Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Commitment Across Systems

August 11th, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All systems work together to put learner success first.

In order to deliver high-quality CTE for all learners, state systems must work together at every level. Secondary and postsecondary must work together and with agencies that handle workforce and economic development issues. All of those agencies must also engage with employer partners and local districts and institutions to inform the design, validation and implementation of CTE programs.

This engagement should include a common vision and goals, along with shared terminology and data, so that each system can function together efficiently.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

  • Establish a common statewide vision and commitment to providing all learners with
    meaningful career pathways;
  • Coordinate federal and state policies, programs and funding to maximize
    investments and reduce inefficiencies;
  • Develop and support sustainable partnerships and intermediaries to accelerate
    learner success; and
  • Build indicators of career readiness—for all learners—into federal and state
    accountability systems.

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders place their focus on cross-sector coordination, they have access to multiple resources related to secondary and postsecondary partnerships, governance, accountability systems and statewide longitudinal data systems.

Principle in Action

  • California: Career Pathways Trust
    • In 2013-2014, CCPT originally set aside $250 million for one-time competitive grants to school districts, county superintendents, charter schools and community colleges with the intent to support career pathways in grades K-14; promote cross-sector collaboration in support of effective CTE; develop programs of study aligned to high-need, high-growth sectors; provide articulated pathways to postsecondary education; and leverage existing funding and programs. As a competitive grant, the CCPT provided an opportunity for the California Department of Education (CDE) to define the components of high quality career pathways, focus on alignment of secondary and post-secondary career education, and encourage quality practices such as dual credit courses and student and teacher internships.
  • Kentucky: Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK)
    • Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) is a youth pre-apprenticeship program that stands out as an innovative example of effective collaboration between the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education, employers and labor to strengthen students’ career pathways and the talent pipeline. The program utilizes Kentucky’s existing CTE infrastructure to create a pipeline for students that begins in high school and culminates in an industry-recognized credential, paid work experience and, in many cases, advanced standing within a full Registered Apprenticeship. Employers lead the process of partnering with an area technical center to design the selection process and the four-course program of study sequence.
  • Minnesota: Technical Skill Assessment Project
    • Minnesota’s Technical Skill Assessment project (TSA), which was launched in 2009 and has since expanded to encompass 79 Career Pathways, demonstrates how states can develop a strong assessment framework by engaging the employer community and aligning secondary and postsecondary systems. While the Minnesota State Colleges and University System is the Perkins eligible agency in Minnesota, the state rolled out a joint implementation strategy in 2008 that established 26 regional consortia made up of at least one 2-year college and one secondary school district. Each consortium jointly dictates how Perkins funds are expended. Under TSA, these consortia would be the vehicles for reviewing Career Pathways and identifying assessment needs.

Relevant Resources

  • Career Readiness Stakeholder Engagement Tool
    • Sustainable and successful transformation of state career readiness systems, including but not limited to Career Technical Education (CTE), requires engagement with a variety of stakeholders who are deliberately working to share ownership. Lead agencies must engage those from industry, who may be new to policymaking, not only to generate buy-in but also to reach state goals for transformation. This tool from Advance CTE is based off of two tools created by the Council of Chief State School Officers in June and November 2016. This tool, developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative and generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co., guides users through nine steps in planning effective interactions with specific stakeholders.
  • State Policy Leadership for the Future: History of State Coordination and Governance and Alternatives for the Future
    • The report, from the Education Commission of the States, compares states to determine governance policies related to six core issues: state-level planning, state finance policy, maintenance of databases, regulation of higher education institutions and programs, administration of state-level services, and governance of higher education systems and institutions. The paper also outlines alternative strategies for implementing these core functions in a way that is most conducive to improving the educational attainment of the state’s population given changing conditions and expectations.
  • Career Readiness & the Every Student Succeeds Act: Mapping Career Readiness in State ESSA Plans – Round 1
    • This brief from Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group examines where and how CTE and career readiness are built into the first 17 ESSA plans. The brief finds that, while more than half plan to adopt measures of career readiness in their accountability systems, many states missed an opportunity to fully leverage ESSA to advance a statewide vision of career readiness. In addition to accountability, the brief examines how states plan to support career readiness through the vision and goals; Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction); Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants); and Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers).

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

Veterans Education Bill Passes Congress

August 10th, 2017

With both the House and Senate now in recess until September 5, the pace has slowed down in Washington. Read below to find out more about what Congress accomplished before the break, what you can do to encourage Congress to invest in CTE when they return, and new resources from the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC).

