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Posts Tagged ‘cte’

Visiting the ECS 2014 National Forum on Education Policy

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday, the Education Commission of the States wrapped up its national forum on education policy in Washington, DC, and I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days attending sessions and meeting educators and administrators from all over the country.

While there, I met Debra McDonald, the Ohio Teacher of the Year, who teaches CTE at the Wayne County Schools Career Center. She told me about graduating from the same career center’s early childhood education program and how happy she was to be able to come back as a teacher.

Despite the increasing momentum driving Career Technical Education nationally, this year’s forum only featured one session dedicated to CTE and another on dual enrollment that touched on aspects of the field.  Both sessions, however, were heavily attended.

Another standout from this year’s forum was the plenary session, “Public Perception and Education Policymaking” with Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. His presentation was filled with results from the myriad surveys Gallup has conducted in recent years, and made an effective case for the value of education – in particular, CTE. It’s worth revisiting those surveys as we go out into our communities to make the case for CTE.

All presentations from the forum, including Brandon’s, can be found here.

By Andrea Zimmermann in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc 2014 Spring Meeting Recap

Monday, April 7th, 2014

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State CTE Directors, NASDCTEc members, CTE expert panelists and many more converged on the nation’s capital beginning on March 31, 2014. Over three days, NASDCTEc’s annual Spring Meeting covered a broad array of subjects, from the pending reauthorization of The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to breakout sessions on secondary-postsecondary collaboration, just in time labor market information, accountability initiatives and much more.

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), spoke after NASDCTEc/NCTEF President, John Fischer, formally opened the Spring Meeting. In a bittersweet moment for everyone in the CTE community, we learned that Dr. Dann-Messier plans to leave OCTAE in late May. Dr. Dann-Messier received repeated praise from fellow panelists and membership for her five years of dedicated service at the head of OCTAE and at the forefront of CTE.

Tuesday’s sessions continued with panels outlining the state of federal funding and guidance on CTE, with many commentators commending the CTE community’s assiduous advocacy on behalf of CTE along with reminders to remain in contact with your senators and representatives going forward.

On Wednesday, NASDCTEc was proud to honor five critical advocates for CTE with Star of Education Awards. Co-Chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) both received the Star of Education—Congressional Award for their years of dedicated service as congressional advocates for CTE. Later, recently-retired State CTE Directors Dr. Patrick Ainsworth of California and Dr. Kathy Shibley of Ohio were inducted into the ranks of State CTE Directors Emeriti, while Ainsworth’s successor Russ Weikle received the first-ever Rising Star of CTE Award for his pioneering work in the state of California. Wednesday also included sessions on CTE’s role in the ongoing push to improve STEM enrollment and outcomes nationwide, the growth of competency-based education and CTE, and strategies to utilize postsecondary CTE as a way to maintain the American workforce’s place as one of the most highly-skilled worldwide.

More outside experts on CTE offered their perspectives on Thursday morning’s panels. Beginning with a focus on new reporting guidance regarding the Office of Management and Budget’s “Omni Circular,” Thursday’s sessions focused on developments that will affect CTE in the weeks and months ahead. Panelists throughout the morning reiterated their efforts to establish partnerships with CTE programs, and offered their insight on how the CTE community can facilitate collaboration with business and industry groups and state-level education leaders to broaden the CTE stakeholder base and stimulate the national conversation on CTE. The session closed with updates from the Division of Academic and Technical Education and the National Center for Innovation in Career Technical Education.

Couldn’t make the Spring Meeting? Resources and information on several sessions are available online! While on the site, be sure to sign-up today for the next gathering of Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders in Phoenix, June 16-18, 2014, at Achieving Excellence in CTE: The Career Clusters Institute. Don’t delay — April 8, 2014, is the last day of the early bird registration rate.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

NOTE: Photo courtesy Bob Witchger, all rights reserved

By Evan Williamson in Meetings and Events, NASDCTEc Spring Meeting
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ICYMI: New Bedford High School Aims to be more ‘Career Ready’

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Following a state review that found New Bedford High School, Massachusetts has ‘informal and inconsistent’ career planning activities; the school has started an initiative to strengthen technical training courses.

