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Posts Tagged ‘Legislation’

Mark your Calendar for NASDCTEc Upcoming Webinar – Legislative Update: Summer Edition June 5, 2014

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Legislative Update: Summer Edition Description

As the school year winds down and students gear up for summer vacation join NASDCTEc’s Government Relations Associate, Steve Voytek for a legislative update on federal activity related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and an outlook on the Fiscal Year (FY) 15 funding landscape. Since late last year, Congress has taken steps toward reauthorizing several pieces of legislation that impact CTE including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act.

In addition to updates on these key pieces of legislation, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Education have undertaken a number of CTE-related initiatives this year in an effort to boost its support for CTE.

Date: June 5, 2014

Time: 3 p.m.-4 p.m. ET

Access: pre-registration not required. To join the webinar, click here about 10 minutes before the broadcast and enter as a guest.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Uncategorized

State CTE Policy Updates

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

State MapThis past month, there has been overwhelming action on the Career Technical Education (CTE) front across states, with major bills passing in Texas, Colorado, Vermont, Alabama, Washington and Oklahoma as well as bills pending in Michigan and North Carolina. As Texas had a number of CTE-related bills pass in the last few weeks, we’ll post a separate blog on Texas’ CTE policy changes later this week.

CTE Funding in Alabama
Last month, Alabama passed a $50 million bond issue to support technology and Career Technical Education programs. The bonds will likely be sold next year, with $10 million divided among schools based on the technology programs of offered; $20 million distributed based on the number of CTE students at each school; and the final $20 million to be distributed through grants. While this has a direct positive impact on CTE program across the state, all students will benefit from a new investment in technology.

Colorado’s Competency-based Graduation Requirements & Career Pathways
The Colorado State Board of Education revised the state’s graduation requirements in May, putting in place competency-based requirements, which hinge on students’ mastery of content rather than seat time.  The state has created “graduation guidelines,” outlining ways in which students can demonstrate mastery in the four major content areas (English, mathematics, social studies and science), such as earning a certain score on the ACT, PARCC or statewide assessment; passing a concurrent/dual enrollment course; or passing an AP/IB exam. Starting in 2015-16, the state will allow certain capstone experiences to count and by 2013-13, the state will develop a list of potentially eligible industry-based certificates that may count towards competency in various content areas.  Local education agencies are expected to set their own district-level requirements in alignment with the state policy.

Colorado also passed a bill directing the state board for community colleges and occupational education, with K-12 and postsecondary partners, to design a career pathway for students in the manufacturing sector. The pathway must include industry-validated stackable certificates, multiple entry and exit points, and allow a student to earn income while progressing through the pathway.

Maryland’s Degree Goals & Statewide Transfer Agreements
Maryland recently passed “The College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013” formalizing the Governor’s postsecondary degree goals (55% adults will have an associate’s degree by 2025) and requiring statewide transfer agreements between the state’s two- and four-year institutions of higher education. Specifically, the bill calls on the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop and implement a transfer agreement where, by 2016, at least 60 credits earned by a student at any community college towards an associate’s degree will be transferable to any public higher education institution for credit towards a bachelor’s degree and a reverse transfer agreement where at least 30 credits earned by a student at a four-year institution will be transferable to a community college.

The Act also requires all public institutions of higher education to create graduation progress benchmarks for each major, which includes scheduling guidance, credit and course criteria, and schedules for regular periodic reviews of student progress. Finally, the bill requires four years of mathematics for students in high school and institutionalizes the PARCC assessments by requiring all students to be assessed using an acceptable college placement cut score by 11th grade to determine if they are ready for credit-bearing coursework in English/Literacy and mathematics.

The Maryland legislature also funded Governor O’Malley’s $2 million Early College Innovation Fund to incentivize early college access programs for students pursuing CTE and/or STEM disciplines. Specifically, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will generate competitive grants to fund partnerships of local school systems and higher education institutions to create early college high schools or other forms of early college access. Priority would be given to proposals that provide students with credentials (in the form of degrees, certificates, and certifications, as appropriate) in fields for which there is high demand in Maryland.