Veterans Education Bill Goes to President’s Desk

On July 13, Rep. Roe (R-TN) introduced H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which passed the House unanimously on July 24. The bill was then introduced in the Senate by Senators Isakson (R-GA) and Tester (D-MT) on July 20 and passed the Senate on August 2. It now heads to the President for his signature. The bill would make a number of updates to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, including removing the requirement that they use their G.I. Bill benefits within 15 years and allowing for the education benefits received to be used at Area Career Technical Education (CTE) centers, including distance learning opportunities offered by these centers. Find more about the bill in the press release here and the one-page summary here.

Now is the time to Contact your Members of Congress about Investing in CTE

Even though Congress is in recess, your Senators and Representatives still need to hear from you! When Congress returns from recess, they will continue their work on the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget and appropriations process and must take action before October 1 (the start of FY18 for the government) in order avoid a government shutdown. Now is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress (thanks to our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for sharing their resources with the entire CTE community) to let them know that you support a strong federal investment in CTE! Please continue to send your stories about what the proposed 15 percent cut to the Perkins Basic State Grant would mean for you to Katie Fitzgerald, kfitzgerald@careertech.org and we will follow up with you about featuring your story in our advocacy communications.

New Resources from the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC)

The Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC), a group that Congress established via the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to make recommendations about the workforce and labor market information (LMI) systems at the state and federal levels and advise the Secretary of Labor on these issues. This group just released a new report, Challenges and Opportunities in Workforce and Labor Market Information, which examines how policymakers, researchers and educators can use labor market information to help build the national, state and local workforce and help strengthen the economy. Additionally, the report makes the case for enhancing workforce data quality in order to provide more accurate employment projections and equip learners with resources to make informed decisions about their career paths. WIAC also published a shorter brief and infographic to go along with this report.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

Welcome to Chris Deaton, Indiana’s New State CTE Director!

August 9th, 2017

Nearly 17 years ago, Chris Deaton’s first real job out of college was with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, where he expected to do accounting and operations work for a federal grant he knew little about at the time – the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

About two weeks in, his supervisor asked him to take over the office’s data collection and accountability responsibilities. Though he didn’t have much experience doing data and accountability work, he set out to teach himself whatever was necessary to do the job.

Soon after, Deaton realized Career Technical Education (CTE) had its hooks in him.

“It didn’t take me very long, but I fell in love with it. I could have left several times but I just can’t,” Deaton said. “I became very passionate about CTE and the students, what we can do for them, and how we can benefit the economy [through CTE].”

In July, Deaton was named as the State CTE Director at the Indiana Department of Education. While there is always some learning curve to any new job, Deaton feels at home in his new office, because in some ways, what’s new is actually old. That’s because for several years, Deaton’s former office at the Department of Workforce Development was the eligible state agency for the state’s Perkins grant. Now that the Department of Education serves as the Perkins eligible agency, Deaton said he is settling back into the familiar work.

Deaton said he is excited about the work ahead, which includes a major initiative to overhaul the state’s career pathways. The effort will require engaging key stakeholders across the state to reimagine how these should look to ensure every high school student has access to a true career pathway.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

In Round 2 ESSA States, A Clear Vision for Career Readiness Helps Anchor Implementation Strategies

August 8th, 2017

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to articulate long-term goals for student academic achievement, graduation rates and English language proficiency. Yet some states have opted to go beyond federal requirements to describe a comprehensive vision for the future of K-12 education. In some cases, this helps anchor the plan and provides opportunities for cohesion across different title programs.

As the remaining 34 states prepare for next month’s submission deadline, several — including Pennsylvania and South Dakota — are taking the opportunity to refine their statewide vision. These states are leveraging the ESSA stakeholder engagement and planning process to chart out a new, aspirational future for education, one that puts career readiness front and center.

Pennsylvania Aims to Increase CTE Enrollment to Prepare All Learners for Postsecondary and Workforce Success

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), for example, describes its mission as preparing all learners for “meaningful engagement in postsecondary education, in workforce training, in career pathways, and as responsible, involved citizens.” PDE goes on to elevate the importance of career ready pathways for student success. This framing sets the tone for the rest of the state’s proposed ESSA plan, and is echoed through the state’s accountability, technical assistance and grant administration strategies.

Under accountability, Pennsylvania calls for a career readiness indicator to measure the implementation and completion of career exploration activities in elementary, middle and high school. Additionally, the state proposes a new public-facing report card called the Future Ready PA Index that will monitor and report out a variety of career readiness metrics. Metrics identified through stakeholder engagement include participation in advanced coursework (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment), and the number of students earning industry-recognized credentials.  The inclusion of these metrics in Pennsylvania’s public reporting and accountability system demonstrates the state’s commitment to career preparation at all levels of education.

