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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

CTE Month Recap

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

CTE MONTH

A whirlwind month in the world of CTE came to a close last week with events nationwide marking the power of CTE and its impact on communities across the country.

Programs nationwide seized the opportunity to present new and innovative methods for delivering CTE. We tracked an enormous amount of content via the Twitter hashtag #CTEMonth and were proud to showcase innovative CTE Month content on our Facebook.As we highlighted in a month-long blog series in partnership with the National Technical Honor Society, CTE students across the country are doing fantastic work protecting the environment, serving their communities, getting a head start on their careers, and reinventing their lives.

CTSOs harnessed the power of social media to promote CTE month by activating their membership base, creating student-made video content, and even sending student leaders to Washington to meet with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and speak at a Department of Education briefing.

This CTE Month was also a big month for NASDCTEc/NCTEF events, as we released further information about our upcoming Spring Meeting (March 31-April 3, 2014, in Washington, DC) and officially opened registration for the completely revamped Achieving Excellence in CTE: the Career Clusters Institute (June 16-18, 2014, in Phoenix, AZ).

CTE Month reached its zenith as it closed with recognitions from both Chambers of the US Congress. Senate CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) joined CTE champion Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introducing a resolution to confirm February as CTE Month along with ringing endorsements of CTE’s role in developing a career-ready workforce. It proposed four key points for the Senate to acknowledge:

“Therefore, be it Resolved That the Senate–

“(1) designates the month of February as ‘Career and Technical Education Month’ to celebrate career and technical education across the United States;

“(2) supports the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month;

“(3) recognizes the importance of career and technical education in preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce in the United States; and

“(4) encourages educators, counselors, and administrators to promote career and technical education as an option for students.”

Just as Senator Kaine introduced the Senate Resolution, Congressional CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) and Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) each took to the House Floor to extoll the benefits of CTE to their colleagues.

“In today’s competitive job market, high-paying, high-demand jobs require
technical skills and training,” said Rep. Thompson. “These programs
are the key to bridging the skills gap.”

“CTE is an investment in the future of our economy, our workforce and
our country,” said Rep. Langevin. “I urge my colleagues on the
Appropriations Committee to fully fund Perkins for the upcoming fiscal
year and make important investments in our career training.”

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By Evan Williamson in CTE: Learning that works for America, News
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Legislative Update: Global Economy Act; Workforce Data Quality Campaign; CAREER Act

Monday, May 6th, 2013

STEM Education for the Global Economy Act

Last week, Senator Merkley (D-OR) announced details for his STEM Education for the Global Economy Act. The bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and would help improve instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects by:

Many of the provisions in the bill link to our vision for CTE, especially in regard to our aim to ensure that the United States leads in global competitiveness. The bill would direct more money towards STEM, strives to prepare more students to be career ready, and increases professional development opportunities for teachers.

Inaugural Workforce Data Quality Campaign Meeting

Last week, NASDCTEc took part in the inaugural meeting of the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC).  NASDCTEc is an inaugural partner in the WDQC, in addition to the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Data Quality Campaign, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, the National Skills Coalition, and the New America Foundation. The WDQC promotes inclusive, aligned and market-relevant education and workforce data systems supported by state and federal policies. Some of the issues being examined by the WDQC include:

This exciting initiative will shape the future of CTE data and accountability, and regular updates on progress will be shared with members. The aims of the WDQC initiative link very closely with our vision, through our support of federal policies that make the collection of nationally comparable, valid and reliable data possible and efficient; and our support of aligning data requirements and accountability measures among federal education and workforce preparation programs.

CAREER Act

Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Portman (R-OH) last week reintroduced the Career Through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act S.804. According to the bill summary, S. 804 aims to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of employers, more efficient with taxpayer dollars, and more effective in connecting the unemployed with highly paid jobs by:

1.      Reorganizing the Federal Government’s training programs to make them more efficient, by working with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to produce a report detailing how to decrease the number of federal job training programs without decreasing services or accessibility, using a 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report as a template.The GAO report lists Perkins as one of the funds that could be consolidated.

2.      Giving community colleges, CTE institutions, and other key educators priority access for funding that equips workers with the credentials that are in demand by industry.

