most schools with successful career and technical education (CTE) programs don’t have to be convinced of the merits of offering industry-recognized certification.  The benefits are clear from engaging students to validating standards to college and career readiness.  However, most educators are overloaded and may not have time to start something new.

Take these simple steps to start now:Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (1)

First, look at the courses you are offering and see if there is an industry-recognized certification that fits into the current curriculum.  If you don’t have to recreate the wheel it will be very easy to implement.  Do you have a digital literacy or intro to technology course?  Try IC3 Digital Literacy certification.  Teaching a database course for more advanced students?  Look into the Microsoft Technology Associate exam in Database Fundamentals.

Next, funding can be a hurdle to climb.  Get creative – look at Perkins and other grants, or pass the cost on to students.  Once schools see the benefits of certification, they often end up building it into their standard budgets.

Finally, partner with the certification provider and let them help.  They have worked with hundreds, or thousands of schools just like yours and can guide you through the process.

Sean Carchidi, a Computer Maintenance and Repair Teacher at Mercy Vocational High School in Philadelphia found out how easy it can be to add industry-recognized certification to a CTE program.  He says, “Finding the Microsoft Technology Associate certifications completely revolutionized the Computer Technician program at the Career and Technical school where I work…When I saw all of the certifications MTA offers, I started researching how to implement it as part of the curriculum. MTA will help shape the future of the class as we are always exploring new certifications!”

At Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, we have more than 13,000 testing centers set up around the world.  We know how simple it is to become an Certiport Authorized Testing Center today and start offering any of our certifications such as the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, or the IC3 Digital Literacy certification.

This June 18 – 20 Certiport will hold the inaugural 2015 CERTIFIED Educators Conference to help you explore the power and potential of technology certification in your classroom.  CERTIFIED will be the place to learn how simple it is to implement certification and hear from others who have done it successfully.

To learn more about how Certiport can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit Certiport at booth or www.certiport.com.

Thank you to Certiport for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

 

Register & Submit Sessions for CareerTech VISION Today!

March 11th, 2015

Vision15_Site Banner

Registration is now open for CareerTech VISION 2015! NASDCTEc is particularly excited about this year’s VISION as we are organizing a series of sessions on the National Career Clusters Framework and its implementation through programs of study, featuring successful practices from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, California and elsewhere.

VISON 2015 features a rich array of CTE topics and programming, including:

  • 200+ breakout sessions in a variety of formats, including lecture, hands-on labs, and roundtable discussions
  • A wide range of secondary and an increased number of postsecondary CTE topics, addressing such issues as secondary to postsecondary transitions and multiple pathways to college and career readiness
  • Sessions to help attendees improve outcomes on federal and state performance indicators
  • NCAC and NAF Career Academy sessions
  • And more!

This is the biggest conference of the year for CTE educators, administrators and leaders, so don’t miss out and register today!

For those of you interested in sharing your best practices, innovative resources or relevant research you still have until March 27 to submit a proposal. Click here to submit your idea today.

 Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

You Spoke – We Listened. How we’ve Changed the 2015 Spring Meeting

March 11th, 2015

Every year we take your evaluations from previous meetings and adjust our agenda, presentations and topics based on your reviews. Here are some of the ways we’ve made changes to this year’s NASDCTEc Spring Meeting in Washington, DC. For more information, take a look at our full agenda.cherry-blossoms-at-jefferson-150x150

“Suggest in future you think about having interactive breakout sessions. We ask that our teachers engage our students in contextualized…we should do the same.”

Great suggestion! To make sure that there’s a balance between didactic and hands-on learning, we’ve structured this year’s meeting around a variety of keynotes, panels, breakout sessions and discussion roundtables. We want to make sure that you’re hearing from panelists, but encourage you as a CTE leader, to share during these sessions as well.

“How do we change the perceptions of CTE amongst key stakeholders (parents, business, students, administrators, etc.)?”

Though we have come a far way in advocating for CTE as education for all students, we still have work to do. We encourage you to join the Overcoming CTE Myths collaboration roundtable, where you’ll work with your peers to come up with actionable solutions, guided by states leading the way. In addition, we’re hosting a panel Featuring CTE Excellence in the Press, where journalists on the education beat will talk about how to make a successful pitch to press, what has changed in the CTE narrative and how to tell your CTE story.