The plan also identifies funding sources through different ESSA title programs and outlines strategies to braid funds and promote certain career preparation activities. These strategies are organized around four guiding priorities, one of which is to ensure well-rounded, rigorous and personalized learning for all students. Specifically, the plan proposes to increase participation in advanced coursework, promote access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education (STEM), and support meaningful career pathways, aiming to increase enrollment in state-approved CTE programs by five percent annually. With this clearly articulated vision, PDE urges local education agencies to braid funds through Title I, Title II and Title IV to support related efforts. Specific encouraged activities include hiring and training qualified career and college counselors to help learners make informed decisions about their career paths.

South Dakota Plans to Expand High-Quality CTE Pathways

Similarly, preparing all graduating high school student for postsecondary education and the workforce is one of four K-12 milestones identified in South Dakota’s ESSA plan. The importance of CTE and career preparation is not lost. In fact, South Dakota commits to providing learners with multiple pathways to demonstrate readiness for college, career and life after high school.

Like Pennsylvania, South Dakota plans to use its accountability system to achieve this vision. The state aims to refine it college and career readiness indicator, originally adopted in the 2012-13 school year, to value learners who graduate ready for both college and careers. The indicator includes two metrics — assessment of readiness and progress toward a post high school credential  that count students completing advanced coursework such as CTE, AP and dual credit as well as those earning passing scores on college entrance examinations.

What is notable about South Dakota’s ESSA plan is that CTE is drawn out as a strategy throughout different parts of the plan, illustrating the extent to which CTE is core to South Dakota’s vision. For one, South Dakota plans to provide technical assistance to schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement to help them develop and expand high-quality CTE pathways. The justification for this strategy is that CTE students have higher graduation rates. Additionally, South Dakota aims to launch pilot schools that provide work-based learning experience, early postsecondary opportunities and robust career guidance and supports for students. And, under Title IV, Part A (the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants), South Dakota plans to set aside state funds to help local education agencies expand high-quality CTE pathways.

ESSA gives states a clear opening to reorganize their priorities and vision for K-12 education. Newfound flexibility under the law allows for state-appropriate strategies that reflect stakeholder input and are aligned with other statewide initiatives. However, ESSA plans will only be as effective as states make them. By setting clear goals and connecting efforts and strategies, states can organize their ESSA implementation efforts to support career readiness and success.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

New Resources to Help You Sell CTE to Parents and Students

August 3rd, 2017

While Career Technical Education (CTE) continues to struggle against outdated perceptions resulting in a stagnant enrollment rate over the past decade, Advance CTE, with the support from the Siemens Foundation, has tackled this stigma issue head on in an effort to better communicate the value of CTE to parents and students.

The first step in this important work was conducting research with parents and students to explore their attitudes towards CTE. Detailed in our recent report,  The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students,” we now know that students involved in CTE, and their parents, are extremely happy with their education experience – from the quality of their courses to the opportunity for work-based learning. Additionally, those not involved in CTE want more of these same opportunities, which we know CTE can provide.

To put this research into action, Advance CTE has developed a series of tools to help CTE leaders better sell CTE to parents and students, and increase enrollment in CTE programs of study. The resources include advocacy and case-making materials, information about how to use the research in your recruitment efforts at the state and local levels, and a guided tool to assist you and your team in thinking through strategies to engage parents and guardians to convince them CTE is a fantastic option for their child. Find more information about these resources here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Ensuring Quality Instruction

August 3rd, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All learning is facilitated by knowledgeable experts.

All learners deserve to have quality educational experiences facilitated by individuals with passion, experience and expertise. The need for experts qualified to help ensure students gain the real-world experiences they need for success has been increasing dramatically. Individuals with industry expertise provide a perspective to students that traditional academic teachers may be unable to do, and can also help students explore and connect with particular career opportunities.

State leaders face numerous barriers in fully achieving this principle, including geographical shortages of available industry experts, and the availability of professional development that provides industry experience to classroom teachers.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

  • Modernize K-12 certification programs to ensure all learners have access to educators who are able to facilitate learning that prepares them for both college and careers;
  • Prioritize professional learning opportunities that focus on retention of quality instructors, contextualized teaching and learning, and learner engagement; and
  • Build and support a pool of experts that instructors may draw upon to supplement learning.