3.      Introducing accountability to job training through a pay-for-performance pilot program.

4.      Providing states and local stakeholders with access to the data they need to track the impact of their programs.

The bill would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). A reauthorized version of WIA was recently passed in the House, and the Senate is currently working on their proposal to reauthorize the Act. As such, it is not clear how the CAREER Act will fit into this reauthorization process. Watch for more updates on the NASDCTEc blog as the CAREER Act progresses to Committee and more details are available.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Uncategorized
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Community College Grants

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Secretary Duncan Testifies Before Appropriations Subcommittees

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently spoke before both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Other Related Agencies about President Obama’s FY14 budget proposal, which includes a number of proposals related to Career Technical Education (CTE).

Secretary Duncan’s written statement for the House Subcommittee contained a section called Supporting Career-Readiness for All which supports President Obama’s request to restore FY12 funding levels for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). Secretary Duncan also described the Administration’s request for $300 million to support the High School Redesign program and $42 million for the development of dual enrollment programs that align with career pathways and local workforce needs. The delayed release of the President’s budget, which is traditionally released in February, will likely mean it holds less influence than it normally would in affecting spending and policy changes, because the House and the Senate have already passed their own budgets, but it is still very important.

Community College Grants

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor announced the third round of grant funding for the Trade Adjustment Community College and Career Training program. The latest grant makes available $474.5 million to help community colleges strengthen training partnerships with employers and will invest in innovative and evidence-based training models that include strong partnerships with local employers and employer organizations.

The grant is part of President Obama’s plan to ensure every American has at least one year of postsecondary education. Consortia or institutions that are interested in applying for funding can find more details here.

Representatives Thompson and Langevin Call for More Career Technical Education Funding

Today, Representatives Thompson (R-PA-5) and Langevin (D-RI-2) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Other Related Agencies requesting level funding for Perkins in FY14. The letter highlights the importance of CTE programs in ensuring workers are prepared to hold jobs in high-wage, high-skill and high-demand sectors. The letter has been co-signed by 61 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; the list can be found at the end of this post.

The leadership from these representatives in promoting CTE in the current financial climate is commendable, and we encourage you to send a note of thanks, particularly if one of the representatives listed is based in your state. If you wish to express your appreciation to Representatives Langevin or Thompson for their leadership in organizing this Dear Colleague letter, you can contact them at their Washington D.C. offices at (202) 225-2735 or (202) 225-5121 respectively.

Arizona

Representative Raul Grijalva (D)

California

Representative Ami Berra (D)

Representative Lois Capps (D)

Representative Tony Cardenas (D)

Representative John Garamendi (D)

Representative Jared Huffman (D)

Representative Jerry McNerney (D)

Representative Linda Sanchez (D)

Representative Mark Takano (D)

Representative Juan Vargas (D)

Colorado

Representative Jared Polis (D)

Connecticut

Representative Joe Courtney (D)

District of Columbia

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D)

Florida

Representative Patrick E. Murphy (D)

Guam

Representative Madelaine Bordallo (D)

Hawaii

Representative Colleen Hanabusa (D)

Illinois

Representative Bill Foster (D)

Representative Janice Schakowsky (D)

Indiana

Representative Larry Buschon (R)

Representative Andre Carson (D)

Iowa

Representative David Loebsack (D)

Kentucky

Representative John Yarmuth (D)

Maine

Representative Michael Michaud (D)

Representative Chellie Pingree (D)

Maryland

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D)

Massachusetts

Representative Michael Capuano (D)

Representative William Keating (D)

Michigan

Representative John Conyers Jr. (D)

Representative John Dingell (D)

Representative Sander Levin (D)

Representative Gary Peters (D)

Minnesota

Representative Timothy Walz (D)

Representative Rick Nolan (D)

Missouri

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D)

New Hampshire

Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D)

New Jersey

Representative Rush Holt (D)

Representative Bill Pascrell (D)

Representative Albio Sires (D)

New Mexico

Representative Ben Ray Lujan (D)

New York

Representative William Owens (D)

Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D)

Representative Paul Tonko (D)

Representative Charles Wrangel (D)

North Carolina

Representative Mike McIntyre (D)

Northern Marianas

Gregorio Kilili Camacho (D)

Oregon

Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D)

Representative Peter DeFazio (D)

Pennsylvania

Representative Matt Cartwright (D)

