ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
As the new Administration and 115th Congress continue to organize and begin work for the new year, leaders from both branches of government have spoken out about CTE and Perkins reauthorization in recent days.
On February 15, new House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) published an op-ed in Real Clear Education about the Committee’s agenda for the year. While most of the piece focused on rolling back regulations, she did include CTE as a priority:
One of the first steps will be strengthening career and technical education (CTE). CTE has helped a lot of students gain the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the workforce. Recently, we came close to achieving reforms that would provide states more flexibility, reduce administrative burdens, improve accountability and better ensure students are prepared for in-demand jobs. It is my hope we will finish this important work in the coming months.
In addition, on February 16, new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke before the American Association of Community Colleges and Association of Community College Trustees National Legislative Summit. In her speech, she spoke highly of community and technical colleges and their partnerships with business and industry, and made some specific comments about CTE:
The President’s 100-day action plan is his contract with the American voter. This plan notes the importance of expanding vocational and technical education – the types of career and technical education that community colleges excel at providing – and making two- and four-year college degrees more affordable. He has called multiple paths for postsecondary education “an absolute priority” for his Administration, and I share that vision.
Unfortunately, there are also already reports about potential budget cuts and program elimination at the Department of Education as well, so it will be critical for advocates to speak out in support of critical federal funding to support CTE.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 02/20/2017 at 12:08 PM in Executive Branch, Perkins | Permalink
On Friday, the last day before Congress left town for a brief recess, the Senate passed a resolution “supporting the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month.” The resolution was championed by the four co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). The Senate has now passed resolutions honoring CTE Month every year since the Senate CTE Caucus was founded.
The resolution, available here, touches on American workforce demands, CTE career opportunities, the benefits of CTE and the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Hughes Act. By passing the resolution, the Senate not only recognizes the important role CTE plays in “preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce in the United States,” but it also “encourages educators, counselors, and administrators to promote [CTE] as an option for students.”
In total, 31 senators co-sponsored the resolution, 10 more than last year. The resolution was introduced by Sen. Kaine, and in addition to Senators Portman, Baldwin and Young, the following senators also co-sponsored the resolution:
The growing number of co-sponsors, which has increased each of the past three years, signifies the growing awareness around CTE’s benefits on Capitol Hill. ACTE worked closely with Sen. Kaine and his staff to craft the resolution, and we thank all of our members who called their senators asking them to sign on as co-sponsors.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 02/17/2017 at 03:32 PM in Advocacy Resources, CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
CTE Month, Senate CTE Caucus
This week, Labor Secretary Nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration, topping a chaotic first month for the Trump Administration. Puzder, the CEO of fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had been a controversial pick to head the Department of Labor since he was tapped by the president last December. His confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which was scheduled to take place just hours after he announced his withdrawal, had been postponed multiple times because the complexity of his personal finances made it difficult for government ethics officials to identify possible conflicts of interest. Concerns about his past opposition to increasing the federal minimum wage and expand worker protections through regulations, as well as allegations of domestic abuse and the recent revelation that a former member of his household staff was not legally allowed to work in the country, ultimately cost him the support of both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. Puzder’s departure comes just a week after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was narrowly confirmed by the Senate, marking the first time in history that the vice president has had to cast a tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nominee.
The White House announced on Thursday that Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University's law program and a former National Labor Relations Board member, will take Puzder’s place as nominee for secretary. The Department of Labor is responsible for overseeing many federal employment and training initiatives, including most programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Registered Apprenticeship system and Job Corps among others.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/17/2017 at 01:54 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
On February 14, the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus hosted a briefing that provided an overview of the past, present and future of CTE. The briefing also served to highlight February as CTE Month and the 100-year anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the first federal investment in secondary CTE.