The school has been criticized for not offering a four-year career plan for its students in technical education programs, not using data to provide academic support to students in the technical classes, and not recording student attainment in most programs.Careers Sign

In response, the school and district representatives have acknowledged that technical education creates a career path that leads to a very sustainable income and life, and that the curriculum should include courses that the workforce requires and demands.

In support of this, the state designed its ‘AMP it up!’ campaign to promote advanced manufacturing opportunities. The campaign grants opportunities to about 5 teachers to participate in paid, week-long externships, with the goal of exposing them to real-world experience they can bring into the classroom. This real, legitimate first-hand account is an invaluable lesson for the students.

The district has undertaken many more programs to strengthen career technical education. A broader view of these activities is available here.

Kimaya Dixit, Communications & Marketing Manager

By admin in News
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CTE in the News: Philadelphia Commission Approves Plan to Boost CTE Across District

Friday, January 18th, 2013

A Philadelphia School Reform Commission this week approved a five-year plan to improve Career Technical Education (CTE) throughout the School District of Philadelphia by increasing access for students, opening a new state-of the-art CTE school, providing a district-wide curriculum for CTE, among other tactics, according to a Philadelphia Public Schools publication.

The intent of the plan is to increase the number of students who take CTE courses from 6,000 to 12,000 by 2017, guide students on a path to graduating with an industry credential and create new certification area, the publication noted.  Further, 30 new CTE programs in areas such as veterinary and pharmacy certifications, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology and renewable energy would be added.  However, the report notes that no specifics have been made on how the plan would be funded.

The plan can be found here: http://thenotebook.org/sites/default/files/CTE%20_SRC.pdf.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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CTE in the News: NY Education Commission Calls for Expansion of CTE

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The New NY Education Reform Commission recently released recommendations for an initial Action Plan to improve student achievement in the state. Among the nine preliminary recommendations included in the report was a proposal to expand Career Technical Education (CTE) in order to bridge the gap from high school to college.

“New York should leverage existing resources and public-private support to establish high tech Career  and Technical Education programs in every region.,” according to the report, which was written by the 25-member commission. New York business owners reported to the commission on the significant gap in workforce preparation in schools and on their own readiness to collaborate with the schools to better prepare and serve students.

“Expanded, high quality Career and Technical Education programs will improve graduation rates, better prepare students for successful careers, and strengthen the State’s economy by supplying New York businesses with the highly-skilled workers they need for current and future job opportunities by providing students with meaningful internships and apprenticeships to develop their professional skills and interests.”

The commission is expected to convene in the fall to expand on the recommendations.

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Friends of CTE Blog: The Strength of America: It’s in the American Workforce and Technical Careers

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Nicholas T. Pinchuk is chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Incorporated, and serves on the Corporation’s board of directors. He was named president and chief operating officer in April 2007. He joined Snap-on in 2002. Mr. Pinchuk has been a strong advocate for career and technical education and has provided leadership in the development of new initiatives to link industry and education.

Nicholas T. Pinchuk is chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Incorporated

Ideas and Amplifiers

Harvard professor David Landes in his landmark book Wealth and Poverty of Nations recognizes that the success of our nation is rooted in our workforce. The American workforce – focused on individual aspirations and pursuing collective goals – has been our country’s strength for generations.

But, when we rise any morning and watch TV or read the newspaper, we hear that we are under challenge . . . that we’re in a global competition. Well, the best thing we can do in this conflict is to enable our workforce with Career Technical Education (CTE). This is the way forward . . . there is no more important task in contemporary America.

The American workforce has delivered us from evil, generation after generation. We’ve had brilliant people such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford. Ford, like the others, had a groundbreaking idea but his vision would not have been actionable without an assisting amplifier.  And, he chose the greatest commercial amplifier of the day . . . the American workforce . . . committed, focused and energetic. In the process, he created the American auto industry and he got rich for it, as he should have.  But, along the way, he also created the opportunity to build prosperous and fulfilling lives for the millions of Americans who helped make his vision a reality.