Representative Allyson Schwartz (D)

Rhode Island

Representative David Cicilline (D)

Texas

Representative Joaquin Castro (D)

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D)

Representative Mark Veasey (D)

Vermont

Representative Peter Welch (D)

Virginia

Representative Gerald Connolly (D)

Washington

Representative Suzan DelBene (D)

Representative Denny Heck (D)

Representative Rick Larsen (D)

West Virginia

Representative Nick Rahall (D)

Wisconsin

Representative Thomas Petri (R)

Representative Mark Pocan (D)

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Legislation, Public Policy
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Spring Meeting Recap: A View from the Hill – Federal Policy Impacting Career Technical Education

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting. One of the featured sessions had representatives from several Congressional offices and a legislative liaison from Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) discussing current and future Career Technical Education (CTE) related activity on the Hill.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AR) has introduced three bills supporting CTE and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM): the Professional Development for Educators Act (S.441), Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act (S.439), and the Counseling for Career Choice Act (S.282). The Counseling for Career Choice Act, in particular, focuses on developing a strong framework for career counseling that promotes local pathways, a full array of postsecondary options, and the alignment of curriculum to locally-available jobs.

Sam Morgante from Congressman Jim Langevin’s (D-RI) office – who co-chairs the CTE Caucus – described the drivers of the Congressman’s interest in CTE and actions he currently is taking to put Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) reauthorization at the forefront. Congressman Langevin is working to coordinate a letter, signed by over 50 members of Congress, calling for Perkins to be fully funded in the 2014 budget, given the increased demand at the local level and the skills gap, which is impacting Rhode Island in particular as the state with the second highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Beth Meloy, representing U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), discussed the skills gap and the Senator’s interest in promoting opportunities for students to have more integrated academic and technical experiences. Senator Franken plans to introduce legislation that will incentivize partnerships between community colleges and local businesses. Members of the audience cautioned against focusing only on community colleges as using such narrow language can exclude other degree- and certificate-granting institutions and technical centers that are not formally considered “community colleges.”

Brendan Desetti, a legislative liaison from the ACTE, noted that given the fact that Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) ESEA, Perkins, and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) – and soon to be the Higher Education Act (HEA) – are all up for reauthorization, there is a good chance that these bills will be better aligned, in terms of language, programs, and accountability measures, than ever before. Of course, this is still dependent on movement from Congress, which all panelists noted is still an uphill battle given the perpetual budget “crises” that are taking up most of the Congress’ and media’s attention. Throughout the entire NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, participant consistently discussed how the range of definitions – and interpretations of definitions – in Perkins and related programs is an ongoing challenge.

Finally, Brendan also raised the issue of other laws and regulations that may not be directly related to CTE but still can have a direct impact on state’s and district’s ability to deliver CTE, such as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, which has the potential to negatively impact Family and Consumer Sciences programs.

The session ended with the panelists encouraging the participants to reach out to their senators and representatives to build relationships with staffers, communicate the importance of CTE, and highlight how programs are benefiting students and the state’s economic development. ACTE has an Action Center to facilitate direct communications between individuals and their members of Congress.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, Public Policy
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Spring Meeting Recap: A View From the Hill – Appropriations

Friday, April 19th, 2013

This week at our spring meeting, we held a panel titled A View from the Hill – Appropriations. The panelists were Joel Packer, the Executive Director of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF); Emily Bouck, a Legislative Aide for Senator Rubio (R-FL); and Kevin McDermott, the Legislative Director for Representative Tierney (D-MA-6).

The panel discussed the fiscal context in Congress, the effect of the sequestration process and how both have affected Career Technical Education (CTE). Joel expressed the view that unless Congress repeals the sequester, funding for education and CTE will be significantly reduced and will have highly negative consequences for how states deliver CTE.

Kevin agreed with Joel and went on to say that while the negative effects of sequestration are not immediately apparent, organizations such as the CEF should continue to raise awareness of the cuts. Finally, Emily acknowledged the difficult financial circumstances for CTE and said that the money should be focused on those who need it the most.

