Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Certification’

State Policy Update: California’s Budget Calls for New Initiative to Strengthen CTE Programs in Community Colleges

Monday, July 18th, 2016

CA BudgetWith students now on summer vacation, policymakers have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year — and Career Technical Education (CTE) has been front and center in several states. Last month, California approved a massive budget, including funds for the CTE Pathways Program and the new Strong Workforce Program. Meanwhile, some states are exploring strategies to address teacher shortages.

The Strong Workforce Program: California’s Investment in Community Colleges

Late last month, California Governor Jerry Brown approved the state’s budget for FY2016-17. Education — and CTE in particular — fared well. Continuing California’s past investments in CTE, the 2016-17 budget authorized $200 million for the Strong Workforce Program, an initiative to expand access to CTE courses and to implement a regional accountability structure.

The Strong Workforce Program was authorized through Assembly Bill 1602 and is based on recommendations from the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy. The program includes a noncompetitive grant that community colleges can receive by joining regional cross-sector partnerships with education and workforce leaders. The grant, which is awarded based on unemployment rates and CTE enrollment in the community, is designed to:

The budget includes other notable investments in CTE. The CTE Pathways Program, which supports local linkages between education and workforce development from middle school through community college, received a one-time increase of $48 million. The new budget also saw a 2.6 percent adjustment to the Local Control Funding Formula base grant to support the cost of operating high school CTE programs (check out a primer on the Local Control Funding Formula here). 

What the California Budget Means for Teachers

The budget also includes measures to support teacher recruitment and certification, such as:

Speaking of Teacher Recruitment…

Other states are exploring innovative strategies to draw more industry professionals into the classroom. In New York, the Board of Regents issued an updated rule that provides three additional pathways for individuals with industry experience to obtain a teaching certificate. Similarly, Utah adopted a new rule allowing districts to hire industry professionals without teaching experience. Under this rule, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher, pass a Board-approved content knowledge assessment, and be assigned a master teacher mentor to qualify for a teaching license.

Back to California…

Separately, the California State Board of Education last week approved an early version of its College and Career Readiness Indicator, which is designed to measure how prepared students are for life after high school. If the measure is approved, students would qualify as “Well Prepared” if they complete a CTE pathway with a “C” or better; score “Ready” on the 11th-grade math and English Smarter Balanced Assessment; earn a three or higher on at least three AP exams; complete three or more years of dual/concurrent enrollment in community college courses; or earn an International Baccalaureate diploma. While the Board plans to continue discussion, this early draft previews California’s vision for the Indicator.

Odds and Ends from Other States

In an effort to create a more seamless K-16 education system, the Louisiana state legislature directed the superintendent of education to study and provide recommendations on increasing participation in dual enrollment programs and aligning secondary and postsecondary systems to encourage postsecondary credit attainment in high school. The superintendent is required to report back to the legislature in early 2017, so we will keep an eye out for the final recommendations and report back.

And in South Carolina, Act 252 established the Coordinating Council of Workforce Development, a cross-sector council charged with assessing workforce needs in the Palmetto State and providing recommendations to increase access to workforce training programs. Governor Nikki Haley said the legislation would bring together businesses and technical colleges to help students gain necessary skills to fill the 60,000 job openings in the state.  


Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Uncategorized
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Microsoft IT Academy & CTE Community: Closing the Skills Gap Together

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

IT Academy-stacked-large

Technology plays an ever increasing role in our daily lives.  It changes how we communicate, how we learn and how we function in the world today. With all of the growth in the technology sector, workplace needs have shifted and technical skills have become vital to employment.

A current IDC study discovered that cloud-based companies will create 14 million new jobs by 2015, half of which will be in IT. The same study predicts over the course of the next ten years 77% of all jobs will require technology skills. That’s where Microsoft IT Academy and the Career Technical Education community join forces to close the gap.

Microsoft IT Academy provides industry-leading technology training and certifications. Currently, there are 13 Microsoft IT Academy statewide initiatives in place, and still more state programs to be deployed in the near future. Microsoft IT Academy and the CTE community are helping drive economic development by improving education outcomes for students and pathways for current workers to advance their careers. See our blog for recent success stories.

Microsoft certifications differentiate students in today’s competitive job market and broaden their employment opportunities. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams prepare students to be more productive in school and business careers. For students considering IT careers, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams provide an entry-level opportunity to explore various technical careers. Both MOS and MTA certification validates a student’s knowledge of specific technology concepts and helps them stand out when submitting college and internship applications.

With the Microsoft IT Academy program, academic institutions and their educators, students and staff get digital curricula and certification for fundamental technology skills as well as courses critical for students to be successful in today’s technologically evolving world. Microsoft IT Academy offers training at all levels: from basic fundamental computing to advanced technical courses for those who are interested in pursuing a career in IT. For more information on Microsoft IT Academy benefits visit: http://www.microsoft.com/education/itacademy/Pages/benefits.aspx

Microsoft IT Academy is a proud sponsor of the 2014 NASDCTEc Fall Meeting.  Amy Merrill and Lance Baldwin will be representing Microsoft Learning and IT Academy at the conference. For the latest information on Microsoft IT Academy, follow us on social media!

Twitter: @MS_ITAcademy   |    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftITAcademy

Contacts: Amy Merrill – MS Learning, Business Deployment Manager: amyme@microsoft.com

Lance Baldwin – MS Learning, Senior Solutions Specialist: Lance.Baldwin@microsoft.com

This blog was contributed by Microsoft IT Academy, diamond level sponsor at the 2014 Fall Meeting.