Oklahoma’s Competency-Based Graduation Requirements
Oklahoma recently updated their graduation requirements, broadening each of the content area course requirements to be met by “units” completed or “competencies” demonstrated by students. As such, students can receive course credit for demonstrated proficiency rather than just instructional time moving forward.

Vermont’s Flexible Pathways Initiative
A new bill in Vermont creates the Flexible Pathways Initiative, establishing statewide dual enrollment and early college programs. This bill amends the state’s high school completion program by allowing flexible pathways students to pursue pathways to graduation that include applied or work-based learning opportunities, including internships. It also calls for career exploration to no later than seventh grade for all students.

Computer Science in Washington
Last month, Governor Inslee in Washington signed a bill allowing an AP Computer Science course to count towards students’ mathematics or science requirements for graduation.  Washington already allows districts to adopt course equivalences for CTE high school courses towards a full or partial academic credit; this bill requires districts to allow AP computer science courses to count as mathematics or science courses. For the computer science course to count towards a mathematics credit, however, the student must have already completed or be currently enrolled in Algebra II.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: House Committee Passes WIA Reauth Bill

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 yesterday. The bill represents large scale changes to the current WIA program. The bill was approved by a party line vote of 23 to 15. There is no word on when the bill will go to the floor.

The bill proposes to consolidate approximately 30 existing workforce and training programs into a single, flexible Workforce Investment Fund, and it would give Governors the power to consolidate even more programs under a unified state plan. The bill would also require states and locals to use common performance measures for all workforce development programs.

As we previously reported, an earlier bill introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), which was merged into H.R. 4297, allowed states to submit a unified state plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs, including both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs. Under Foxx’s bill, Perkins funds would have been eligible to be consolidated into a Workforce Investment Fund and used for workforce activities. After hearing from the CTE community, new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as one program whose funds cannot be consolidated into the Workforce Investment Fund.

The Workforce Investment Improvement Act also proposes changes to the Job Corps program to ensure that CTE and job training offered under that program is focused on in-demand occupations and that disadvantaged youth receive a regular high school diploma and/or a postsecondary credential that prepares them for employment.

Democrats on the Committee are not supportive of the bill, and offered a substitute bill as an amendment. Their bill focused on career pathways in high demand industries that lead to industry recognized credentials and postsecondary attainment. It would also expand the role of community colleges in job training. The Democrats’ amendment was voted down along party lines.

A summary of H.R. 4297 can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Department’s Perkins Reauthorization Proposal Raises Questions and Concerns

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. This Blueprint outlines the Obama Administration’s plan for reauthorizing the Perkins Act, and revolves around the following four themes:

  1. Alignment: Effective alignment between high-quality CTE programs and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors;
  2. Collaboration:  Strong collaborations among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs;
  3. Accountability: Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs for all students, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance; and
  4. Innovation:  Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.

 

While we support the themes encompassed in the Blueprint, we worry that the details related to each of these areas could have an adverse affect on CTE programs. For example, the proposal to award funds to consortia on a competitive basis could result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. You can read our joint statement with ACTE here. We will provide more detailed analysis in the coming days.

For more information from the Department of Education, you can access a summary of the Blueprint, as well as their press release.

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Career and Technical Education Leaders Respond to Department of Education Perkins Blueprint

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, at Des Moines Area Community College, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the Administration’s proposal for Perkins reauthorization. NASDCTEc, together with ACTE, issued a statement immediately following the release:

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On April 19, 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, outlining the Obama Administration’s proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) appreciate the Department’s focus on Perkins, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), at a time when many industries face a shortage of well qualified skilled workers. However, some of the details in the Blueprint raise serious concerns.

While we support the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation—we worry that the details in the Blueprint could have an adverse affect on CTE programs and result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. As the reauthorization process moves forward, CTE stakeholders across the country are looking forward to providing input to develop a new law that will best meet the needs of CTE students and our nation’s economy.

We believe that a new CTE law should provide sufficient resources to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE, beginning early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and building pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary education, postsecondary education, and the labor market. To achieve this goal, we believe it is critical that the new law focus on improving program quality by building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways.

