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

Posts Tagged ‘CTE Month’

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

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senators Introduce the Career Ready Act of 2015

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

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

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

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

A Busy CTE Month in Congress Comes to a Close

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

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

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

Odds & Ends

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

By Steve Voytek in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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This Month in CTE

Friday, February 27th, 2015

In lieu of our This Week in CTE series, we are providing an overview of resources and information that came out of a stellar CTE month! Thank you to all who participated and advocated for CTE this February. CTE Month LogoTagline_CMYK


@NRAEF Economists say millennials should consider careers in trades: via @NPR #CTEMonth cc: @CTEWorks @actecareertech

You can also catch up on our Twitter chat with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center here.


What all Educators can Learn from CTE Teachers
Due to new college and career readiness standards, all teachers need to be trained and prepared to integrate learning opportunities into their lessons. CTE teachers are a viable resource, as providing real-world hands on training to their students is integral to their teaching. Teachers can focus on three areas to include technical and employability skills in their education.

College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens do Both
Students in Nashville, TN public schools are encouraged to take at least three Career and Technical Education courses by the time they graduate, often leading them to certifications they can use directly after high school and college credit if they decide to continue their education.

Michigan Awards $50M for Skilled Trades Training
Michigan awarded 18 community colleges $50 million towards equipment and training benefiting an estimated 34,000 graduates.


Find out the top 10 metropolitan areas for engineers.

This infographic shows how Ohio is preparing students to be globally competitive.

The American Association of Community Colleges released an infographic on 2015 Community College facts.


Students showed their stuff on Capitol Hill for CTE Monthunnamed

Association for Career and Technical Education hosted a school visit at Montgomery College where we heard from stellar students on how CTE has influenced their education and career goals, along with community partners and educators on what makes their programs of study such a success.


CTE and Student Achievement Fact Sheet
Get the facts on students who engage in high-quality CTE

NASDCTEc Webinars
In case you missed them, NASDCTEc held two webinars this month. First, we provided an overview of our 2014 State Policy Review, highlighting trends in policy in each state. Second, we took a deep look into Alabama and Kansas to see how they engage employers in CTE.

NASDCTEc YouTube Videos
This month we updated our YouTube channel with eight new videos. Seven are based on the workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways. The eighth video provides an overview of the development process for the Common Career and Technical Core.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in NASDCTEc Resources, News, Publications, Resources, Webinars

This Week in CTE

Friday, February 20th, 2015

NRAEF  Amazing stat! RT @CTEWorks “@CCRSCenter The HS grad rate for #CTE concentrators is about 90%, 10% higher than national average #CTEMonth


Jobs in Health Care on the Rise, but Skills Gap Prevents Hiring
Columbus is facing a skills gap particularly in health care and insurance sectors, New York City has over 33,000 jobs available in STEM fields, and Houston can’t find employees for petrochemical and industrial and commercial construction jobs. Career Technical Education is a way to educate students in these fields, but even more needs to be done to insure industry needs are being met. This includes: the collection of real-time labor market data and working with industry leadership to determine their needs; better funding; and scalable solutions that can be adopted across fields.

Check out our new CTEWorks YouTube page, where you can find CTE advocacy videos, along with seven video previews workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways.

The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center updated their interactive map to include eight territories including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to showcase how these areas are improving college and career readiness.

Check out the Association for Career and Technical Education for their variety of resources for CTE Month. It’s not too late to get involved, so make sure to take a look at their fact sheets, sample press release, CTE Month logo and more!

By Katie Fitzgerald in NASDCTEc Resources, News, Publications, Resources
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CTE Month: Celebrating CTE Across the Country

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

ctemonththumbnailWe have  heard of some great work going on across the country for Career Technical Education (CTE) Month!

A number of states are using CTE Month as a time to raise awareness around the importance of CTE. The Missouri Department of Early and Secondary Education is running a 30 second radio spot throughout the month to help educate the public on the value of CTE Month, while the Maine Department of Education released an article in the Commissioner’s update. Also Alaska, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin proclaimed February at CTE Month.

Some states took advantage of the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources, like Michigan, which requested all Department of Education employees to use the CTE Learning that Works for Michigan logo. In addition, South Dakota Career and Technical Education State CTE Promo Newsletter 2015 2Association developed a newsletter (that you can see to your right)  delivered to all legislators in the state, also using the Learning that Works branding.

Other organizations held grassroots events, like Salem Vocational Technical FFA Chapter’s road-side clean up and leadership conference and Seymour Community High School’s school tour, which was featured on the local news.

CTE Month is also a time to celebrate! The Indiana Department of Education held their 31st Annual Awards for Excellence Ceremony honoring students, instructors, programs and partnerships in CTE. The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Community College System launched the Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Awards to recognize programs, committees and business and industry partnerships at local, regional and state levels.

