Posts Tagged ‘Artificial Intelligence’

House Lays Out Next Steps for FY25 | Legislative Update

Friday, May 24th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in the House laid out next steps for the the federal appropriations process while Congressional leaders elsewhere made announcements related to artificial intelligence (AI) and workforce development. Elsewhere, lawmakers are considering a new Farm Bill proposal while a new cohort of Presidential Scholars was recently announced. 

House Lays Out Roadmap for FY25 Appropriations

House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) announced in recent weeks preliminary allocation totals for each of the 12 individual appropriations bills that compose the federal budget for the upcoming 2025 federal fiscal year (FY25). Known as 302(b) allocations, these topline funding totals are used by appropriations leaders on the committee to craft FY25 funding legislation later this year. This includes the Labor-HHS-ED funding bill which provides support for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) among other education and workforce development programs. The proposed 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-ED funding bill is significantly lower than the total provided for this component of the federal budget in FY24. This means that the House Appropriations Committee is likely to propose significant cuts to domestic programs falling under this legislation as the Committee put forward last year.

In addition, Chair Cole released a tentative schedule to consider each of the dozen appropriations bills. The Labor-HHS-ED measure is expected to be considered at the subcommittee level on June 27 and by the full Appropriations Committee on July 10. This week the full House Appropriations Committee approved these 302(b) allocations on a party line vote 32-21. Similar announcements are still forthcoming in the Senate. As these efforts take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for the significant funding needs of the Career Technical Education (CTE) community and other key education and workforce priorities this year.  

Senate Releases New AI Roadmap

A bipartisan group of Senators led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Senator Todd Young (R-IN), released a long-anticipated report regarding AI. The report or “roadmap” lays out a vision for future federal policymaking efforts, including a set of recommendations for Congress and the Biden administration to consider as AI technologies continue to mature and expand in their use. The report covers several policy areas including workforce development, encouraging the development of career pathways that lead to opportunities in AI. The roadmap also recommends that policymakers consider new regulatory frameworks to mitigate the potential negative impacts AI technologies may have on incumbent workers and ways to promote worker skills training opportunities in this area. Broadly, the report calls on the federal government to invest at least $32 billion on an annual basis to support the further development of AI technologies, promote wider innovation, and ensure wider equitable adoption and use of these emerging technologies.

View the AI Roadmap

Department of Commerce Unveils Workforce Policy Agenda

Recently the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a Department Administrative Order (DAO) that establishes a workforce policy agenda for the agency. The agenda is intended to assist DOC in the ongoing implementation of several broad federal investments including the CHIPS and Science Act which contains several workforce development components to support the legislation’s broader aims of developing a more robust advanced manufacturing and semiconductor capacity here in the United States. The DAO lays out a set of principles to guide workforce development investments as well as wider Biden administration goals of developing quality employment opportunities for a broader cross-section of Americans.

Read the DAO

House Examines HHS FY25 Budget

Last week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The hearing featured testimony from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra who spoke to the Biden administration’s recent federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget request. Secretary Becerra responded to a wide range of questions including the importance of policies and investments supporting access to quality childcare as well as wider healthcare workforce needs.

View an archived webcast of the hearing, including the Secretary’s written testimony and related opening statements from lawmakers

CTE Presidential Scholars Announced

This week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars announced the 60th cohort of U.S. Presidential Scholars—an initiative that annually recognizes 161 high school seniors for academic, career and technical and artistic achievements. The selection process takes into consideration a number of criteria including transcripts and test scores. Each year, this program features 20 CTE scholars for their outstanding achievements and recognizes related accomplishments.

View the full list of scholars 

House Agriculture Committee Plans Vote on Federal Nutrition Programs

The House Agriculture Committee considered the 2024 Farm Bill this week, a $1.5 trillion legislative package that includes significant changes to federal agriculture and school nutrition programs. The legislation, unveiled by Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) earlier this week, includes major components of the Creating Access to Rural Employment and Education for Resilience and Success (CAREERS) Act (H.R. 7015)—legislation that Advance CTE supported and endorsed earlier this year. Advance CTE has expressed support for the inclusion of the CAREERS Act among other aspects of the proposal. The committee considered the legislation yesterday and approved measure by a margin of 33-21. 

DOL Unveils New AI and Worker Well-Being Principles

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a set of principles on AI and worker well-being. The principles were developed in response to an earlier Executive Order (EO) from President Biden on AI last year and are intended to support workforce development professionals and employers in the deployment, development, and subsequent use of AI and related technologies. The principles focus particularly on mitigating potential negative impacts on workers of AI while balancing the need for innovation and economic growth.