Recent data prove that CTE is making the difference in the lives of students, in communities and for businesses all across our nation. We are eager to work with the Department of Education, the Obama Administration and Congress to develop federal policy and legislation that builds on strengths, expands opportunities and access for more students to be successful in college and careers, and helps keep our nation’s economy strong and prosperous.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series: An Investment Worth Making

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000. Among other responsibilities, Langevin serves as co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus.

As I travel around Rhode Island to speak with educators, businesses, and others in the community about how to strengthen our economy and create good jobs, one common theme continues to surface: Businesses can’t fill existing vacancies because those looking for work don’t have the skills needed to compete for the jobs of the 21st century. President Obama also raised the issue of the ‘skills gap’ in his recent State of the Union address.

But what exactly are we doing to close it?

Recent reports published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce and Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperity Project highlight our failure in the education system to engage all of our students. They also propose solutions to better prepare students, which include a strong emphasis on Career Technical Education (CTE).

To engage and prepare our students, we must strengthen and fully fund our CTE system. I also believe all young Americans should be equipped with college and career readiness skills. I do not believe they are limited to a college OR career choice; rather, our skills gap requires that our students are ready to pursue both postsecondary AND career opportunities.

The Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act, which I sponsored with Representative G.T. Thompson, my fellow co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, addresses our nation’s education and workforce challenges by combining rigorous college preparation with workplace experience for high school students. Known as “Linked Learning”, this measure is another tool to ensure that our students are prepared for a wide range of high-growth, high-skilled and high-wage occupations, such as engineering, arts and media, cybersecurity, and health.

In order to strengthen the pipeline for these jobs, we need to unite all of our schools, businesses, universities and other invested partners in a common goal. Under this legislation, teachers and school administrators would collaborate on interdisciplinary education and pursue partnerships with local businesses and community organizations to identify workforce demands and internship opportunities. We should look to businesses like Toyota and IBM that are proactive in training students with needed skills that include problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork.

The best investment we as a country can make is in our education system. Our students are the problem solvers, the innovators and the job creators of tomorrow. If we engage our students and make the coursework relevant to their future, we reduce dropout rates, increase graduation rates and prepare our students for postsecondary pursuits. Failing to do so hurts our country’s innovative edge and leaves us unable to fill the jobs of the 21st Century.

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, 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.

Langevin’s blog entry is one of two that are being featured this month on the Friends of CTE Blog Series. In celebration of February’s National CTE Month, NASDCTEc is also including a blog entry from the National FFA Organization, a Career Technical Student Organization that “prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.”

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at [email protected].

By Melinda in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: ESEA, Bills Introduced

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Senate Marks Up ESEA

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee met on Wednesday to begin markup the draft Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization bill introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (IA) last week. The markup was threatened with delays when Senator Rand Paul (KY) objected to the Committee meeting longer than two hours after the Senate convened on Wednesday. This is a procedural rule, rarely employed in the Senate, that is almost always waived. Senator Paul was concerned that no hearing had been held on the bill this session (10 were held last session) and he felt there was not enough time to review the bill before the markup. On Thursday, Senators Harkin and Enzi (WY) reached an agreement with Senator Paul that in exchange for dropping his objection, the Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on November 8.

The Committee reported the bill last night by a vote of 15-7. Three Republicans, Senators Enzi, Lamar Alexander (TN) and Mark Kirk (IL), joined all Democrats in voting for the bill. Senator Harkin hopes to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote before Thanksgiving.

During the markup, Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) introduced an amendment to expand internships and apprenticeships, with the goal of alleviating dropouts and providing skills training. Because the amendment would require locals to use the money for this purpose, several Senators opposed it, but said they would support it if it were an allowable use of funds. Blumenthal agreed to withdraw the amendment and change the language, but wants to be sure that there are strong incentives for locals to use funding for internships and apprenticeships.