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders put their commitment to quality instruction into action, they have access to multiple resources related to instructor certification, teacher externships and professional learning.

Principle in Action

  • South Dakota: CTE Teacher Certification Rule Changes
    • To address the serious teacher shortage being experienced by districts across the state, the South Dakota State Board of Education changed administrative rules for Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher certification in November 2015, introducing more consistency and flexibility to the certification process. Under the new rules, CTE teachers may receive certification at the Career Cluster or Career Pathway level. A career cluster endorsement requires teachers to pass a state certification exam or complete 15 credits of coursework and allows teachers to teach any course within a cluster, including all pathway-level courses. A career pathway endorsement requires teachers to pass the state certification exam, complete nine credits of coursework, or have 4,000 hours of work experience. With the pathway endorsement, teachers may teach any course within a career pathway, but must complete more coursework in order to earn an endorsement for an entire cluster.
  • Idaho: CTE Digital & Idaho Digital Learning Academy
    • To address geographical challenges and expand access to CTE and advanced coursework more generally, the Idaho legislature in 2015 authorized Idaho Career & Technical Education to work with the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA), a fully-accredited online school serving students in all of the state’s 115 districts, to develop CTE Digital. Through IDLA, Idaho students all over the state can access online CTE coursework. Before a course can be designated as CTE Digital, a CTE certified teacher maps content to CTE standards and develops new content to meet the standards, as needed for existing courses/curriculum. For a new course development, a CTE certified teacher is hired by IDLA to create the course, which typically happens while they are teaching the same course in their district. In this way, the state can ensure that all learners are receiving quality instruction.

Relevant Resources

  • The State of Career Technical Education: Increasing Access to Industry Experts in High Schools
    • This report from Advance CTE, in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research, examines the shortage of industry experts in secondary classrooms and how to address it. The report draws on data from two national surveys — one of 47 State CTE Directors and one of 260 local CTE teachers and administrators from 26 states — to identify common barriers and innovative strategies. While many states use alternative certification policies to bring industry experts into schools as full-time teachers, this report explores other strategies that meet the available capacity of industry experts still working in their field, such as allowing experts to teach part-time or co-teach with a fully certified teacher of record.
  • Faculty Qualification Policies and Strategies Relevant to Dual Enrollment Programs: An Analysis of States and Regional Accreditation Agencies
    • This 50-state report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), co-authored by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, explores policies related to dual enrollment faculty qualifications and identifies four strategies: accreditor-approved qualifications, equivalent faculty qualifications, requirement of a master’s degree, and graduate credit requirements. The report further details state strategies to help classroom instructors meet dual enrollment qualifications.
  • Improving the Quality of Career and Technical Alternative Teacher Preparation: An Induction Model of Professional Development and Support
    • The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), in partnership with the National Research Center for Career Technical Education (NRCCTE), developed an induction model for new CTE teachers pursuing an alternative route to certification that increases their career commitment, competency and self-efficacy. This report presents key elements of the CTE teacher induction model and provides findings from a five-year field test.
  • CTE Teacher Licensure Requirements: 50 States and District of Columbia
    • This document, produced by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in 2013, provides state-by-state information on teacher licensure policies for Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers. It includes data on CTE-related teacher certification, certification routes, length of teacher certifications or renewal, professional development and recruitment for all states and D.C.

Upcoming Resources

  • Industry Expert Working Groups
    • Advance CTE has partnered with the AIR Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (AIR GTL) to run two working groups as a follow-up from the December 2016 State of CTE report. The first group will focus on exploring innovative roles for industry experts, such as co-teaching and part-time teaching, and the second group will explore the strategies available for secondary and postsecondary partnerships. In early 2018, AIR GTL will publish summary reports on the activities of both working groups.
  • Brief on Recruiting Teachers in Rural Areas
    • As part of a series of briefs on the challenges unique to providing quality CTE in rural areas, Advance CTE will be drafting a brief specifically on recruiting and retaining teachers in rural areas.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

House Focuses on Apprenticeship Before Recess

August 2nd, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives is now in recess until September 5. Before they left last week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on apprenticeship. We’ll recap the hearing, a couple bills that were introduced in the last month and provide information on how to receive news about what is happening in the world of higher education data below.

