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Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

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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Democrats Support Career Academies and Technical Training in Party Platform

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

This week in Charlotte, the Democrats released their party’s platform which outlines how their policies will help America out-education, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world. As we reported last week, the Republican party’s platform included their support for CTE at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The Democrats also voiced their support for secondary CTE, saying that they would “continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.”

At the postsecondary level, Democrats called for greater access to higher education and technical training. To that end, the party supports the following proposals that would improve the skills of students and adult workers:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Republican Platform Highlights CTE

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With the presidential election just around the corner, convention season is upon us. Republicans are meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate for President. Part of the convention process includes releasing the party’s “platform” or statement of principles. The Republican party’s platform covers a broad swath of issues, including education, jobs and the economy, agriculture, and government reform. The party’s education plank underscores the value of CTE in preparing students for the workplace:

School choice—whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools…We support the promotion of local career and technical educational programs and entrepreneurial programs that have been supported by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the American workforce, which is the best in the world.

The platform also states the party’s belief that the status quo is not working for the higher education system, and calls for “new systems of learning” that can compete with traditional four-year institutions, including community and technical colleges, private training schools, and work-based learning in the private sector. The party also believes that the acquisition of advanced skills is necessary for the 21st century economy, and should focus on STEM fields.

Democrats will convene in Charlotte next week to officially nominate President Obama as their candidate, at which time they are expected to release their party’s platform.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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CTE in the News: Companies join forces with schools to provide hands-on training

Friday, July 6th, 2012

A high school engineering/robotics club has turned into a model program for implementing career academies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) across Tampa Bay, Florida, according to a recent Tampa Bay Business Journal article.

The Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF), a program that began at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs and now extends across several counties, is providing opportunities for student learning, community engagement and business and industry involvement. CTEF’s mission is to create and implement college-preparatory and career-based internships and apprenticeship programs at the secondary level by partnering with local education systems.

Those partners include MITRE Corp., The Nielsen Co. and Southern Manufacturing Technologies.  Another partner includes the Bauer Foundation Corp., which hosts a six-week summer program that exposes students to hands-on experience in accounting, engineering, estimating, and presenting.

“These kids come in and say, ‘I was lost and now I’m found,’ and they can’t wait to start their senior year,” said Chick Puccini, president and CEO of Bauer, a Florida corporation and the U.S. subsidiary of the worldwide operating BAUER Group.

There are now 600 students enrolled in the CTEF program.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Governors to Focus on Education and Job Creation in 2012

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

During their State of the State addresses earlier this year, the majority of governors cited education and job creation as top priorities. A summary released by the National Governors Association, The Governors Speak: A Summary of the 2012 State of the State Addresses, found that nearly every governor that gave a State of the State speech this year said that job creation would be a major focus in 2012.

Among the strategies for job creation were changes to tax codes, government processes, and regulations, and im­provements to workforce training and education. College and career readiness was also mentioned by many governors as an education goal that is also tied to job creation. Other education priorities included accountability, local control and flexibility, and STEM education. More specifically, seven governors stated that they wanted to increase the focus on STEM to ensure that schools are providing skills relevant to careers. Additionally, 17 governors are proposing to either increase or maintain funding for education despite tight budgets.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Budget Level Funds Perkins; Invests in Career Academies and Community Colleges

Monday, February 13th, 2012

President Obama released his FY13 budget today, and there is good news for CTE! The President proposed level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grants, and plans to release a reauthorization proposal that “would restructure CTE to align what students learn in school with the demands of 21st Century jobs.” While the budget does not include specifics about what this proposal will look like, a budget summary released by the Department of Education states that their proposal would increase the rigor and relevance of CTE and strengthen connections between secondary and postsecondary education. In addition to Perkins Act funding, the budget proposes an investment of $1 billion over three years to scale up career academies.

Some other highlights of the budget that may be of interest:

We are continuing to analyze the budget, and will update you on any additional information that could impact CTE.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congress Returns, Bills Introduced

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Congress Returns to Work

The House returned to Washington this week, and the Senate is scheduled to return next week. First on Congress’ agenda is to begin negotiations to extend the payroll tax cut, TANF, unemployment benefits, and Medicare doctor reimbursements. The current two month extension of all of these provisions expires on February 29th.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has made ESEA reauthorization one of their top priorities this spring. However, Senator Tom Harkin (IA) has said that he will not move the Senate’s ESEA bill to the floor until the House proposes a bipartisan bill. This deadlock makes it increasingly unlikely that ESEA reauthorization will happen this spring.

