Posts Tagged ‘OVAE’

Career Clustersâ„¢ Institute Recap: Perkins Reauthorization Blueprint Discussion of State-Level Implications

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

During this session, officials from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education walked through the Obama Administration’s blueprint for Perkins reauthorization and the proposed reform models that they believe will positively impact the way that states develop, administer, implement, and evaluate local CTE programs. These reforms include things such as mandatory local consortia, within state competition to distribute funds, common definitions for accountability, and state conditions for receipt of funds.

NASDCTEc supports the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation — as is reflected in our recently released Federal Policy Priorities. We would like to see a greater emphasis in the next federal CTE legislation on the strong work that the community is doing around programs of study, a link to labor market needs, greater collaboration between partners, stronger and more effective accountability linkages, and additional funding for innovation.

We do, however, have some concerns about the details in the Blueprint, some of which were voiced by attendees during the question and answer portion of the session. For example, attendees remarked that if the next Perkins includes common measures, it is important that there is a way to track students across states. States also asked for federal support and funding to implement this effectively.

Regarding consortia, we heard about the structure that Minnesota is using for consortia where secondary and postsecondary partners are each fiscal agents, which seems to be working for that state. However, there was a variety of concerns about consortia, including the fear that those with the most resources would have better applications than those with fewer resources. Others pointed out that consortia with fewer resources also cannot afford technology to link partners across the state. There was also concern that the move to consortia will limit students to regional opportunities, rather than statewide programs.

In regards to the focus on in-demand industries, some attendees asked the Department for more assistance to better serve areas in their state where there are no job opportunities in in-demand industries, and to help bridge the disconnect between high poverty areas and in-demand local industries.   Others were concerned that the focus on in-demand and high growth industries will exclude some states’ core industries.

Funding was another area that attendees were worried about. There was fear that the shift to competitive funding will create winners and losers among local programs. Some also pointed out that local teachers and administrators do not have time to work on applications for competitive grants because they are busy serving students. Competitive funding was seen as appropriate for an innovation fund, but not the Basic State Grant. Attendees also stated that taking 10 percent out of the Basic State Grant for an innovation fund means that fewer CTE programs will be funded.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Appropriations

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Perkins Level Funded in Senate Spending Bill

This week the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education marked up their FY13 appropriation bill, which allocated approximately $158 billion to be divided up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. We are happy to report that Perkins was level funded. Given threats to non-defense discretionary programs from sequestration and other budget proposals, we think that level funding is a victory. Thank you to all of you who made outreach to your Senators! Hearing from constituents really can make a difference.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Labor-HHS-Education bill yesterday by a party-line vote of 16-14. The bill proposes to change the name of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. In order for this to happen the House would also have to propose such a change in their bill or agree to the change in conference.

During the mark up the full Committee approved an amendment to restore Pell grant eligibility for Ability to Benefit (ATB) students participating in career pathway programs. Pell eligibility for ATB students was eliminated in the FY12 appropriations bill.

Contact Your Representative Today to Maintain Perkins Act Funding!

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (MT) previously stated that his subcommittee would not mark up their appropriations bill until after the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act. We are now hearing that he plans to mark up their bill on June 20th.

If your Representative is a member of the Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, we urge you contact them today and ask that they maintain Perkins Act funding. Because the House’s allocation for education and labor programs is lower than that of the Senate, it is even more important that House members hear from constituents about the importance of Perkins and CTE in helping to prepare students for jobs that remain unfilled, and in turning around the economy. There is a greater possibility that Perkins could be cut in this  House bill.

House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee members:

Call Your Member of Congress TODAY!

If you have any questions or to update NASDCTEc on your contact with Congress, please call Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager, at 301-588-9630 or email her at [email protected]

By admin in Legislation
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Grant Competition Focused on Advanced Manufacturing Now Open

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Last week the Obama administration announced a new $26 million grant competition – the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – designed to support advanced manufacturing and stimulate economic growth. Proposals should show how applicants “will help grow a region’s industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets, enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs, develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce, increase exports, encourage the development of small businesses and accelerate technological innovation.”

The initiative is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation. It will also be supported by eight other federal agencies, including the Department of Education. According to OVAE, one goal of the competition is to engage education and training providers, such as community colleges, to ensure that individuals are prepared for new jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Twelve projects are expected to be awarded the competitive grants. The deadline to submit applications for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is July 9th. Guidelines for submissions are available at

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By admin in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Election 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Tentative Date Set for Senate Appropriations Markup

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has tentatively scheduled markup of their FY13 appropriations bill for June 12th.  As we previously reported, the Labor-HHS-Education bill sets a 302(b) funding level of $157.7 billion.

House Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Rehberg (MT) previously stated that he does not intend to mark up their bill until after the Supreme Court rules on the status of the Affordable Care Act, which is expected to happen in late June.

Romney Provides Insight into Education Policy

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Governor Mitt Romney (MA) focused on education this week. On Tuesday he released the names of his team of education policy advisors. You will recognize many of the names from the Bush Administration, including former Secretary of Education Rod Paige, former OVAE Assistant Secretary Carol D’Amico, and former ETA Assistant Secretary Emily DeRocco. A complete list can be found here.

On Wednesday Governor Romney gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, setting forth his education policies. The overarching theme of the speech centered on increased parental choice, especially for low-income and special need students, as a way to expand opportunities for students. While he did not mention CTE specifically, he did state, “…[S]ince we live in a twenty-first century economy that increasingly demands a college education, efforts at improvement can’t stop at high school’s end. Students must have access to a wide variety of options that will give them the skills they need for successful careers.”

