Posts Tagged ‘Standards’

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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REMINDER: Final Week for Public Input on Common State Standards for CTE

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is seeking public input on the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a set of shared state standards for Career Technical Education (CTE) designed to help ensure all CTE students have access to high-quality, rigorous, career-focused learning opportunities in every state, and every community across the nation.

The public comment period ends this Friday, May 11, 2012. All CTE stakeholders, including educators, administrators, and industry are urged to provide input by using the CCTC Public Comment webpage at: <>. More detailed guidelines about submitting feedback, as well as direct links to each set of standards can be found on the webpage.

Additional details about the CCTC can be found online at: <> or by emailing Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director at:

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Common Career Technical Core
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NASDCTEc Seeks Input on Common Standards for Career Technical Education Programs

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The opportunity for the public to comment on the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a shared set of rigorous, high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) standards developed and validated by education and industry experts begins today. The public comment period will run April 30 – May 11, 2012 and all CTE stakeholders, including educators, administrators, and industry are urged to participate in this process.

The public comment period is an opportunity for CTE stakeholders to participate in the development process of the CCTC, which is intended to help ensure all CTE students have access to high-quality, rigorous career-focused learning opportunities in every state, and every community across the nation. The CCTC will complement and support other comprehensive college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCTC initiative is being facilitated by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc).

Forty-two states have declared support for the development of the CCTC. Each of the 42 states; Washington, DC and Palau nominated experts from a range of sectors — from business and industry to education — to participate in working groups charged with the development of the CCTC in the spring of 2012.

Once the public comment period ends on May 11, 2012 the state-nominated working groups will review the public feedback and incorporate changes to the draft standards.  The final standards are slated for public release at the National Career Clusters ™ Institute  on June 19, 2012. Click here and learn more about the CCTC online or visit

 Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Advance CTE Announcements, Common Career Technical Core
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Forty-One States and DC Declare Support for Development of Shared Set of CTE Standards

Monday, March 26th, 2012

NASDCTEc announced today that state leaders from across the nation are uniting to spearhead an initiative to develop a Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a set of shared state standards for Career Technical Education (CTE).

NASDCTEc  is coordinating the state-led effort, which will complement and support comprehensive college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSI) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCTC will build a common connection among states to help prepare CTE students for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand jobs. Forty-one states; Washington, DC and Palau have signed a declaration of support for the CCTC initiative, pledging their involvement in the development stage.

A range of stakeholders from business and industry to educators will be involved in the multi-step process to develop the CCTC. The development of the standards will be led by working groups made up of state-nominated experts from a variety of sectors. Their involvement will help ensure that the CCTC reflects the timely education and workforce needs of today’s global economy.

The working groups convened for the first time this week. Later in the spring, NASDCTEc will seek public comment on the draft standards. Final standards are scheduled for public release in June 2012, at which point states will move individually to adopt and implement the CCTC.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director, News
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Legislative Update: Budget, NCLB Waivers, ESEA

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Senate Urges OMB to Maintain Perkins Funding in FY13 Budget

A group of Senators led by Richard Blumenthal (CT) sent a letter this week to Jeffrey Zients, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, asking him to maintain FY12 Perkins Act funding for CTE programs in FY13. President Obama is scheduled to release his budget on Monday, and we hope that support from these Senators will encourage the Administration to maintain Perkins funding.

After the President releases his budget, Congress will begin work on their budgets and start the appropriations process. Members of both the House and Senate have expressed interest in drafting “Dear Colleague” letters to their respective chambers to garner support for Perkins Act funding.

Ten States Receive NCLB Waivers

President Obama this week announced that ten states will receive waivers for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, so long as they implement college and career ready standards and reform their accountability systems. The ten states are: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. States receiving waivers no longer have to meet 2014 performance targets set by NCLB but must set new performance targets for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps.

“After waiting far too long for Congress to reform No Child Left Behind, my Administration is giving states the opportunity to set higher, more honest standards in exchange for more flexibility,”  said President Obama. “Today, we’re giving 10 states the green light to continue making reforms that are best for them.  Because if we’re serious about helping our children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone.  Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.

Twenty-eight other states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have indicated that they will seek waivers later this spring. Additional materials can be found here:

House ESEA Bills Include CTE Provisions

Last month the House Education and the Workforce Committee released discussion drafts of two ESEA reauthorization bills. Yesterday, Committee Chairman John Kline (MN) formally introduced the bills, the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act.

We worked with Congressional staff, as well as other policy groups, to get elements of the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act (a bill we told you about in the fall), included in both bills. In the Student Success Act, grantees’ local plans will have to include a description of how they use funds to support programs that coordinate and integrate “career and technical education aligned with state technical standards that promote skills attainment important to in-demand occupations or industries in the state and the state’s academic standards and work based learning opportunities that provide students in-depth interaction with industry professionals.”

The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act allows locals to use funds professional development for teachers and school leaders that is “evidence-based, job embedded, and continuous, such as professional development on integrated, interdisciplinary, and project based teaching strategies, including for career and technical education teachers.”