Read the principles 

Steve Voytek, policy advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Centering CTE in the Time of Disruption: A Conversation with SHRM’s Dr. Alex Alonso

Friday, May 17th, 2024

Advance CTE held a ‘fireside chat’ with Dr. Alex Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and Advance CTE Executive Director Kate Kreamer at our 2024 Spring Meeting that saw over 200 state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders in attendance last month.

The two tackled this burning question of the future of work: How will Career Technical Education (CTE) continue to be the solution to ensuring success and security for all learners, especially amidst the imminent impacts of AI, the green economy, and evolving workplace trends?

Key Trends for the Future of Work

Dr. Alonso first presented newly released research conducted by SHRM drawing from data collected from a vast network of 2000 HR professionals, which, with the help of LLM (Large Language Models), aggregates major trends in the future of work and identifies the challenges facing employers today. Dr. Alonso unpacked several of these major trends, including:

Balancing Operational Efficiencies and Talent Needs

The challenges and problems companies face continue to become increasingly complex. That means that as the skills gap grows, the depth of that gap, or the “skills crater,” also grows, necessitating an even greater urgency for faster and more effective skills development. At the same time, amidst current inflationary pressures, there is a growing imperative to strike a balance between ensuring fair compensation for this high-demand talent and maintaining operational efficiency.

Training an Evolving Workforce

Because employers have a renewed focus on upskilling and reskilling, steps must be taken need to ensure alignment between training programs and the evolving needs of industries. This is a critical opportunity for CTE to be a leader and to meaningfully partner with industry.

Later on, during the fireside chat, Dr. Alonso elevated that the delivery of CTE programs might need to evolve to meet these trends and demands, not just in terms of content but also in how it’s delivered. Kate noted the shifting perspective on digital apprenticeships and virtual work-based learning– what was once seen as a compromise for accessibility is now being reconsidered as a viable content delivery option, especially as more jobs transition to partial or fully virtual settings. 

Realizing the Full Potential of AI

AI has changed and reshaped the way that work is happening. Because it’s evolving right before our eyes, the challenge for employers and educators is to keep pace, all the while ensuring responsible integration into the workforce, particularly given the high potential for its misuse. 

These challenges all point to one major takeaway, in Dr. Alonso’s words: 

The 5th Industrial Age is here, where all facets of work, the workers, and the workplace are re-imaginable.

 

Embracing Change through AI

A significant portion of the fireside chat focused on the specific challenge of realizing the full potential of AI, and the broader theme of embracing change. 

It’s a common worry: the idea that AI could eliminate job opportunities. Kate raised a crucial point: How do we leverage AI to create more opportunities rather than take opportunities away?

Dr. Alonso highlighted that while many job roles may diminish due to technological advancements, even more new jobs will emerge in the economy in the coming years. His argument: AI complements human intelligence rather than replacing it. AI should be viewed as a tool to aid in the creation of these new roles in tandem with human intelligence— “AI plus HI

This dynamic shift isn’t about a loss of jobs, instead, it’s an evolution of industries and professions. Dr. Alonso also noted the attitude toward AI is changing as well; there’s a noticeable transition from apprehension to curiosity. People are increasingly inclined to engage in dialogues about AI, recognizing its potential to enhance both their industry and personal lives.

As we embrace these challenges and opportunities, CTE has a unique opportunity and advantage to equipping the future workforce. Explore further insights on SHRM’s research in their 2023-24 State of the Workplace Report.


Preparations are underway for Advance CTE’s 2024 Fall Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, October 21-23! Visit the event page to save the date and learn more.

Layla Alagic, digital communications associate

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog – Diamond Sponsor YouScience | YouScience leads the way in aptitude-enabled education

Friday, April 19th, 2024

The views, opinions, services and products shared in this post are solely for educational purposes and do not imply agreement or endorsement by Advance CTE, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned.

In the constantly evolving education landscape, YouScience® is revolutionizing how students discover their best-fit postsecondary education and career pathways with YouScience® Brightpath and aptitude-enabled education.

Brightpath is the only aptitude-based guidance platform that leverages data and artificial intelligence to help individuals identify their aptitudes, validate their skills, and get matched with educational and career pathways.

Brightpath is used in all 50 states and is offered as a state-wide contract in several. Here are five reasons educators and state CTE leaders should evaluate Brightpath:

Aptitudes: The key to unlocking potential

Aptitudes are an individual’s natural ability to learn or perform skills regardless of environment. Knowing aptitudes is one of the most powerful accelerators to help empower individuals to leverage their natural gifts and find success. They expand a student’s understanding of what’s possible beyond what they know and have been exposed to. By understanding their aptitudes, students gain invaluable insight into the paths that align with their interests and abilities.

How does Brightpath work? Students engage with a series of timed brain game exercises that are designed to reveal their aptitudes and interests while also identifying careers and educational opportunities that align with both.