The conference seemed to be very heavy on secondary CTE. Many of the sessions did not offer enough for those of us in postsecondary or higher education.”

Given the importance of secondary, postsecondary and workforce development engagement in CTE, we have an entire day focused on cross-sector collaboration, as well as other postsecondary-focused content offered throughout the meeting. With panels on federal agency coordination around WIOA implementation and the Higher Education Act, two breakout sessions on efforts to implement career pathway systems and WIOA, and relevant collaboration roundtables, there’s something for everyone.

 “How do states finance CTE through performance-based funding?”

It’s no surprise that in today’s financial climate questions on funding come up again and again. We have some stellar examples of how states are utilizing performance-based funding systems which you’ll learn about from two national experts during one of our concurrent sessions, Paying for Performance: Developing State Performance-Based Funding Systems.

 “We need more discussions around industry certifications and the impact on state programs.”

Employer and industry engagement has been a hot topic this year, and we’re excited to offer two panels and a roundtable discussion on how employers are getting involved at the state and local levels, and, in particular, around credentialing. We’ll also be kicking the meeting off with a keynote address from Chauncy Lennon, Managing Director and Head of Workforce Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase, who will discuss their efforts to close the skills gap.

Registration and discounted hotel rates closes Friday, March 20, so register today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Pathways for all – With CTE at the Heart

March 9th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

For a very long time, American education has offered an either/or choice for students: Either follow a career track OR enter the (default) baccalaureate track which, while well-intended, is failing LARGE numbers of students. Today’s Pathways model offers a third choice, combining the best of both. And CTE Leaders have an incredible opportunity today to provide leadership in defining and driving the NC3T logo clean largePathways agenda.

At NC3T (National Center for College and Career Transitions), we promote the notion that school districts thrive when they work with employers and postsecondary partners to create a “pathways for all” approach. The Pathways for All approach is more flexible, individualized, and based on the real needs and opportunities in today’s workforce, where skills and knowledge, not years of schooling, leads to meaningful work and family-sustaining earnings.  To accomplish this, each district develops a broad array of pathways, some which are more career- or occupation-specific, and some which are more thematic, like social justice, visual arts, and global leadership.  Ideally, each pathway is designed to lead to several post-secondary options, such as programs leading to certificate programs, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees.

To explore this comprehensive Pathways-for-All system, CTE local administrators and state leaders are well positioned (probably best-positioned) to help drive the conversation.  You can drive the Pathways conversation from several entry points, including   Readiness, Teaching and Learning, Effective Employer Engagement, Postsecondary Connections, and Career Development.

Help Define Student Readiness For Work and Life Success
CTE leaders can continue to advance the idea that readiness requires more than academic skills.  Readiness for all students includes Learning Skills, Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Executive Skills, Persistence and Work Ethic, Interpersonal Competencies, Career Search and Career Management, Civic Awareness and Commitment.

We should stand against definitions that define Career Readiness separately from Postsecondary Readiness.  Yes, there are specific technical skills that are a gateway for certain careers.  But apart from that narrow band of skills, for the most part, the skills and knowledge and attitudes for work success and postsecondary success are the same, but they’re just applied differently based on the learner’s or worker’s context.  A student is really just a worker whose immediate job is learning.

Create Dynamic Teaching and Learning
CTE leaders can work to ensure that CTE teachers learn and apply the most promising and effective teaching practices, utilizing active learning strategies like project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning.  Although CTE content is based on industry-based skills, CTE instruction can easily fall prey to the same trap as a core academic course, in which a teacher “stands and delivers,” conveying information about a career field or the processes of that field, without challenging the students to engage in deeper learning, problem solving, and creativity.  Some CTE teachers deep down may believe that their students can’t learn more deeply, and that simple regurgitation of information and imitation of skills are the best they will be able to accomplish.  This is where strong professional development, and challenging teacher perceptions through collaborative leadership, are essential.

Model effective employer involvement
In a strong pathways system, employers and volunteers are actively involved in classrooms, interacting regularly with students, and helping students get into the workplace.  CTE programs can always get better at utilizing employers in multiple facets of their work.  A good first step is to re-purpose your program Advisory Councils into “Partnership Councils” with the goal of driving deep business-industry involvement in all aspects of instruction, career mentoring, and experiential learning.

