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Posts Tagged ‘Standards’

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: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility

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 ™ 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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CCSSO Accepting Public Comments for Model Core Teaching Standards

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently released new core teaching standards that “outline what teachers should know and be able to do to help all students reach the goal of being college and career ready in today’s world.” CCSSO is inviting the education community and the public at large to submit comments until October 15, 2010.

To review the document, please go to http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Publications/Model_Core_Teaching_Standards.html. You can submit your comments through a survey, here: http://ccsso.teaching-standards.sgizmo.com/s3/. We encourage you to distribute the standards and the survey to the networks of educators and teacher preparation programs in your state.

If your state is interested in hosting a focus group to provide input on the standards, please contact Kathleen Paliokas, at CCSSO by email at kathyp@ccsso.org.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Ten Race to the Top Winners Announced

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Today Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the round two winners of the $3.4 billion in Race to the Top grants.  These winners are:

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. New York
  7. North Carolina
  8. Ohio
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Washington, D.C.

The 10 winning States have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.

There was no immediate word on how much money each winner will receive, but awards will be based on States’ student population. In the first round of grants, Delaware was awarded $100 million and Tennessee received $500 million. In a statement, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that this round of finalists was very competitive and that the Department hopes to have a round three of grants, using $1.35 billion requested in the President’s FY11 budget.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Fordham Institute Rates Common Core Against State Standards

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

In their latest assessment of state English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute compares states’ standards not just to each other, but to the Common Core State Standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  Fordham graded each state and the Common Core standards on an “A” through “F” scale, giving the Common Core math standards a grade of A-minus and the Common Core ELA standards a B-plus.

Among the other findings in The State of State Standards – and the Common Core – in 2010 report:

To date, 36 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. One of the factors that these states and those that have not adopted thus far must take into account is the comparison of their state standards with the Common Core. What Fordham’s analysis shows is that for many states that choose to adopt the Common Core Standards, the bar will be raised for student achievement.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Achieve, Inc. Releases Common Core Standards Implementation Guide

Monday, August 9th, 2010

As more and more states adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the next logical question is “How do we implement them?” Achieve, Inc., which helped the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers draft the standards, has just released a guide to answer that very question. On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards aims to help states align instructional materials, assessments, and graduation requirements with the common standards, leverage state funding to support the standards, and conduct “gap analyses” to see how a state’s standards differ from the common core standards.

There is also a section in the guide on “Implementing the Common Core Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.” The CCSS include literacy standards in grades 6 to 12 that are specific to history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Since current state standards in history/social studies, science and technical subjects may not include literacy standards, this could represent a significant change for teachers in those fields, including CTE teachers. The guide suggests that states assemble relevant teams of history/social studies, science and technical subject teachers and content experts to consider implications for implementation:

By Nancy in Public Policy
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