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Register for a Webinar on How States Are Promoting CTE Educator Effectiveness

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Teacher effectiveness is a critical issue on the minds of educators, administrators and state leaders across the country. With many early reform efforts focusing solely on how to improve and measure the effectiveness of educators in the core academic areas, now many are turning their attention to those “untested subjects,” including Career Technical Education (CTE).

To dig into this issue and highlight some early lessons learned from states, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the Central Comprehensive Center, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and the South Central Comprehensive Center are pleased to be co-hosting a webinar on Supporting 21st Century Educators: How States Are Promoting Career and Technical Educator Effectiveness.

The webinar will explore:

Date: Friday March 7, 2014, 2:00-3:30 ET.

Register now!

By Kate Blosveren in NASDCTEc Announcements, Webinars
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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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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Election 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Tentative Date Set for Senate Appropriations Markup

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has tentatively scheduled markup of their FY13 appropriations bill for June 12th.  As we previously reported, the Labor-HHS-Education bill sets a 302(b) funding level of $157.7 billion.

House Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Rehberg (MT) previously stated that he does not intend to mark up their bill until after the Supreme Court rules on the status of the Affordable Care Act, which is expected to happen in late June.

Romney Provides Insight into Education Policy

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Governor Mitt Romney (MA) focused on education this week. On Tuesday he released the names of his team of education policy advisors. You will recognize many of the names from the Bush Administration, including former Secretary of Education Rod Paige, former OVAE Assistant Secretary Carol D’Amico, and former ETA Assistant Secretary Emily DeRocco. A complete list can be found here.

On Wednesday Governor Romney gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, setting forth his education policies. The overarching theme of the speech centered on increased parental choice, especially for low-income and special need students, as a way to expand opportunities for students. While he did not mention CTE specifically, he did state, “…[S]ince we live in a twenty-first century economy that increasingly demands a college education, efforts at improvement can’t stop at high school’s end. Students must have access to a wide variety of options that will give them the skills they need for successful careers.”

In a white paper released on Wednesday, A Chance For Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education, Governor Romney laid out more details of this proposed education policies:

K-12 Education

Higher Education

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: ESEA

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Congress is in recess and will return next week.

House Education Committee Introduces Two ESEA Bills

Members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee had been working behind the scenes on a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill, but have failed to reach agreement on key issues. As a result, Chairman Kline (MN) announced two partisan bills on Friday focused on teachers and accountability. These two bills, along with three other bills introduced last year, will make up Republicans’ efforts to reauthorize ESEA this year. However, Ranking Member George Miller (CA) has said that if the Chairman proceeds with a partisan bill, he does not believe ESEA will be renewed in 2012.

Student Success Act

The goal of the Student Success Act is to replace the existing federal accountability system with state-developed and implemented accountability systems. More specifically, the bill would:

Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act

According to the committee, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will “ support additional flexibility in the use of federal education funds, help provide better information to parents on teacher effectiveness, and increase school choice.” Some of the key elements of this bill include:

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: American Jobs Act, ESEA, Bills Introduced

Friday, October 14th, 2011

American Jobs Act Fails in the Senate

Earlier this week the Senate voted on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 1660, the American Jobs Act. However, the motion failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to break cloture and formally consider the bill. As a result, the Senate plans to break the President’s jobs package up into pieces and vote on each one individually. The House has not indicated whether they will vote on the bill in the coming weeks.

Senate Introduces Comprehensive ESEA Draft

On Tuesday Senator Tom Harkin (IA) introduced the long anticipated Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011. According to Harkin, the bill will set high expectations for all children to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers, support teachers and principals to help them provide high quality instruction, ensure disadvantaged students get their fair share of resources, focus federal attention on turning around low-performing schools and closing achievement gaps, and remove federal barriers to give states and communities the flexibility they need to innovate.

The bill would eliminate some of the more controversial vestiges of No Child Left Behind, and it would codify into law some of President Obama’s top education reform priorities:

We are still working through the draft bill to see how it affects the Perkins Act and CTE. We will provide a CTE-specific summary next week. The bill is scheduled to be marked up next week, beginning on Tuesday afternoon. The markup is expected to take four days.