Engage leaders from postsecondary education
Each pathway program of study needs active collaboration among teachers and faculty, so that curriculum can be well-aligned and offer early college credits.  CTE teachers and administrators can create the structures and processes for collaboration and recognizing student learning for college credit that others in the school system and colleges can build upon.

Inform Career Exploration
CTE leaders and staff usually have the best understanding and access for career-based information.  They can help inform a comprehensive K-12 career exploration and career development system.

Start the Bigger Conversation
CTE leaders are particularly able, and well-positioned, to develop good working relationships with K-12 system leaders, postsecondary education, and employers. As a result, they are the ideal point people to convene these sectors and begin to explore what a Pathways System looks like.  You can host a business-education summit; create a Readiness-forum among K-12, postsecondary and employers; or call partners together to discuss the merits and challenges of the Pathways-for-All approach.

Positive Momentum
If you’re in the CTE movement, you may already recognize that the wind is behind our backs in this work.  Many educators, parents, and business/community leaders are troubled and looking for better answers: They realize that core standards and testing are necessary, but not sufficient, because alone they do not adequately engage enough students. They recognize that too many students are pursuing college and taking on debt without a realistic career objective. And they understand there is a broad continuum of postsecondary options for which our guidance systems and programs of study don’t match up well. The result is that only 40 percent of our young adults complete an Associate’s degree or BA program, and about half of young adults lack tangible knowledge and skills that are in-demand.

Just promoting college-going isn’t enough: We must promote discovery, exploration and postsecondary education that has purpose.

So, the wind is behind our backs, but it could change direction at any time. We need to act quickly and help build consensus about what a Pathways-for-All system can be in our communities.

Federal rules, regulations and funding are slow in coming, which is why the pioneering leadership we’re seeing at the state and local levels now is so critical. CTE isn’t the full answer, but it is a foundational part of what a pathways system will become, and CTE leaders can help leverage and engage all facets of our education system to create Pathway Systems that work.

Thank you for your indispensable leadership.  We are standing with you.

Hans Meeder, President and Co-Founder
National Center for College and Career Transitions

Thanks to NC3T for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

This Week in CTE

March 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@CareerBuilder  The title says it all: 13 growing occupations with certifications to boost your hireability and pay grade: http://cb.com/1DENJld .
Moreblog-thumbnail-thiswek

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How Google and Coursera May Upend the Traditional College Degree
Coursera, the online education firm and Google, who needs no introduction, have teamed up to bring together Instagram and a variety of other tech companies to launch microdegrees. These microdegrees will consist of online courses and a hands-on capstone project designed with input from universities and tech industry focused on providing learners less expensive and customizable degrees.
More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Power of Entrepreneurship
Intel released this video on how today’s technology can help people overcome barriers to starting the businesses they want.
More

EVENT OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc 2015 Spring Meeting!
NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting is only a month away! Join us in Washington, D.C. to hear from national leaders, work together to build common solutions to problems facing Career Technical Education, get the latest state and federal policy updates, hear from best practice programs of study from across the country and network with State CTE Directors and partnering organizations. Registration closes March 20, so register today!
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CompTIA: The IT Industry Trade Association

March 6th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. As a non-profit trade association, we advance the global interests of IT professionals and IT channel organizations and enable them to be more successful with industry-leading certifications and business credentials, education, resources and the ability to connect with like-minded, leading industry experts.
Learn about our focus areas and find out who we are and what we do.CompTIA_Logo_Pantone

Membership
Becoming a CompTIA member indicates a commitment to learning, growing and personal and business success in the IT channel. All of our benefits are aimed at providing our members with a wealth of resources that, when leveraged, result in measurable impact to the member organization.

Education
You can’t get a job or successfully run a business without all the right tools. In the ever-changing IT industry, education is essential. CompTIA’s educational efforts include a comprehensive suite of channel training, a variety of events and meetings and a steady stream of research and market intelligence studies. Everything is designed to help you succeed.

Certifications
It all started with A+. Back in 1993, we developed a revolutionary IT certification that was not tied to a particular manufacturer, but vendor-neutral. The concept took off and today CompTIA offers four IT certification series that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert.