The same story is true of Snap-on. We were founded on an innovation and the people from the state of Wisconsin helped take our products around the world and, in the process, built lives of fulfillment and prosperity for themselves and their successors.

Competitive Advantage in the Global Workforce

We know there are urgent challenges to our economy and to our workforce. Thirty percent of America’s manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the past 20 years. So what’s changed since Henry Ford? A lack of innovation . . . I don’t think so.  We can just look around and see that there are still many new ideas, clearly evident in the progress across modern America.

It’s not the American workforce.  Clearly…I can tell you, when I walk the hallways and the factory floors of Elizabethton, Tennessee, or Murphy, North Carolina, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I see the same commitment and focus and energy that I suspect Henry Ford saw all those years ago.

What is different is that when I tour those same passages in Shanghai or Delhi, as I do regularly, I also see commitment, focus and energy . . . I see a workforce hungry for advancement and motivated to build their own prosperity.

What has changed is that qualities like commitment and energy are no longer differentiating in the global competition to be the preferred enabling workforce for the ideas of today.

So, we can only win the global economic competition for broad prosperity by creating an advantage…by arming our workforce with capability and technical skills. If we learn anything from American history, it is that society advances through the hands, minds and hearts of its professional workers. In fact, America has consistently moved forward over the years on the brilliance of the few and on the efforts of the many.

Now, Snap-on is – I believe – a great example of what I’m talking about. We make 80 percent of what we sell in the United States right here in America. And, most of what we make has high labor content.  This  can be hard to accomplish successfully in a developed environment like the United States. We’re able to do it because we have a capable and flexible workforce, proximate to the world’s greatest market. This approach, using proximity and capability as an advantage, can be duplicated all across this country.  But, what’s needed is an American workforce armed with the right skills…a workforce enabled by technical education.

Industry and Government both must participate in this effort.  In that regard, I see two major areas of focus:

Industry needs to enable technical institutions.  We must ensure that schools are using the best equipment and facilities.  Industry also needs to help set standards for education so that students learn the specific skills that are necessary, that are actionable in the marketplace, and that can get them the jobs that create prosperity. That’s first.

Second, is that somewhere along the way, America – in my opinion – has lost a bit of its respect for technical occupations.  They are now often viewed as a consolation for not earning a four-year degree. Both Government and Industry need to work in tandem to change this view.  Young people must be encouraged to pursue technical professions.

The Clarion Call

People might recognize the importance of training for a technical career, but how do they react when someone close to them follows such a path?  I’m not sure…probably not so positively.  The truth is that technical education and the associated careers are viewed by many as a consolation prize.  Now, the facts don’t support this view.  But, there’s no denying that there is a gap between perception and reality for technical education.  It’s an optics problem that I believe must be remedied by leaders . . . national leadership from business, government and education.

During the space race, President Kennedy recognized that Americans felt threatened by the Russians with the launch of Sputnik. He appeared on national TV and said: “We are going to put a man on the moon in this decade.” He made it a national priority and young people all over this country viewed entering technical careers as a national calling.

Just like in the space race, we need to make skilled workforce training a national priority. And, we need to make skilled careers a national calling. Technical education must possess that kind of priority focus. That’s one reason why I’m so enthusiastic about student organizations like SkillsUSA. They enable young people with the capabilities they need to win the global competition, and they create an excitement so that these young men and women readily embrace technical learning and avidly pursue those careers with pride.

When some say the American worker is the problem, I say no . . . the American worker is the answer. But, the strength of any workforce is based on technical capabilities. As a nation, we must transform the view of a technical degree from being a consolation to an aspiration. We need to enable workers with both training and respect. Because of that, CTE and SkillsUSA have never been more important to assure a prosperous American future.

How Can You Get Involved?

Now is the time to act.  Form partnerships involving all stakeholders – education, industry and government.  Understand the skills requirements on a local level.  And celebrate technical education and career achievements at every opportunity.

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, to researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager, at [email protected]

By Erin in News
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