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Posts Tagged ‘Secretary Duncan’

New Blog Series: CTE Research Review

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

NASDCTEc is excited to launch a new blog series – CTE Research Review! This blog will feature the latest research and reports about CTE and other related education and workforce issues. 

Research Image_6.2013The Council on Foreign Relations released a new report, “Progress Report and Scorecard: Remedial Education,” that has been referenced several times this week by figures such as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to illustrate the importance of educating and training a globally-competitive workforce. The authors of this report stress that the United States is slipping in global competitiveness and that the achievement gap between wealthy and non-wealthy students is widening. The authors also write that “Human capital is perhaps the single most important long-term driver of an economy,” and challenge the federal government to put in place programs that will expand high-quality education for all students.

ACT’s “STEM Education Pipeline: Doing the Math on Recruiting Math and Science Teachers,” reviews the proposed federal STEM Teacher Pathway program – aimed at getting 100,000 qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals into the classroom over the next decade – and finds an insufficient number of STEM college graduates who would be qualified or willing to become STEM teachers. To meet the number of teachers needed, the authors suggest recruitment strategies targeted toward “STEM-capable students interest in education and STEM-capable students undecided of their college major.”

A new issue brief from the Education Commission of the States, “Reimagining Business Involvement: A New Frontier for Postsecondary Education,” lays out research-backed models and strategies to improve the quality of credentials and increase alignment with the needs of business and industry. Suggestions include possible methods of engagement to strengthen partnerships between business/industry and education, the role of state policy in building a statewide partnership plan, and economic benefits for states.

A recent study from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education examines South Carolina’s programs of study and career pathways developed through the state’s Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) and finds some positive impacts for the students. The study indicates that EEDA positively impacts career-focused activities at all schools and enhances the role of school guidance counselors.

The National Center for Education Statistics released its annual “Condition of Education” report. Two areas of relevance highlighted by this year’s report are “Trends in Employment Rates by Educational Attainment” and “The Status of Rural Education.” Not surprisingly, the report shows that employment for males and females (ages 25 – 64) was lower in 2012 than in 2008 regardless of education levels due to recovery from the economic recession. Between 1990 and 2012, employment rates for those with a bachelor’s degree remained higher than those with less than a bachelor’s degree.

The report on rural education found that students in rural districts experienced higher graduation rates (80 percent) than students in city (68 percent) or town districts (79 percent) but slightly lower rates than suburban districts (81 percent).

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Research
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Duncan Outlines ED Priorities for Second Term

Monday, November 19th, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) last week in his first detailed speech since President Obama’s reelection. In his remarks, Duncan outlined areas of priority for the U.S. Department of Education over the next four years.

Duncan, who is presumed to stay for a second term with the Obama Administration, made clear that his focus will continue to be innovation. School Improvement Grants, which the Secretary noted spurred measurable improvements for two-thirds of participating schools last term, will be a priority. Other priorities for improvement include:

Duncan made clear that the Department of Education will not focus heavily on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) unless Congress takes action to reauthorize the act. As for the ESEA waivers currently approved in many states, Duncan’s work will continue and will possibly include district-level ESEA waivers.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Education Community Anticipates Progress on Key Issues with Obama and New Congress

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

After an intense election campaign, President Barack Obama won his second term for president last night. In the process, he was supported by battleground states — Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin — to secure at least 303 electoral votes over Mitt Romney’s 206 electoral votes. With the election period over, the education community will be watching to see if key legislation moves forward.

In Congress, Democrats kept control of the Senate, winning a total of 54 seats including two to be held by Independents. Republicans kept their majority in the House with 218 seats. With no change in congressional control in the House and Senate, the current leadership for education – U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and U.S. Representative John Kline – will stay the same. However, there will be 11 new Senators and 76 new House members. View House and Senate election winners here.

Over the last four years, a divided Congress has not made much progress on education policy. Committees from both the House and Senate have approved bills to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but it is unclear whether both sides will agree on the terms of the act. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 is due for reauthorization next year along with laws for higher education, special education, and workforce development.

With Obama in the White House for another four years, the President and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will likely continue with the Administration’s major education initiatives. The Department’s CTE Blueprint, introduced earlier this year, therefore still has the possibility of influencing Perkins reauthorization.

We will keep you updated as we learn more about the election results and possible implications for CTE.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager 

By Kara in Legislation, Public Policy
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Secretary Duncan Outlines Progress Made and Goals for the Future

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This afternoon Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Press Club about the state of American education. Duncan highlighted the Obama Administration’s achievements and challenges over the last four years and offered his take on the obstacles facing public schools in the years ahead.

Chief among the Department’s endeavors are raising standards, improving student performance, reducing dropout rates, and strengthening the teaching profession. But, as we in the CTE community know, education also plays an important role in strengthening the economy and closing the skills gap. Said Duncan: “With more than three million unfilled jobs in this country, [the public] understand[s] that we have a skills gap that will only be closed if America does a better job training and preparing people for work.” The public supports investing in education, but as Duncan pointed out, they worry about where the money will come from.