NASDCTEc is a member of the CEF and is actively engaged in the budget, appropriations and sequestration discussions.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: New Sequester Cut to FY13; President’s Budget for FY14; Senate Passes FY14 Budget Proposal

Friday, March 29th, 2013

New Sequester Cut to FY13

We reported last week that the Senate and House approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding for federal programs through the remainder of FY 13. Earlier this week, President Obama signed the CR into law. Since our last report, both the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have analyzed the CR to determine whether or not the enacted legislation has exceeded the budget caps. While the CBO predicts the budget caps will not be exceeded in FY13 under the CR, the OMB predicts that the budget caps will be exceeded. As the OMB has sole authority on this matter, they are requiring an additional 0.2 percent cut to non defense discretionary (NDD) spending to ensure the budget caps are not exceeded. The expected 5 percent sequestration cuts will then be made.

Since the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) falls under the NDD category, Perkins funding will be reduced for FY 13. This means that the previous tables provided by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) are no longer accurate. Due to the unforeseen additional 0.2 percent cut, OVAE will have to run their formulas again to determine state allocations for July 1, 2013. We will pass along any additional information to members as it is provided to us.

President’s Budget for FY14

After several delays in its release date, the White House has announced that President Obama’s budget will be made public on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. We will review the President’s budget closely to see what is proposed for Career Technical Education (CTE), as CTE was featured so prominently in his State of the Union address.

Senate Passes FY14 Budget Proposal

The Senate has now passed S.Con.Res.8, their proposal for the FY 14 budget. The budget passed the Senate by 50 votes to 49, with four Democrats voting against the proposal. As reported in a previous blog post, S.Con.Res.8 would replace the sequester cuts from FY14 with a balanced deficit reduction package. This would mean that NDD spending in FY14, which includes Perkins funding, would be at much higher levels than what is proposed in the House Budget, H.Con.Res.25. Budget proposals generally do not provide recommendations for program level increases or decreases but instead provide a broad framework, an overall cap on spending, and guidelines for where investments should be made. Therefore, the exact impact of either proposal on Perkins funding is unclear at this time.

Now that both the House and the Senate budgets have passed, a Conference Committee will be held to discuss differences between the House and Senate proposals and for compromise to be reached. After that, the appropriations process will begin, which will provide more details on how each party would fund NDD spending. As soon as more details are available, they will be shared with members.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Legislation, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal; House Passes Continuing Resolution

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal
The House yesterday moved to pass H.Con.Res.25 to establish the budget for the U.S. government for FY 14 and set forth appropriate budgetary levels for FY 15 through FY 23. Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal for FY14, with 221 votes cast in favor of the measure and 207 votes against it. Ten Republicans voted against passage. As reported in a previous blog post, H.Con.Res.25 proposes an 11.7 percent reduction in overall non defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY14, which includes Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) funding. The Senate is currently debating amendments to their own budget proposal (S.Con.Res.8).Once the final version passes in the Senate, a Conference Committee will be held to discuss differences between the House and Senate proposals and for compromise to be reached.

Houses Passes Continuing Resolution
The House yesterday also passed the Senate-approved Continuing Resolution. This decision means the bill is passed to President Obama to sign. The bill, which will presumably be signed into law, would not require any additional cuts to Perkins other than the already agreed upon 5 percent cut from sequestration.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Senate Passes Continuing Resolution; House Republican and Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals; Senate Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals; President’s FY14 Budget Proposal

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Senate Passes Continuing Resolution

On March 20, the Senate voted 73-26 to pass its version of the FY13 continuing resolution (CR). This CR would see all Department of Education programs funded at their FY13 levels and then cut 5% by the sequester. It is important to note that the Senate passed CR does not include the 0.098% across the board cut that was included in the House approved CR.

The House must now decide whether or not to accept the Senate version, which would mean dropping the 0.098% across the board cut,  and pass the bill to the President to sign or to try to work across the chambers to resolve the differences between the two proposals. NASDCTEc will continue to monitor this ever-changing and very active policy environment and provide you with more information on the emerging budget and sequestration decisions being made. Because the Perkins Act is forward funded, the decisions made with this CR would effect the funding that states get on July 1, 2013.