Public Advocacy
TechAmerica, the public sector and public policy department of CompTIA, champions member-driven business and policy priorities that impact the entire continuum of technology companies – from small IT service providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers.

Philanthropy
The shortage of IT workers in the U.S. stands at about 300,000 and there continues to be high demand for motivated and capable employees. It’s the job of CompTIA’s philanthropic arm, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, to help unemployed individuals and populations under-represented in the field obtain the right training for an IT role; not just a job, but a foothold into a career. In order to help supply the IT worker pipeline, Creating IT Futures is exploring ways to nudge more youth in the direction of tech careers.

Click here to learn more about CompTIA and get involved today!

Thanks to CompTIA for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

New Teaching Standards for CTE Released

March 4th, 2015

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released revised standards for teachers in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The standards were developed by educators, board-certified teachers and researchers organized around eight pathways including:

  • Business, Marketing and Financial Services
  • Community Services
  • Decorative Arts and Design
  • Engineering, Design and Fabrication
  • Information Systems and Technology, Communications and the Arts
  • Leisure and Recreation Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation Systems and Services

The new standards are up-to-date with evolving content in each of the pathways, as well as encourage teachers to adapt their teaching according to the needs and abilities of their students. Additionally, they also allow teachers without a bachelor’s degree obtain CTE certification unless their state requirements state otherwise. Learn more about the new standards here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

NOCTI: Honoring our Past and Embracing our Future

March 3rd, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

From our early days 49 years ago as part of the “vocational” teacher certification process, to our current leadership in the areas of technical data-driven instructional improvement, credentialing and digital badging, NOCTI has always been proud to be an important member of the career NOCTI--Navy-11-2009and technical education (CTE) community.  As a non-profit entity lead by a board elected by the 56 state directors of CTE around the country and in US territories, we do our best to stay ahead of the needs of the field we serve. Though we won’t discuss the specifics of those needs in this blog, we will mention how NOCTI is working to provide forward-thinking solutions for the CTE community.

At our core, we consider everyone we work with to be a partner striving to make CTE as strong as it can be.  Recognizing outstanding established and promising CTE teachers and administrators is important to NOCTI and one reason why we provide awards each year to these CTE professionals. NOCTI’s awards focus on the qualities important to our founders and are awarded each year at the ACTE Vision conference.  In addition, we participate in additional opportunities for our students to show off their skills, most recently through the NOCTI-sponsored Video Contest as part of CTE Month.  NOCTI received 44 video submissions from media classrooms across the nation focused on the 2015 theme “Mission CTE.”  Check out the videos here!  Finally, here are a few other resources worth mentioning.

Collaborations: In addition to the numerous industry association partnerships we maintain, we believe that connecting to our community and related communities is critical. NOCTI has close relationships with NASDCTEc and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) as well as the National Academy Foundation, the International Baccalaureate Program, Mozilla, the National College Test Administrators and the Association of Test Publishers.

Teacher Tests: We continue to fulfill our commitment to expand our current teacher testing battery. We recognize that we are the only organization with the ability to assure that incoming instructors have experiences in all aspects of their particular industry, and that this has always been part of our history. NOCTI has increased its teacher test offerings to reinforce a commitment to this important population.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): By leveraging our association with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), NOCTI is able to assess experiences that have occurred outside the classroom through Prior Learning Assessments. This service has been particularly successful with our returning servicemen and servicewomen and community college partners.

Digital Badges: NOCTI currently offers over 120 digital badges. We are collaborating with multiple partners to deliver badges that include both summative and formative structures, as well as badges for both cognitive and hands-on skills.  Badges are also being explored that are based on both asynchronous and synchronous evaluation.  Lastly, we have also started work with a number of our industry partners in building customized badging platforms.

Deep Analytical Reports: By utilizing NOCTI-collected data, we can assist states and regions in identifying which programs–and by extension which teachers–are able to deliver technical instruction that facilitates student competence. What would you do as a curricular leader in your state if you were able to objectively identify the best blueprint reading program in your state? We think we know the answer and we are providing the data to help states get there.