Why interest-only career guidance falls short

Interests are self-reported activities someone wants to know or learn about. While interests are important, for career guidance they are limiting and have proven to reinforce biases and stereotypes because having an interest in a particular career relies heavily on a student’s direct exposure to that particular career field.

Collaborative planning: Empowering students for success

Empowering students goes beyond individual assessments; it involves collaborative planning among families, educators, and counselors. Together, they guide students in applying their aptitude knowledge to course planning, participation in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, and obtaining industry-recognized certifications. With this support system in place, students can confidently navigate the workforce transition or pursue postsecondary education tailored to their aptitudes and interests.

Interdisciplinary education: Creating personalized pathways

Interdisciplinary education takes aptitude-enabled learning to new heights by fostering collaboration among schools and districts. By viewing education through the lens of relevant Career Clusters, educators can create personalized pathways and integrated programs. This holistic approach not only enhances students’ academic experiences but also prepares them for the demands of the modern workforce.

YouScience: Leading the charge

The comprehensive Brightpath platform empowers students to discover their aptitudes and interests and provides them with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their future. By integrating collaborative planning and interdisciplinary education, YouScience ensures that students are well-prepared to embark on their chosen pathways with confidence through aptitude-enabled education.

To learn more about Brightpath, visit  www.youscience.com/brightpath.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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Legislative Update: Consensus on FY24 Remains Elusive as Artificial Intelligence Comes into Focus

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

This week, Congress has continued to make modest progress on appropriations legislation for the federal government while lawmakers and President Biden have begun to consider how to manage the coming use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. 

Congress No Closer to Agreement on Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Education Spending

With new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) in place and another possible government shutdown only two weeks away, a new sense of urgency has swept Capitol Hill as lawmakers worked to pass several appropriations measures in both chambers this week. In the House, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill — legislation that provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other important Career Technical Education (CTE) related investments—has been moved directly to the House floor for consideration and a vote is scheduled sometime the week of November 13. As a reminder, if enacted, this proposal would reduce funding for Title I of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) by 80 percent and would substantially cut funding or entirely eliminate many other education and workforce development programs like the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

The Senate has not yet scheduled further consideration of its own version of this legislation which most recently advanced out of the Appropriations Committee and is awaiting consideration by the upper chamber. Unlike the House version of this legislation, which would freeze current funding for Perkins V’s basic state grant program, the Senate’s proposal would provide a much-needed $43 million increase in support for the primary federal investment in CTE. 

Under the new leadership of Speaker Johnson, the House has continued to pass other spending proposals that would drastically cut federal funding for a variety of programs, falling well below the topline spending targets outlined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) — a bipartisan agreement that was passed by Congress earlier this year which avoided a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt obligations. At the same time, the Senate has continued to advance spending proposals that conform to the FRA agreement. With both chambers proposing wildly different visions for FY24 funding, it remains unclear how lawmakers will move forward by the middle of this month. Unless agreement can be reached by the beginning of 2024, an across-the-board sequester cut to all federal programs, mandated by the FRA, will come into effect. As these efforts continue to unfold, Advance CTE is continuing to work with partners on Capitol Hill to ensure the funding needs of the wider CTE education community are met as part of this process. 

Biden Administration Unveils Artificial Intelligence Executive Order

On Monday, October 30, President Biden issued a wide-ranging Executive Order regarding the “Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” (AI). The measure has several components of note for the CTE community including how to support workers displaced by AI, strategies for attracting and retaining AI talent and directing federal agencies to explore how to strengthen or expand pathways programs leading into AI or adjacent occupational fields. The Executive Order also directs the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to develop resources, policies, and guidance on AI in education within one year and similarly directs the Departments of Labor, Commerce and others to produce similar recommendations on legislative and regulatory actions that can better support workers and learners navigate a world changed by the implementation of AI and related technologies. Learn more about these efforts in this factsheet.

Senate Examines AI’s Impact on the Workforce

Earlier this week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ Subcommittee on Employment and Workforce Safety held a hearing titled, “AI and the Future of Work: Moving Forward Together.” The hearing featured testimony from witnesses representing the private sector and explored the potential impacts that AI will likely have on work as well as potential strategies to mitigate negative effects. A key theme of the hearing centered on the growing importance of lifelong learning, including the need to reform ways that the federal government supports learners pursuing postsecondary education. To that end, Senator Kaine (D-VA) highlighted the importance of Congress passing the JOBS Act – legislation that would expand Pell Grant eligibility for high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs. 