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Rhode Island Proposes Regulations to Overhaul CTE

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Rhode Island is revamping its standards for Career Technical Education (CTE), staring by issuing new regulations to upgrade outdated courses and expanding the reach of quality programs, according to The Providence Journal.

“The one thing we know about almost every student is that at some point in their lives, they are going to want and need to get a job,” Andrea Castaneda, who oversees career and technical education at the state Department of Education said in the article.

“And our responsibility is to prepare them, not merely for a job, but for a rewarding career.”

The proposed regulations, which will be presented at a public hearing on October 13, represent the first major overhaul of career and technical education in two decades, according to The Providence Journal. Those regulations reflect state education officials to update outdated and narrowly-focused programs into those that prepare students for high-demand fields.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News, Public Policy
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CTE and the Arts: More in Common Than You Think

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) recently brought together CTE groups and Arts Education groups to help us better understand the similarities that exist between these two worlds. While one primary connection is the career opportunities for students in the Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications Cluster, I learned of the more nuanced ways in which these two areas of education overlap, as well as the shared political obstacles. Brad Hull, NASBE’s Deputy Executive Director, did a terrific blog post linking the arts and Career Clusters, but he also laid out the ways in which CTE and the arts converge in other ways:

I was also struck by the seemingly identical stories that both CTE and Arts Education share at the federal policy level. First, both CTE and Arts Education programs were slated for elimination each year by the Bush Administration, but funding was always preserved by Congress. Second, advocates for both CTE and Arts Education want to see a greater connection to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Better inclusion of both of these areas of education would lead to more well rounded education for all students. Our priorities also align in terms of dropout prevention strategies and linking to statewide longitudinal data systems.

For even more connections between CTE and the arts, see this blog post by Narric Rome, Senior Director of Federal Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Georgia Implements Career Clusters for all Secondary Schools, AP Article Says

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Georgia is overhauling its high school curriculum and looking to Career Clusters â„¢ as a tool to prepare all students for college and career, according to a recent Associated Press article.

Implementing Career Clusters ™ is part of an effort by State Schools chief John Barge, who said the state was forcing some students to drop out of school because they couldn’t identify relevancy of what they learned in school with what they wanted to do when they began their careers, the article said.

The new plans will make Georgia among the first states in the nation to require students to enroll in a Career Clusters ™ program in order to graduate from high school, said Dean Folkers, deputy executive director at the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. The consortium has helped states like Florida, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Colorado implement career training programs in the past few years, he said.

“Many states use career clusters, but Georgia is taking it another step,” Folkers said. “It’s not about redoing career technical education for those kids. It’s about embracing it for all and realizing we all are ultimately preparing for a career and college is a vehicle to get there.”


By Erin in News
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States Progressing with College- and Career-Ready Agenda, Survey Finds

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Each year Achieve, Inc. reports on the progress of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in implementing college- and career-ready policies. Closing the Expectations Gap, 2011, the sixth annual report in this series, found that states are increasingly aligning the expectations for high school graduates with the demands of college and the workplace, but there is more work to be done. Mike Cohen, Achieve’s president said in statement, “While support for the college- and career-ready agenda is widespread, state progress adopting the policies of this agenda has remained mixed.”

This year’s report found the following:

You can find state by state results here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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State of the Union Focuses on Education, CTE Student Sits with First Lady

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

In his second State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama set a broad agenda for improving the economy and maintaining the United States’ status as a global super power. Calling this our “Sputnik moment,” the President urged Congress, private businesses and the American people to work together to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.

Recognizing that the world has changed and that a high degree is no longer sufficient to earn a family sustaining wage, Obama focused on the ways that education can help turn around the economy. First, he cautioned against “pour[ing] money into a system that’s not working” and highlighted the ways that his Race to the Top grants have reformed education through the adoption of new standards. He also stated that Race to the Top should be the foundation for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind this year. Among the other education priorities that he addressed were: raising the status of the teaching profession, increasing the number of STEM teachers, making postsecondary more accessible and affordable, and training individuals for new careers and new jobs.

He also stressed the importance of community colleges in meeting the demands of out fast-changing economy and singled out Kathy Proctor, a student at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina who is earning her degree in biotechnology at the age of 55 because the furniture factories in her town have disappeared.

However, despite the President’s call for greater investment in things like innovation, education and infrastructure, last night he proposed a five-year freeze on non-defense discretionary spending beginning this year. This comes after House Republicans have pledged to return appropriations levels to FY08 or FY06 levels. So while we don’t know what spending levels will look like after the CR expires in March, it seems certain that there not be any funding increases this year.

On a brighter note, Brandon Ford, a junior at the Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering at West Philadelphia High School was invited to be a guest in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box last night. Brandon was recognized for his participation in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, in which teams from across the globe compete to create production-ready, highly fuel efficient vehicles. Brandon and his team went up against corporations, universities and other well-funded organizations from around the world, advancing all the way to the elimination round.  Congratulations, Brandon!

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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