Industry Credentials: All NOCTI assessments are industry credentials and include benchmarks established by industry.  When utilized properly, the assessments provide a way to compare student competence against current industry standards in over 100 unique programs of study.  Local industry practitioners play an important role in assisting with the comparison between knowledge and skills learned and applied.  NOCTI also currently delivers over 40 collaborative industry association credentials.

Contact us at [email protected]  to see how we can help you. NOCTI is excited to be a Gold sponsor of the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.; be sure to seek us out and say hello!

Thank you NOCTI for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

Top Five Reasons to Attend NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting

March 2nd, 2015

Thinking about coming to NASDCTEc’s upcoming Spring meeting on April 8-10 in Washington D.C., but haven’t decided yet? cherry-blossoms-at-jefferson-150x150Here are five reasons why you should definitely attend!

1. To mix it up with secondary, postsecondary, workforce development leaders and employers: Our agenda, speakers and participants are leaders representing the full spectrum of CTE. We’re kicking off Wednesday with a panel of high-level leaders from the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and Labor talking about inter-agency collaboration, followed by sessions focused on aligning efforts to better serve learners at all levels.

2. To help build common solutions: We are bringing back the Collaboration Roundtables, based on the positive feedback from the Fall meeting, however, we are changing them in important ways. This time around, they will focus on building solutions to common challenges such as CTE teacher recruitment and retention, busting myths about CTE, and selecting industry credentials and technical skills assessments. These roundtables allow for unique cross-state sharing and collective problem solving.

3. To stay on top of moving targets: With a new Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) to implement, Congress moving forward on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and more media attention on CTE than ever before, change is happening and it’s happening fast. Our meeting is designed to prepare you for these changes, with sessions on implementing WIOA, ESEA, the Higher Education Act, new employer-led initiatives to credential skills, and CTE in the press with reporters on the CTE beat.

4. To experience excellence in action: For the first time ever, our Spring meeting will recognize Excellence in Action award-winning programs of study from across the country. Learn about the best CTE has to offer and celebrate excellence at a special lunch and reception in their honor.

5. To catch up with old friends and make some new ones: Did you know that there are new State CTE Directors in more than a dozen states and territories? Our Spring meeting is the perfect time to connect with new members, and catch up with those you only have a chance to see a few times a year. Over three days, you’ll be afforded opportunities to network formally and informally, and start conversations that will carry on well after the meeting ends.

Bonus reason: Cherry blossoms! Why wouldn’t you want to be in Washington, DC during cherry blossom season?

Learn more and register today!

Legislative Update: Congress Continues Consideration of ESEA as a Busy CTE Month Comes to a Close

March 2nd, 2015

CapitolReauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been at the top of lawmaker’s to-do lists since the 114th Congress began in January. Both the House Education and the Workforce (HEW) Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee have prioritized a complete overhaul of the law still known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  However, recent developments have slowed the process down and thrown ESEA’s reauthorization prospects into question.

In the House, HEW Chairman John Kline (R-MN) reintroduced the Student Success Act (H.R. 5)— legislation that was passed by the House in 2013. With a few modifications and small changes, H.R. 5 cleared the HEW Committee earlier this month on a strict party line vote and is now under full consideration by the House. Overall the bill would significantly roll back the federal role in K-12 education and would make a number of substantial changes to NCLB’s current structure (more information on the bill can be found here).

Late last week, the House considered 44 amendments to the legislation focused on a wide range of issues. One of the most significant amendments adopted came from Rep. Bob Goodlattee (R-VA) which would allow local school districts to develop and use their own assessments in lieu of state tests. In total a dozen amendments were adopted, including one from Rep. Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Thompson (R-PA) that would afford states additional flexibility to use Title I funding for work-based learning opportunities—a measure that NASDCTEc has been supportive of.

Despite several veto threats from the Obama Administration and vehement opposition from House Democrats, H.R. 5 seemed to be moving along to final passage late Friday afternoon. However in a surprise move, conservative groups began opposing the legislation for not going far enough to limit the federal role in K-12 education.  With no Democratic support for the bill to count on, House Republican leaders were forced to delay consideration of the legislation for a yet-to-be determined period of time. The longer this delay lasts, the more unlikely passage of H.R. 5 becomes. As some have already pointed out, failure to pass a rewrite of ESEA will only perpetuate the U.S. Department of Education’s current waiver framework— an increasingly unpopular (at least among members of Congress) series of state waivers  from certain elements of NCLB.