Congress will also get to work on their budget proposals for FY13 after President Obama releases his budget on February 6th. Many advocates are optimistic that the appropriations process will move more quickly and smoothly than in years past because of the caps set by the debt ceiling deal this summer. Much of the delay surrounding the appropriations process has been due to disagreements over the level of funding. Hopefully, the caps will provide a bipartisan starting point for appropriators.

Bills Introduced

America RISING Act

Rep. Laura Richardson (CA) introduced H.R.3748, the America Realizing the Informational Skills and Initiative of New Graduates (RISING) Act, which would provide grants to assist in the cost of compensation paid by employers to certain recent college graduates and to provide funding for their further education in subjects relating to mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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January “CTE Monthly” Newsletter: U.S. Commerce Department Calls for Investments in STEM and Manufacturing; Information Technology Career Spotlight

Friday, January 20th, 2012

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

The January issue takes a closer look at the Information Technology Career Cluster™, an area that is projected to experience rapid employment growth over the next several years.

The newsletter also highlights a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce that calls for greater investment in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Manufacturing Career Clusters™ to benefit the nation’s students and the economy.

The January edition of CTE Monthly can be accessed here. To view past newsletters, visit our advocacy tools Web page.

By Kara in Publications, Resources
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Legislative Update: Summer Jobs+, TANF Extended, Race to the Top

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Happy New Year! Congress is currently on recess. The House is scheduled to return on January 17, 2012 and the Senate will return on January 23, 2012.

Summer Jobs+ Aims to Increase Youth Employment

Yesterday President Obama unveiled Summer Jobs+, an initiative that brings together businesses, non-profits, and government to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. The President originally proposed investing in summer youth employment as part of the American Jobs Act which failed to pass Congress. As a result of Congressional inaction, the private sector has already pledged to create 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth this summer. The administration hopes that a total of 250,000 opportunities will be available this summer, at least 100,000 of which will be paid jobs and internships.

“America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It’s important for their future, and for America’s.” said President Obama.

Payroll Tax Cut and TANF Extended for Two Months

Before recess the House and Senate passed a two-month extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The bill also extends Unemployment Insurance and the Medicare doc fix for two months.  The Senate has appointed conferees on the original House-passed payroll tax bill and House Minority Leader Pelosi appointed House Democratic conferees to work out a year-long extension.

Race to the Top Awards Announced

The U.S. Department of Education announced the seven winners of round three of the Race to the Top competition. The winning states – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – will each receive a share the $200 million grant. This round focuses on comprehensive statewide reform, as well as improving STEM education. The seven winning applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in underperforming schools.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Barbara Bitters Honored as White House Champion of Change

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Barbara Bitters was among 12 individuals who were recently honored as White House Champions of Change, under President Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative. Bitters is among those who strive to increase awareness of the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Champions of Change honorees include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nation’s top innovators.

Barbara Bitters is the Assistant Director for the Career and Technical Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and a NASDCTEc Member. Barbara is both the state leader of the Wisconsin Girl’s Collaborative Project (www.ngcproject.org) and the co-leader of the Wisconsin STEM Equity Pipeline Project under the auspices of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) .

As the leader for these two projects, Bitters’ focus has been to develop and refine strategies and activities that attract, serve, and support the success of girls/women and other under-represented groups to build STEM skills and to explore STEM Careers. She was the state Sex Equity Coordinator under federal vocational education requirements U.S for over 12 years. In 1980, Barbara, under an intergovernmental exchange program, served in the Department of Education as a Special Advisor on Women’s Issues and Vocational Equity to the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. She was co-director of the National Leadership Development Conference for Vocational Sex Equity Coordinators from 1979-1987.

Bitters is a Past Chair of the Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE) and is on the Executive Committee of NAPE.

Bitters said “I am thrilled to be recognized as a Champion of Change for promoting access, equity and diversity for girls and women in STEM, and I am proud of the CTE contributions to the development of STEM skills for students and the promotion of STEM Career Development.”

Bitters also shared “I am hoping that people will incorporate this critical career equity work. To get started, become a member of NAPE, and subscribe to www.stemequitypipeline.org. Another NASDCTEc Member, Mimi Lufkin, is the Chief Executive Officer of NAPE.

More information

NASDCTEc offers hearty congratulations to Barbara Bitters on her amazing achievement.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in News
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