Bills Introduced

Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act

This week Senators Menendez (NJ), Reid (NV), Harkin (IA), Stabenow (MI) and Casey (PA) introduced S. 1723, Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act.  The bill contains the provision of the American Jobs Act that provides $35 billion to create or protect education jobs, as well as jobs for police officers and firefighters.  The jobs supported in this bill are not just teachers, but any public school K12 employee.

However, last night the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the bill by a vote of 50-50. All Republicans voted against it, as did Senators Lieberman (CT), Nelson (NE) and Pryor (AR). As result, the bill will not be voted on.

Preparing Students for Success in the Global Economy Act

Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Al Franken (MN), Mark Begich (AK), and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced S. 1675, Preparing Students for Success in the Global Economy Act. This bill aims to increase student access to courses in STEM subjects and provide additional resources to recruit, train, and support STEM teachers.

Grantees must include in their applications a description of how their activities will be coordinated with other programs and activities, including Perkins-funded CTE programs. Local subgrantees must also describe in their applications how grant funds will be coordinated with programs and activities, including Perkins-funded CTE programs.

“If we don’t train our children for the jobs of the future, we won’t be able to compete in the future,” Merkley said. “Whenever I talk to companies like Intel back in Oregon, they tell me that STEM education is key, and in far too many schools, the resources aren’t there to prepare our students for careers in engineering and science. This legislation will help address this deficit.”

 

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized

NASDCTEc Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Advocating

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Recent cuts to the Perkins Act and the threat of further cuts to all discretionary programs reinforces the need to let Congress know that CTE programs are vitally important to preparing individuals for careers and turning around the economy.

Join NASDCTEc’s Public Policy Manager, Nancy Conneely, as she walks you through how to be an effective advocate for Perkins and CTE. While many use the terms “lobbying” and “advocating” interchangeably, there is a difference. So, even if your state prohibits you from lobbying, there are still things you can do to bring attention to the importance of CTE at a time when it is needed more than ever.

When: Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST
Where: http://nasdcte.adobeconnect.com/advocacy/

You do not need to register for this webinar. Simply log in using the link on September 14th.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Duncan to Grant Waivers from NCLB Requirements

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Due to Congress’ failure to act on reauthorization, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it plans to offer states relief from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act in exchange for states’ support of the Administration’s education reform policies.

Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council, said during the announcement, “America’s future competitiveness is being decided today, in classrooms across the nation. With no clear path to a bipartisan bill in Congress, the President has directed us to move forward with an administrative process to provide flexibility within the law for states and districts that are willing to embrace reform.”

States will be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver from certain requirements in the law. These applications will be peer reviewed by individuals outside of the Department, but the final decision will belong to Secretary Duncan. The waivers would take effect during the 2011-2012 school year. Further details about the waivers will be released in September. However, rumors are swirling that states would be given waivers from NCLB’s 2014 proficiency deadline and more funding flexibility, in exchange for adopting college- or career-ready standards, creating differentiated accountability systems, and adopting teacher evaluation systems.

While the Secretary has clear legal authority to grant waivers from the law, it is not clear that he has the authority to make them conditional on support for the Administration’s reform policies.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

OVAE Hosts CTE Community Conversation with National Organizations

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

On Friday Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier hosted the latest CTE Community Conversation, hearing from representatives from national organizations about key issues related to CTE in preparation for Perkins reauthorization. This convening was designed to gather national association views on effective approaches for, and challenges facing, CTE. Each organization was given three minutes to make formal remarks, with Kim Green presenting for NASDCTEc.

Some of the areas addressed by presenters included accountability and data collection, secondary to postsecondary linkages, college and career readiness definitions, using research to guide policy, career pathways, career guidance, non-traditional occupations, and regional sector strategies.

After formal remarks, participants broke into small groups to answer the following questions:

• How can states and education institutions better prepare students for college and careers?

• What actions need to be taken to further support the availability and effectiveness of career pathways for students?

• What kinds of partnerships best support career pathways and how can effective relationships be brought to scale?

• What information (data) should be used to better track and improve student outcomes, particularly those related to college and career readiness?

Notes from this session will be available soon on the Department of Education’s blog here. You can also submit comments on any of the above questions to [email protected].

By Nancy in Uncategorized

 

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