In the Senate, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a discussion draft for the reauthorization of ESEA and opened up the draft for public input last month. Like H.R. 5, this proposal would also significantly limit the federal role in K-12 education and seeks to increase flexibility for state and local decision making. Titled the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015,” the bill would eliminate the Adequate Yearly Progress and Highly Qualified Teacher provisions of NCLB— a proposal NASDCTEc has long championed for throughout the reauthorization process. However, the draft would eliminate the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program and has little to say regarding the importance of career readiness for the nation’s students— two issues that still need to be addressed as the bill continues to take shape.

The draft served as the basis for several HELP committee hearings on ESEA reauthorization over the past few months and received lots of attention following its release despite its lack of Senate Democrats’ input. More recently, HELP Committee Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced their intent to negotiate a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the law— a process that is still underway between the two. Nevertheless, the Committee remains optimistic that they will begin mark-up of a bipartisan bill sometime by the second week in March. As this process and more unfolds over the coming weeks and months, stay tuned here for updates and impacts as they relate to the CTE community.

Senators Introduce the Career Ready Act of 2015

Earlier this month Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus introduced the Career Ready Act of 2015 (CRA), a bill that seeks to promote career readiness in secondary school and helps to better align the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) with the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act (Perkins).

Specifically the bill would encourage states to incorporate multiple indicators of career readiness within their accountability systems and make this information available for public use and consumption. As NASDCTEc and Achieve’s 2014 report pointed out last year, nearly half of states already have such indicators within their systems. The bill would also align career exploration course offerings and counseling to the needs of the local and regional economy and would encourage greater collaboration between ESEA, Perkins, and the recently passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Additionally, CRA would strengthen the existing Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant program— an existing program under ESEA— by encouraging a stronger focus on career counseling, providing relevant professional development opportunities for counselors to use labor market information, and to build collaborative partnerships between community stakeholder groups such as schools, businesses, and local workforce investment boards.

While the bill amends current law, the sponsors of the bill hope to incorporate aspects of this legislation into the wider ESEA reauthorization process. NASDCTEc proudly endorses this legislation and remains hopeful that Career Ready Act of 2015 will be used to infuse a newly reauthorized ESEA with stronger career readiness components. Late last week, NASDCTEc moderated a Senate CTE Caucus discussion panel exploring these issues at great length and looked for ways to support collaborative alignment between the Perkins Act and ESEA. The text of the bill can be accessed here.

A Busy CTE Month in Congress Comes to a Close

February typically ushers in some of the coldest months of winter, but it also marks CTE month— an entire month dedicated to lifting up and celebrating Career Technical Education around the nation. Congressional CTE champions in both the House and the Senate have been busy these past few weeks vocalizing their support and formally introducing resolutions acknowledging the occasion.

At the beginning of the month Project Lead the Way (PLTW) co-hosted a CTE and STEM Reception on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Senate CTE Caucus and the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Senators and their staff had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the wonderful work on display by PLTW students from Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Further into the month, the House CTE Caucus hosted a briefing titled “CTE 101: The Nuts & Bolts of Establishing a Qualified Workforce” which was co-hosted by Caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA). Kicking off the event, Congressman Thompson spoke at length about the value of CTE to every Congressional district and the need to strengthen and renew the Perkins Act. NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green participated in this panel and provided an overview of CTE’s evolution over the past decade as well as priorities for Perkins reauthorization. The co-Chairs also took to the House floor in support of CTE and CTE month— their statements can be found here and here.

Odds & Ends

  • Earlier this month, NASDCTEc joined nondefence discretionary (NDD) United— a national group of organizations dedicated to ending sequestration— in sending a letter to congress highlighting the harmful effects of the sequester on programs like the Perkins Act ahead of the Congressional FY 2016 budget and appropriations cycle. Read the letter here.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 19-14 this month in anticipation of a wider release for guidance and regulations for state and local implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Read the letter here.
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the fifth iteration of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) 5.0— a set of definitions used in the data collection such as statewide longitudinal data systems. The new standards add additional elements of interest to the CTE community such as participation in career pathways systems and are located here.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently released a new toolkit for establishing and sustaining employer-educator partnerships. Learn more about the initiative here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

 

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