By Evan Williamson in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Continuing Resolution Extends Highly Qualified Teacher Provision

Monday, September 24th, 2012

On Saturday the Senate passed a six month continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through March 27, 2013. This bill extends for an additional year a provision that allows teachers who are participating alternative certification programs to be considered highly qualified. This means that at least until the end of the 2013-2014 school year, teachers in alternative certification programs will be considered highly qualified. The Department of Education will also be required to send a report to Congress no later than December 31, 2013 detailing how many special education students, rural students, English-language learners, and low-income students are being taught by teachers in an alternative-certification program.

Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Alternative Certification, Career Academies

Friday, July 27th, 2012

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Alternative Certification

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing this week to examine alternative certification of teachers. The topic is a timely one given its connection to defining highly qualified teachers under the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2010, Congress passed legislation that allowed students enrolled in alternative certification programs to be considered “highly qualified teachers.” The House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill seeks to extend this definition for two more years.

There was general support for alternative routes to certification on both sides of the aisle during the hearing. Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) had this to say:

Alternative certification routes help address teacher shortages in particular geographic areas and subject matter, as well as strengthen the overall quality of the teaching profession. While Republicans know there is no one-size-fits-all federal solution to help put more effective teachers in the classroom, supporting the availability and acceptance of alternative certification programs is one way the public and private sectors can join together to ensure more students have access to a quality education from an extraordinary educator.

Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, agreed that alternative certification programs hold a lot of promise, but that there need to be policies in place to ensure that they are “high quality, innovative, and effective,” which also holds true for traditional teacher preparation programs. She suggested that Congress focus on teacher effectiveness rather than alternative routes to certification.

More Details on Career Academies Proposal

Last week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Academy Foundation’s NEXT Conference about the President’s FY13 budget proposal to invest $1 billion in career academies. Funding at this level could increase the number of career academies by 3,000 and serve an additional 500,000 students.

According to Duncan, $200 million in grants to states would be available in FY13, and $400 million would be available in both FY14 and FY15. Grants to would total $4 million each to states, and would be given over a three year period. States would distribute those funds competitively to locals.

As part of the grant program, the Department of Education is proposing a definition of “career academy” that each state must use for the in-state competition:

  1. A career academy is a secondary school program as organized as a small learning com­munity or school within a school to provide the support of a personalized learning environment.
  2. The academy must begin in ninth grade and combine credit-bearing academic and techni­cal curriculum.
  3. The academy must organize curriculum around a career theme like those proposed by NAF — hospitality and tourism, IT, health, sci­ence, and engineering — and be aligned with states’ college- and career-ready standards.
  4. The academy must provide work-based learning and career exploration activities through partnerships with local employers.
  5. The academy must articulate entrance re­quirements of postsecondary education programs to ensure students graduate from high school ready to pursue a higher education degree or credential.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Ten Race to the Top Winners Announced

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Today Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the round two winners of the $3.4 billion in Race to the Top grants.  These winners are:

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. New York
  7. North Carolina
  8. Ohio
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Washington, D.C.

The 10 winning States have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.

There was no immediate word on how much money each winner will receive, but awards will be based on States’ student population. In the first round of grants, Delaware was awarded $100 million and Tennessee received $500 million. In a statement, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that this round of finalists was very competitive and that the Department hopes to have a round three of grants, using $1.35 billion requested in the President’s FY11 budget.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Aerospace Industry Faces Shortage of Workers, CTE Offers Solution

Monday, April 26th, 2010

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 2009 Survey of Aerospace Student At­titudes found that the aerospace industry has not fully recovered from jobs losses of the 1990s and is still facing a shortage of workers. Employment in the industry fell by over 600,000 jobs between 1989 and 2007, and approximately 26 percent of workers were eligible to retire by 2008.

However, degrees awarded for a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate in aerospace engineering have been increasing since 2000. The study also found that 92 per­cent of the students became interested in aerospace during the K-12 years.  CTE provides a great opportunity for students with an interest in the aerospace industry to explore this further in relevant and hands-on courses.

In related news, Representative Suzanne Kosmas of Florida introduced H.R. 5093, the Space to Schools Act which would provide incentives to retiring or displaced NASA employees with STEM backgrounds to pursue careers as elementary, secondary, or K-12 career technical education (though the bill uses the word “vocation”) teachers. This bill would provide eligible participants with a stipend of up to a $5,000 to be used towards obtaining licensing or certification for teaching. Participants who commit to working in a high need school for at least three years will be eligible for a $5,000 bonus. Having former NASA professionals in the classroom would be a great boon to CTE students who wish to pursue careers in the aerospace industry.

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Teacher Shortage Undermines CTE

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the fastest growing careers in 2008 would be in CTE fields such as healthcare and trade and industrial occupations.  However, in order to cultivate a workforce to fill these jobs, students will require training from quality secondary and postsecondary CTE teachers – resources that are lacking across the nation due to a teacher shortage.  This crisis for CTE has been caused by student demand requiring more teachers, teachers leaving the profession and the limited opportunities to cultivate new educators as teacher programs are eliminated.

NASDCTEc has authored Teacher Shortage Undermines CTE, a brief that explores the reasons behind the shortage of teachers in CTE programs, and what can be done to curb the declining numbers and recruit more individuals into CTE classrooms. It also highlights examples from three states – Oregon, Alabama and California – that serve as models for increasing the number of CTE teachers in their state.

You can access a copy of the brief on our website at: www.careertech.org/show/publications under “Teacher Preparation”.

By Nancy in Publications
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