ED Distributes New Funding for Educator Diversity and Compensation Efforts

Late last week, the U.S. ED announced that it was awarding $115 million in new funding via the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program — an initiative authorized by ESSA. These funds will support nearly 30 projects that aim to address teacher shortages while also increasing instructional staff diversity. This investment “… will help states and school districts recruit and retain new talent, increase compensation, and address educator shortages that we know disproportionately impact students from our communities of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities and English learners,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, in part, as part of the announcement

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Senate Returns from August Recess to Busy Fall Agenda

Friday, September 8th, 2023

The Senate returned to Capitol Hill this past Tuesday following its annual August recess while lawmakers in the House are expected to return next week. Elsewhere, policymakers have started to collect ideas regarding how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact education and workforce development, while the U.S. Secretary of Education launches a back-to-school bus tour, announces educator diversity efforts and issues new guidance related to teaching and learning in schools. 

Senate Reconvenes for New Work Period

The Senate reconvened this week following its annual August recess. Lawmakers in the House are due back to Capitol Hill next week. On their return to Washington, D.C., the Senate has focused primarily on addressing Congress’s failure to complete work on the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) budget before the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Just before August recess, the Senate appropriations committee successfully advanced all 12 of the individual appropriations bills that compose the federal budget on a bipartisan basis but these proposals have yet to be approved by the full chamber and reconciled with forthcoming proposals in the House. 

Lawmakers in the House, meanwhile, have been unable to similarly advance their own spending proposals, including legislation providing funding for Career Technical Education (CTE) via the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*). More importantly, the House and Senate’s proposed funding levels for FY24 differ substantially, with lawmakers in the lower chamber proposing significant cuts to federal spending which do not conform to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA)—a legislative agreement reached earlier this year that prevented a default on the nation’s debt obligations.

Stopgap legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), will likely be needed to avert a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins later this month. Federal lawmakers are continuing to negotiate a path forward. Conservative lawmakers in the House recently issued a series of policy and spending demands in exchange for their support for any CR, including prioritizing spending levels that fall well below those required by the FRA. House Republicans, led by Speaker McCarthy (R-CA), have further indicated that they want a shorter-term CR rather than one lasting through the end of the year while the Senate and the Biden Administration want a temporary funding extension lasting until the holiday season to provide more time to negotiate a full-year appropriations package.

Given the significant differences between the House and Senate FY24 spending proposals and the positions currently taken by the House, Senate, and the White House, negotiations are expected to be extremely contentious in the coming weeks and months ahead. As these talks move forward, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for critical funding streams important to the CTE community. Be sure to let your Senators and Representatives know how important CTE funding is by clicking here

Ranking Member Cassidy Issues Request for Information on AI

On September 6, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Cassidy (R-LA) published a new white paper on artificial intelligence and the potential implications for policy areas falling under the HELP Committee’s jurisdiction. AI is still an emerging topic for Congress with two hearings scheduled next week in the Senate within the Judiciary and Commerce Committees.

Ranking Member Cassidy has requested feedback from the public and stakeholders regarding several issues likely to arise in the coming years as AI is further deployed and leveraged in different facets of daily life, including in education and workforce development. Specifically, the Ranking Member seeks feedback on whether and how AI can be used in educational settings, how education leaders promote a better understanding of AI, both among students and their peers, and how these technologies can be used to improve student learning while not diminishing learners’ critical thinking skills. Notably, the white paper includes several questions related to whether and how CTE systems and programs can leverage AI and provide learners more opportunities to pursue pathways in related fields. 

ED Launches Back to School Bus Tour

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has been on a “Back to School Bus Tour 2023: Raise the Bar”—a week-long multi-state trip across the nation to highlight the work schools, districts, institutions, and states are doing to support students as they collectively return to classrooms over the next few weeks. The tour includes stops in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota and features priorities and initiatives that the agency has been promoting throughout the Biden Administration, including its “Career Connected High School” efforts which are intended to promote key pillars of high-quality CTE. More information about the tour can be accessed here. In addition, the Department also recently published a factsheet highlighting the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to support learners as they return to school this fall. 

ED Announces Educator Diversity Efforts

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced that it will host two convenings in late October to find, promote and encourage wider educator diversity efforts. The first of these national meetings will be a Conference on Equity in Opportunity and will be held in Denver October 26-27. The second meeting, the Teach to Lead Summit, will take place in Denver on October 27. The announcement also highlighted recent ED efforts to prioritize teacher diversity including through investments in teacher quality partnership grants, August Hawkins Centers of Excellence programs, and the Supporting Effective Educator Development. More information can be found here

Office of Civil Rights Issues New Guidance on Race and School Programming

Late last month, ED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued new guidance regarding how and in what ways schools may include programming aimed at fostering racially inclusive communities. The guidance updates OCR’s legal interpretation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which provides further clarity regarding under what circumstances schools may develop curricula and provide programs that promote racially inclusive school communities. “Today’s resource shares with school communities practical guidance about whether and when federal civil rights laws permit – and in some cases require – schools to take actions related to race, as well as whether and when these same laws may require that schools not act based on race,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon during the release of this guidance. The full letter can be accessed here

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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