Duncan laid out the areas where there is still work to be done, including reforming CTE programs in high schools and community colleges, state-driven accountability, recruiting more math and science teachers, and closing the skills gap.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Education Secretary Maps Out 2012 Back-to-School Bus Tour

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will hit the road with senior Education Department leaders on the third Education Drives America bus tour on Sept. 12 in Redwood City, California. The multi-city tour will conclude at the Department of Education’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on the evening of Sept. 21.

 Stops include, Sacramento, California; Reno and Elko, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Rawlins, Rock Springs, and Cheyenne, Wyoming; Denver and Limon, Colorado; Topeka and Emporia, Kansas; Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri; Mt. Vernon, Illinois; Evansville, Indiana; Lexington, Kentucky; Charleston and McDowell County, West Virginia; Roanoke and Richmond, Virginia.

The tour will highlight education successes and convene communities to talk about P-12 school reform, college affordability and the link between education and jobs. More details on each stop will be announced in the coming weeks. To receive updates about the tour, sign up for the Education Drives America e-mail by clicking on this link.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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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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Senate Holds Hearing on Impact of Sequestration on Education Programs

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education held a hearing this morning to hear from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a panel of state and local educators about the impact of sequestration on education programs. Chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Tom Harkin (IA), called on his colleagues to come to a bipartisan and balanced approach to deficit reduction, rather than the “arbitrary” cuts of sequestration.

During his testimony, Secretary Duncan agreed that we need to take a balanced approach because sequestration will cut both effective and ineffective programs. He also argued that cutting education funding is very much a national security issue due to the number of highly technical jobs, including those in the military sector, which go unfilled because there are not enough skilled individuals to fill them. When asked about the impact of the cuts on education reform efforts, Duncan said that sequestration will touch all education programs, including CTE.

June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Public Instructionin North Carolina, spoke about how sequestration would hurt her state’s effort at increasing college and career readiness. For example, providing training for Microsoft certifications requires CTE funding, which would be cut under sequestration. She also noted that the graduation rate of CTE concentrators in North Carolina is 90 percent. Presumably cuts to Perkins funding would hinder the tremendous achievement of CTE students.

Harkin also released this morning Under Threat – Sequestration’s Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services, a report which looks at the potential impact of sequestration on education, health and labor programs under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction. The report gives national as well as state-by-state estimates of the number of jobs that could be lost and the number of individuals who could lose services if sequestration goes into effect.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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New District-Level Race to the Top Competition Announced

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the proposed criteria for a new district-level Race to the Top grant program. Like the original Race to the Top grants, the district-level completion will revolve around four reform areas: higher standards, data-driven decision making, greater support for teachers, and turning around low-performing schools. School districts may compete for a piece of the $400 million pot by showing how their plans for individualized classroom instruction will help close achievement gaps and prepare all students for college and career.

“With this competition, we are inviting districts to show us how they can personalize education for a set of students in their schools.  We need to take classroom learning beyond a one-size-fits-all model and bring it into the 21st century,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

School districts or groups of districts serving at least 2,500 students with 40 percent or more qualifying for free or reduced price lunch are eligible to apply. Awards will range from $15 million to $25 million, depending on the population of students served.

You may submit comments by June 8 on the district-level Race to the Top program here. The Department has stated that it plans to release the application in July, and that it will be due in October. Grant awards will be announced no later than Dec. 31, 2012.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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CTE IN THE NEWS: Career Education Plan from Obama Administration Unlikely to Bear Fruit for a Year or More

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education unveiled by the Obama Administration this week surfaced questions among key education and policy stakeholders; they rose issue regarding the timing of the document and effectiveness of its funding proposal, according to a recent Huffington Post article.

The article highlighted NASDCTEc’s concerns over the Perkins Blueprint, particularly relative to the proposal that would shift Perkin’s longstanding formula funding into competitive funding. Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director, noted how elimination of formula funding would leave states and regions with little or no monies to support areas that likely need the most help with training and educating CTE students for jobs.

“The details worry us,” said Green, in the article. “The competitive approach has the potential effect of really disadvantaging rural areas … that have smaller staffs and no full-time grant writers.”

NASDCTEc this week released a statement noting concerns of the Perkins Blueprint.

Echoing concerns over the Perkins Blueprint funding proposal, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) said in a statement that she “supports the Administration’s push to build on the successes of CTE programs,” but has “concerns with the funding mechanisms being proposed,” according to the article.

Finally, the article speculated that the Perkins Blueprint will likely not see much traction during this election year, adding that “no congressman has indicated he or she would sponsor a CTE reform bill along the lines of Obama’s proposal.”

“It’s part of a campaign strategy to emphasize employment,” said Jack Jennings, a former longtime Democratic congressional education staffer. “That’s Obama’s weak spot.”

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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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 Legislation, Public Policy
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