In a white paper released on Wednesday, A Chance For Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education, Governor Romney laid out more details of this proposed education policies:

K-12 Education

Higher Education

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Public Policy
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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 admin in Legislation, Public Policy
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Robin Utz Joins OVAE’s DATE Team

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

NASDCTEc is pleased to announce that Robin A. Utz recently joined the Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s (OVAE) Division of Academic and Technical Education (DATE) team as Branch Chief for the College and Career Transitions branch. That branch administers national discretionary programs and initiatives that support program development and innovation in CTE. These programs and initiatives are geared toward increasing student achievement, closing the achievement gap, and preparing all high school students for transitions to postsecondary education and careers.
Robin Utz

Prior to joining OVAE, Robin served as assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessment Services Team at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Her responsibilities included providing leadership for K-12 schools to develop and implement a system of quality Career and Technical Education. She worked to develop and implement policy initiatives that reflect a progressive agenda to ensure all students will achieve challenging academic and technical standards to be prepared for college and careers. Her recent role includes working collaboratively with other CTE state directors and leaders on important initiatives, such as assessments and rigorous programs of study.

Robin’s professional career includes roles as a family and consumer sciences teacher, FCCLA advisor, and KSDE education program consultant for CTE programs. She was the 2011 recipient of the Champions of Digital Literacy Award sponsored by Certiport. Nominated by colleagues, peers, and students, Utz is a past recipient of several professional association awards. She has served on numerous committees and held elected offices in professional associations at state and national levels, including ACTE, AAFCS, and NASAFACS. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned at Kansas State University.

In Robin’s new role at OVAE, she is particularly excited about the opportunity of continued relations with CTE state directors and colleagues across the nation. You can reach her at [email protected] and 202-245-7767.

Robin, who has been active as a NASDCTEc Associate Member, is now able to make an impact at the Federal level and will continue to advance CTE’s value and relevancy.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By admin in News

OVAE Seeks Input on a Research Center for CTE

Friday, October 7th, 2011

OVAE is planning a competition for a national research center to carry out scientifically based research and evaluation, and to conduct dissemination and training activities consistent with Section 114(d)(4) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. It seeks input on research topics and on types of dissemination activities and technical assistance to states to address the education, employment, and training needs of students in career and technical education programs. Please submit your comments to [email protected] or at the Department of Education’s blog at by Oct. 21, 2011.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Research
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OVAE Hosts CTE Community Conversation with National Organizations

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

On Friday Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier hosted the latest CTE Community Conversation, hearing from representatives from national organizations about key issues related to CTE in preparation for Perkins reauthorization. This convening was designed to gather national association views on effective approaches for, and challenges facing, CTE. Each organization was given three minutes to make formal remarks, with Kim Green presenting for NASDCTEc.

Some of the areas addressed by presenters included accountability and data collection, secondary to postsecondary linkages, college and career readiness definitions, using research to guide policy, career pathways, career guidance, non-traditional occupations, and regional sector strategies.

After formal remarks, participants broke into small groups to answer the following questions:

• How can states and education institutions better prepare students for college and careers?

• What actions need to be taken to further support the availability and effectiveness of career pathways for students?

• What kinds of partnerships best support career pathways and how can effective relationships be brought to scale?

• What information (data) should be used to better track and improve student outcomes, particularly those related to college and career readiness?

Notes from this session will be available soon on the Department of Education’s blog here. You can also submit comments on any of the above questions to [email protected].

By admin in Legislation
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OVAE Continues “Community Conversations” on CTE

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

During NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting in October 2010, OVAE kicked off their “Community Conversation” listening sessions on CTE and Perkins. Since that first listening session, OVAE has hosted six other sessions throughout the country, getting feedback from stakeholders on the following questions:

The next two sessions are scheduled to take place in Pennsylvania and Missouri. More information and notes from each session can be found here. You may also provide comments via e-mail at [email protected].

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Upcoming Regional Summits Focus on Increasing Community College Grad Rate

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Beginning this month, selected participants from community colleges, philanthropic organizations, state and local government, and businesses will come together to address one goal: identifying best institutional practices to increase America’s college graduation rate.

The Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is sponsoring four one-day regional community college summits in an effort to continue strategic conversations started at the first White House Summit on Community Colleges in October. Attendees will discuss the role of community colleges in meeting President Obama’s goal for America – to have the highest proportion of college graduates worldwide by 2020.

Each regional summit will focus on one of the following areas: Serving military personnel, their families and veterans; Supporting the transition of low-skilled adults into community college; Rethinking developmental education, or Creating sustainable business partnerships. Additionally, attendees will take part in panel discussions and breakout sessions on relevant topics (e.g., “Secondary to Postsecondary and Two-to-Four-Year Transfer” or “Industry Partnerships”), and hear remarks from the State’s Governor, the City’s Mayor, and the President of the hosting community college. The regional summits will take place as follows:

February 28: Community College of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

March 9: Lone Star Community College District (Houston, TX)

March 23: Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN)

April 15: San Diego Community College District (San Diego, CA)

Week of April 25: Community College Virtual Symposium

For more information, or if you would like to be considered for attendance at one of the regional summits, please see OVAE’s Community College Regional Summits document.

By admin in Meetings and Events, News
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