Bills Introduced

Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act

Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (PA) introduced the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act this week, H.R. 3154 and S. 1686 respectively. This bill would amend Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow school districts to use Title I ESEA funds to better integrate academics with CTE through coursework and networks of schools. The bill would encourage school districts to link secondary school programs, including both middle and high schools, and align secondary and postsecondary education. Further, the bill would leverage a variety of school, employer and community partners.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

 

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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CR Clarifies Definition of Highly Qualified Teacher

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The continuing resolution (CR) introduced by the Senate (summary here), which would fund the government through March 4, 2011, includes a definition of “highly qualified teacher” that would make it easier for alternatively certified teachers to become “highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind law. While this language has been in regulation since 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down the regulation in September, saying that it went too far. The U.S. Department of Education regulation allows uncertified candidates in alternative-route programs to teach for up to three years while they seek certification. If passed, the CR would supersede the Circuit Court’s decision.

By Nancy in Uncategorized
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Linked Learning Approach Attempts to Renew Curriculum

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The state of California is leading the charge to provide relevant learning and ensure that their CTE students are college and career ready. The Alliance for Excellent Education hosted an event, “Building the Capacity of Teachers to Prepare Students for College and Careers,” to highlight The Linked Learning Approach which has been adopted in the state of California as a way for teachers to increase student engagement.

One example highlighted during this presentation was the school of Digital Media and Design (DMD) at the Kearny High Education Complex. DMD adopted the Linked Learning Approach two years ago when the school was ranked in the bottom 20 percent of California schools. Since implementing this model, DMD has been ranked in the top 25 percent of schools.

The Linked Learning Approach incorporates project and inquiry-based curriculums where students are given semester long projects to complete with a team. At the end of each semester students present their final project to a panel of business and industry representatives. In order to ensure that projects provide relevant learning for all students, instructors work together to align course materials that allow students to make connections across all subjects.

Panelists all echoed the importance of quality professional development programs to ensure the best education for America’s youth.

By Nancy in Meetings and Events, Research
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Latest ESEA Hearings Focus on High Schools and Teachers

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Yesterday, both the Senate and House education committees held hearings related to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from witnesses during Improving America’s Secondary Schools about the importance of stemming the dropout rate, especially identifying at-risk students and using interventions before a student ever reaches high school. Some of the suggestions for helping students succeed in high school included improving adolescent literacy, teacher effectiveness, charter schools, early college high schools, and career academies.

Witnesses stated that while investment in the early grades is important, funding must continue to flow to the middle and high school grades because as the curriculum gets harder, students will need additional supports. Others suggested exposing students to college campuses as early as sixth grade to raise expectations and show students that being a college student is something they can aspire to.

The House Education and Labor Committee addressed issues around teachers and leaders in Supporting America’s Educators: The Importance of Quality Teachers and Leaders which recognized the 300,000 potential layoffs that school personnel face this coming year. Witnesses focused primarily on teacher evaluations, professional development and teacher training.

Regarding the issue of teacher effectiveness, witnesses suggested that teacher evaluations were inappropriate at measuring true progress and that because incentives, like pay scale and tenure, are based on advanced degrees and years of experience, the system does not evaluate what makes a teacher effective. Others stated that teacher training needs to be continuous and take cues from other professions like medicine where the basic skills are not learned on the job but are required before certification is granted.

By Nancy in Legislation
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CTE Instructors: Meeting the Challenge of Expanded Expectations

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

What are the skills and knowledge that secondary CTE teachers require to respond to CTE’s broadened purpose of enhancing academic skills?  How do these teachers prepare students for an array of occupations within defined occupational clusters? In Professional Development for Secondary Career and Technical Education: Implications for Change, a publication by the National Center for Career and Technical Education, this document addresses the professional development needs of secondary-level CTE teachers, and the need to identify and deliver instruction that responds to students’ learning needs.

By Ramona in Publications
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