It’s thrilling to see all the excitement and good work going on from the national to grassroots levels in communities around the nation. It’s not too late to send us what you’re doing so that we can promote your excellent work too! Email your CTE Month activities to

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in CTE: Learning that works for America, News, Uncategorized

This Week in CTE: CTE Month Edition

Friday, February 13th, 2015

SkillsUSA  Mike Rowe talks about SkillsUSA and CTE: @mikeroweworks blog-thumbnail-thiswek#CTEMonth #SkillsUSAWeek

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, showed his support for Career Technical Education.  “It is long past time to re-authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues on this important legislation,” said Langevin.

Tony Evers, superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, discusses the value of Career Technical Education (CTE) in Wisconsin. “Did you know that students who participate in CTE courses graduate at a notably higher rate than students who do not take CTE courses? Additionally, students who take a series of related CTE courses do even better. In part, it’s because CTE helps students grasp why they need to know and excel in academic coursework,” said Evers

Learn how to use the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise awareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos. Get a quick overview of the campaign with this one pager.

A variety of states proclaimed February CTE Month, including Virginia, Alaska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

By Katie Fitzgerald in CTE: Learning that works for America, NASDCTEc Resources, News

Learning that Works + CTE Month

Monday, February 9th, 2015

This month we encourage you to utilize the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise ctemonththumbnailawareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education (CTE) in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos.

To give you with a quick overview about how the Learning that Works campaign can be integrating into your promotional efforts during CTE month, we developed this 1-pager, which also highlights CTE branding examples.

We encourage you to join the 49 states and over 700 schools who have adopted the Learning that Works campaign to communicate the  importance of CTE in your community.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in CTE: Learning that works for America, NASDCTEc Resources, News, Resources
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This Week in CTE

Friday, February 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK wordle-thumbnail
@OfficeofEdTech: @BarackObama’s budget incl. $200M to ensure Ts receive support & training to effectively use #edtech tools #edchat
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Getting Credit for What You Know
Increasingly occupational certifications in areas like IT, manufacturing, healthcare and energy are filling the skills gap, and helping students find well-paying jobs.
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Gallup Student Poll: Job Confidence Lower in Higher Grades
A new poll by Gallup finds students in elementary and middle school are more optimistic about job prospects than those in high school. Only about half of students grades 10 through 12 strongly agreed with the statement, “I know I will find a good job after I graduate,” compared to 68 percent of fifth graders that strongly agree.
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Delivering Career Technical Education Fact Sheet
We recently released a fact sheet, Delivering Career Technical Education, providing a quick overview of the variety of systems career technical education is delivered through, from comprehensive high schools to career academies.
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NASDCTEc and ACTE Release State Policies Impacting CTE: 2014 Year in Review
February 5 NASDCTEc and the Association for Career Technical Education released State Policies Impacting CTE: 2014 Year in Review, providing a state-by-state review of policy changes impacting CTE during 2014 across the country. To learn more read our blog post, press release and full report.

Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, proclaimed February CTE Month!
Read More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in NASDCTEc Announcements, NASDCTEc Resources, News, Publications, Research, Resources
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Celebrating CTE Month

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Happy CTE Month! Throughout the month we will highlight CTE resources, examples of stellar progctemonththumbnailrams from around the country, major onsite and online events and more. To start of us off, below are a list of a few events.

CTE Month is kicking off tonight, Tuesday, February 3 from 5-8 p.m. as the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus in conjunction with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) host a cocktail reception featuring student demonstrations, titled: TODAY’S INNOVATION, TOMORROW’S CAREER SUCCESS. We’ll be live Tweeting the event @CTEWorks too! RSVP by contacting

Can’t join us in person? You can find us on Twitter on February 12 at 1 p.m. as we chat with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center using the @CTEWorks and @CCRSCenter twitter handles.

Friday, February 20 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., ACTE will partner with Montgomery College of Maryland and Montgomery County School District to host a school visit at the college’s Rockville, Maryland, campus on Friday. This visit will give congressional staff and education stakeholders the opportunity to see an example of a successful postsecondary CTE program and hear from educators, students and business leaders about how these programs are preparing students for college and career success. To learn more, email

We look forward to highlighting and celebrating CTE over the next few weeks. If you have anything you’d like to share that you’re doing in your community, email

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

By Katie Fitzgerald in Meetings and Events, NASDCTEc Announcements, News

CTE Month Recap

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


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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CTE Month Special: Celebrating CTE Superheroes

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Continuing with our CTE Month series on CTE Superheroes with our partners at the National Technical Honor Society, this week we have the privilege to highlight CTE students getting out into the field to get hands on experience and improve their community.

A group of NTHS students from Maryland’s Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center put their CTE experience to the test, coming together across a number of areas of expertise to construct an oyster habitat on the St. Mary’s River. Their hard work paid off; by the time the students left, they had constructed a column in the oyster sanctuary and helped to place 3,000 oysters.

Efforts to protect and grow the oyster population were carried out in partnership with Marylanders Grow Oysters, a local conservation group. NTHS’s full profile of the students’ efforts and their implications for oysters in the St. Mary’s can be found here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By Evan Williamson in CTE: Learning that works for America, News
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