House Hearing Highlights Different Approaches to Earn and Learn

On Wednesday, July 26, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing on “Expanding Options for Employers and Workers Through Earn-and-Learn Opportunities.” The hearing included testimony from Mike Bennett (Vice President, Cianbro), Robert Peglow (Student at Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KYFAME), Rob Hogan (Vice President of Manufacturing and Material Distribution, Newport News Shipbuilding) and Stacey Johnson Hughes (State Chair, KYFAME). Most members’ questions of the witnesses focused on the components of registered apprenticeships and other industry-led programs that provide opportunities to earn and learn. Many of the witnesses mentioned the importance of employer and industry engagement in their programs and how their programs intentionally connect local K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) asked about those connections specifically and highlighted the recent House-passed bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins) and how it promotes work-based learning opportunities, including apprenticeship. To learn more about the connections between apprenticeships and secondary CTE, check out the resources from Advance CTE and the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) here, including two videos.

In Case You Missed It: House Introduces CTE Legislation

On June 21, Rep. Pocan (D-WI) introduced H.R. 2933, the Leveraging Effective Apprenticeships to Rebuild National Skills (LEARNS) Act, which would:

  • “Support closer alignment between registered apprenticeship programs, employers and other program sponsors offering good jobs,
  • Increase the attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials by program participants,
  • Create national standards for registered apprenticeship programs, and
  • Establish a permanent advisory council at the Department of Labor to oversee the actions and implementation of registered apprenticeship programs”

Find more about the bill in the press release here.

On June 30, Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) introduced H.R.3137, the Promoting Women in STEM Act, which would amend Perkins to “require existing state programs funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins) Act to include programs that increase participation of women in STEM fields” by adding support for these programs to the list of required uses of state leadership funds.

Looking for a Weekly Dose of Higher Education Data News?

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) has you covered with their Weekly Data Roundup! The roundup is a great resource that delivers brief summaries of reports, notices, and commentary from the week’s top higher ed data news right to your inbox. Not familiar with IHEP’s PostsecData Collaborative? Browse the website and subscribe to the Weekly Data Roundup today!

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

 

This Week in CTE

July 28th, 2017

TWEET OF THE WEEK

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

New Documentary: Job Centered Learning
Many economists, business owners, and labor leaders have raised alarm about a rising skills gap in the United States between the jobs that are available and those with the skills needed to fill them. Job Centered Learning, takes a critical look at the wide range of career technical education options some high schools across the U.S. are offering, engaging their students in life changing classroom experiences. This new one hour documentary, which will begin airing on your local PBS station on Sunday, has the potential to add to the national debate around both the vitality of our economy as well as the role schools can play in shaping how a new generation of students can find more meaningful educational experiences, fulfilling livelihoods and worthwhile careers.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Education First released a new report, Making the Most of ESSA: Opportunities to Advance STEM Education, a Review of ESSA plans for innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The report analyzes STEM in all 17 submitted ESSA plans and eight draft plans. Of those 25 plans, they found that states focused on four STEM-related policies:

  • Including state science assessment results in accountability systems
  • Including career- and technical-education indicators in accountability systems
  • Including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate indicators in accountability systems
  • Requiring or encouraging STEM elements in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants.

Find an overview of top findings from reviews of state ESSA plans here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Personalized and Flexible Learning

July 27th, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All learning is personalized and flexible.

States across the nation are moving towards the direction of competency-based learning systems, but too often this work is undertaken with the mindset that academic and CTE courses are separate systems.

Academic and CTE courses and curricula must work together to provide a seamless, flexible and personalized path for learners from secondary to postsecondary and careers. This requires states to fully align academic and CTE standards across K-12 and postsecondary, and to expand competency-based systems so that all learners may access them.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

  • Identify, build and scale policies and models that fully integrate academic and technical expectations and experiences;
  • Identify, build and scale models of K-12 and postsecondary competency-based systems; and
  • Fully align secondary and postsecondary programs of study to ensure seamless transitions.

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders focus their attention on personalized learning and systems alignment, they have access to multiple resources.

Principle in Action

  • Washington: Core Plus
    • Developed in partnership between OSPI, the Boeing Company and the Manufacturing Industrial Council, Core Plus is a two-year, industry-developed curriculum that helps students graduate with skills in the manufacturing and skilled trades. While initially the Core Plus curriculum did not satisfy state high school graduation standards, the legislature passed a law allowing for course equivalencies to be developed. These course equivalencies ensure that learners graduate having received both rigorous academic and technical content.
  • Tennessee: Standards Revision Process
    • Beginning in 2012, Tennessee overhauled the state’s Career Technical Education (CTE) standards, bringing them into alignment with the newly adopted K-12 standards and embedding the standards within full and rigorous programs of study. The process took place over three multi-step phases. The second phase of this process involved aligning and integrating all state CTE standards with K-12 academic standards. State CTE standards are now embedded within academic standards and allow teachers the time and flexibility to unpack them appropriately.