House Republican and Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently announced his plan for the FY14 budget (H.Con.Res.25). The measure, which passed through the House Budget Committee last week on a party line vote of 22-17, is expected to be voted on later today and would see an 11.7% reduction in overall non defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY14. NDD spending includes all education and workforce funding, including Perkins. Budget proposals generally do not provide recommendations for program level increases or decreases but instead provide a broad framework, an overall cap on spending, and guidelines for where investments should be made. The Ryan budget proposal does not provide details on which programs would be reduced to achieve the 11.7% reduction in NDD, so it is unclear of the implications of this proposal on Perkins funding. The Ryan proposal does recommend moving the Community College/TAA Grant program, which is administered by the Department of Labor, to the discretionary side of the budget; it is currently on the mandatory side of the budget.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, had offered up an alternative budget proposal on behalf of House Democrats that would rescind the sequestration cuts. The proposal recommended maintaining the current investment in education programs and also lacks the detail necessary to know what impact would be had on Perkins funding, however the House yesterday rejected the Van Hollen budget along with all other budget substitutes.
Senate Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) also announced her plan for the FY14 budget (S.Con.Res.8). The proposal would see the sequester eliminated, resulting in more Perkins funding in future years than currently expected. It would also see $4 trillion in savings reached over ten years, as had been recommended by the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Debate on the measure had been held up until the Senate had passed a bill on the FY13 continuing resolution. Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, 50 hours of debate are allowed on the budget, meaning deliberations could go on until Saturday evening. The divide between the political parties is clear when comparing the budget proposals, with fierce debates expected as the measures move forward. Once both the House and the Senate pass their respective proposals, a Conference Committee will be held, allowing differences between the proposals to be discussed and for compromise to be reached.


President’s FY14 Budget Proposal
The President’s FY14 budget proposal has yet to be released. Typically, this proposal is released in early February and kicks off the budget debates. However, the President’s proposal, expected in early to mid-April, will be coming along when the Congressional debates may well be complete.
David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Legislation, Public Policy
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Sequestration Updates

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

New Sequester Report

 

The House Appropriations Committee Democrats recently released a new sequestration report – A Report on Consequences of Sequestration – that examines the impact of sequestration on a number of federal programs. In the education sphere, the report does not discuss Perkins or CTE, but does say that Title I Grants would be cut by more than $1 billion, impacting over 4,000 schools serving nearly 2 million disadvantaged students. In the Labor Department, cuts to Job Corps would reduce by approximately 4,300 the number of at-risk youth served.

 

Bipartisan Group of Senators Working on Deal

 

The so-called “Gang of Six,” which has been meeting to devise a bipartisan grand bargain on deficit reduction has added two more members to their ranks – Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE). It is unclear what kind of leverage the group will have during the lame duck session when Congress re-convenes to find an alternative to sequestration.

 Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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New CRS Report Highlights NASDCTEc Work

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), which provides reports and analyses to Members of Congress on a variety of policy issues, recently released a new report on Career Technical Education. The goal of the report, Career and Technical Education: A Primer, is to “support congressional discussion of initiatives designed to rationalize the workforce development system.”

The report provides an overview of CTE, walks through the delivery and structure of CTE at the secondary, postsecondary, and adult learner levels, and raises several issues facing CTE stakeholders. For example, according to the report, there are four concerns that may hinder CTE delivery at the secondary level: (1) what is the goal of CTE – to broaden the students’ education and provide early exposure to several career options or to ensure students are prepared to enter the workforce, (2) the expense of maintaining and updating the instructional resources and equipment, (3) whether CTE adds value to a college preparatory high school curriculum, and (4) that the common core standards do not define career-ready and thus may not provide immediate career preparation.

While explaining the National Career ClustersTM Framework, the report references data from NASDCTEc’s 2011 issue brief, Career Clusters and Programs of Study: State of the States. The data for this issue brief was culled from the 2010 State Profile survey. We administer this survey to our members every other year to collect a wealth of information to be used in updating the State Profiles, and to provide the basis for a number of issue briefs. We are pleased that CRS was able to utilize our data in their report!

In the section “College- and Career-Ready Standards and CTE Standards” the report highlights NASDCTEc and NCTEF’s work around the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) as one of the two set of standards impacting CTE students. As stated in the CRS report, the CCTC was developed by 42 states, the District of Columbia, Palau, business and industry representatives, educators, and other stakeholders, and it provides standards for each of the 16 Career ClustersTM and their career pathways.

Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

By Nancy in Public Policy, Publications
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