Relevant Resources

  • Seizing the Future: How Ohio’s Career and Technical Education Programs Fuse Academic Rigor and Real-World Experiences to Prepare Students for College and Careers
    • This brief from Achieve demonstrates Ohio’s progress in developing strong policies for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to promote rigor, including college- and career-ready graduation requirements for all students, integrated college and career pathways, partnerships with workforce partners, and clear public-reporting systems. This brief describes those state-level efforts and highlights individual CTE programs that are thriving across the state. This resource can be instructional not only for state policymakers aiming to create CTE-friendly policies, but for local and regional program implementers as well.
  • Endorsements, Electives & More: CTE & State Graduation Requirements
    • This brief from Advance CTE highlights a few ways in which states are exploring embedding and elevating CTE programs, assessments and experiences within their statewide graduation requirements. Throughout the brief, a number of challenges and issues for consideration are raised, notably having processes in place for ensuring quality of rigor and quality across pathways and assessments; providing flexibility to allow students to engage in CTE programs of study without having to give up other areas of interests; and ensuring students have the opportunity to take the full range of courses that will prepare them for college and careers.
  • CTE Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment
    • Participation in Career Technical Education (CTE) dual enrollment coursework in high school has the potential to improve outcomes for traditionally underserved students—and enrollment is on the rise. In the 2010-11 school year, half of the schools offering dual enrollment also offered dual enrollment with a specific CTE focus. This policy brief from the Education Commission of the States (ECS) provides a framework for integrating CTE into dual enrollment programs.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

BUILDS Act Introduced, House & Senate Continue FY18 Appropriations Work

July 27th, 2017

The last working day before the House goes into recess is this Friday, July 28 and the last day for the Senate is August 11. Both the House and Senate have taken steps toward advancing the 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18) Budget and Appropriations process in the last week and will likely continue their work after the break. Also last week, the Senate introduced new infrastructure legislation – read more about these efforts below.

Senators Portman (R-OH) and Kaine (D-VA) Introduce BUILDS Act

On July 20, Senators Portman (R-OH) and Kaine (D-VA), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, introduced the “Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills”(BUILDS) Act. This bill would authorize the Secretary of Labor to award grants to industry or sector partnerships that would:
  • “Incentivize businesses and industry to work with the greater community to create on-the-job training programs to fill the jobs necessary to expand the country’s infrastructure system
  • Connect businesses and education providers to develop classroom curriculum to complement on-the-job learning
  • Train managers and front-line workers to serve as mentors to people in work-based learning programs
  • Offer resources and career awareness programming to recruit and retain individuals for workforce training programs
  • Provide support services to ensure workers are successful from pre-employment to placement in a full-time position”
This bill also makes connections to CTE, such as including the definitions for CTE and “career guidance and academic counseling” that are found in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). In addition, CTE is embedded in the objectives and activities that the grants awarded can support. Advance CTE is proud to support this bill.

 

House Appropriations Committee Approves Bill that Level-Funds Perkins, House Budget Committee Approves Resolution

On July 19, the House Appropriations Committee marked up and approved the FY18 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill . This bill includes level-funding for CTE (and maintains that $1,117,598,000 be allocated to the Perkins Basic State Grants and $7,421,000 be allocated for National Programs – the same as FY17). Also on July 19, the House Budget Committee marked up and approved its FY18 Budget Resolution (which provides the top-line spending number for all 12 appropriations bills).The blueprint notes that, “Strengthening career and technical education, higher education, and workforce development programs, by increasing choice, access, and affordability, will ensure that our workers have the skills necessary to compete in a growing and changing economy” (p. 26). The House Budget Committee’s report on the resolution similarly highlights CTE (see page 121 here). At this time, the budget resolution has not been scheduled to go for a vote before the full House of Representatives and neither has the FY18 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Senate Appropriations Process Begins

On July 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its guidance for FY18 allocations for the 12 appropriations bills. While the allocation for Labor-HHS-Education is $8 billion more than the amount in the House Bill, the guidance notes, “This increase is necessary to offset a significant reduction in available savings from mandatory programs.” As additional information about when the Senate Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill will be marked up and allocations for specific programs becomes available, we will share it. Now is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress (thanks to our partners at ACTE for sharing this Action Center with the entire CTE community) to let them know that you support a strong federal investment in CTE!

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

 

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