More than 60 guests, in addition to those who tuned in to the live-stream, attended the briefing, which began with a brief presentation on the evolution of CTE. Following the presentation, a panel discussed the ways in which CTE prepares students for career success, what the future of CTE looks like and how federal policy can support CTE, among other things. ACTE deputy executive director Stephen DeWitt moderated the panel, which included:
The briefing was live-streamed, and archived footage of the briefing can be viewed below or at this link. The video begins at minute 19:02. Please excuse the minor sound quality issue towards the beginning which was quickly corrected.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 02/15/2017 at 03:46 PM in CTE Caucus | Permalink
Senate CTE Caucus
Recently, the House of Representatives voted to overturn several of the Obama Administration’s regulations on education. The first rule addresses state accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The regulation was finalized by the Department of Education under President Obama in November, but enforcement of the rule was suspended when the new Administration took over in January. It was intended to clarify use of multiple measures, including new indicators of school quality and student success, in state accountability systems, as well as the design and delivery of state and district annual report cards.
The move has raised uncertainties about how states should proceed in completing and submitting their ESSA plans. The new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was narrowly confirmed to lead the department last week, attempted to assuage concerns in a recent letter to state school chiefs. She pledged to keep the Obama Administration’s state plan submission deadlines (either April 3 or September 18, 2017), though she indicated that the department will create a revised plan template that includes only the information that is “absolutely necessary” for states to submit. This could prove problematic for states that have largely finished their plans, as the new template will not be available until mid-March.
The House also moved to block a rule affecting teacher preparation programs that was finalized in October. It requires states to report on the quality of both traditional teacher preparation as well as alternative routes to teaching programs, and to link program quality to eligibility for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grants. Both measures are part of a larger effort by the White House and congressional Republicans to roll back many of the regulations implemented by the previous Administration.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/13/2017 at 02:56 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch, HEA | Permalink
Next week, the U.S. Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus will host a briefing titled, “CTE: Past, Present and Future.” The briefing coincides with CTE Month® and marks 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Hughes Act into law in 1917. The Smith-Hughes Act was the first major federal investment in secondary CTE.
The briefing will begin with a short recap of the history of federal involvement in CTE, followed by a panel that will discuss how CTE has evolved over the past century, the ways in which it is preparing America’s future workforce and what the future of CTE looks like. Panelists will also discuss how federal policy can further support CTE.
The panel will be moderated by ACTE Deputy Executive Director Stephen DeWitt, and panelists include:
The briefing will take place on Tuesday, February 14 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the HELP Committee room, located in room 430 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The briefing will also be live-streamed. To attend in-person, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs are not required to watch the livestream.
Live Stream Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nSGI3xZm7o
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 02/07/2017 at 03:57 PM in CTE Caucus | Permalink
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education. All Democrats, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), opposed the nomination, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. This was the first time in history a cabinet nomination was decided by the Vice President.
As we previously outlined when her nomination was announced, Secretary DeVos’ background is centered on her pro-charter school advocacy. Her lack of experience in public schools led to a contentious confirmation hearing, where her nomination advanced on a party-line vote, and to opposition to her nomination on the floor. During the hearing, she outlined her support for “all postsecondary avenues, including trade and vocational schools, and community colleges.”
In response to a written question submitted after the hearing, Sec. DeVos affirmed her support for Perkins reauthorization, calling it an “important priority.” She also talked about providing flexibility at the state and local levels, aligning various federal laws and supporting data transparency.
ACTE will engage with Secretary DeVos to share our priorities for Perkins reauthorization and CTE more broadly, and will continue working all policymakers in Congress and the executive branch to represent and advocate for the interests of the CTE community.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 02/07/2017 at 02:26 PM in Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
Betsy DeVos, ED
On Tuesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted along party lines (12-11) to advance the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as the next secretary of education. DeVos, a wealthy heiress and charter school advocate with no prior experience as an educator, was nominated by the president to lead the department in November.
During her confirmation hearing on January 17, she made positive statements about CTE—offering few specific policy positions. In written comments provided to the HELP committee after the hearing, she pledged to work with the committee on Perkins reauthorization and called for “flexibility at the state and local levels.” However, she has not commented on the Administration’s plans for funding Perkins in future budget requests, nor has she committed to keeping CTE funds out of an expected proposal from the Administration to repurpose federal education dollars for school choice. Also unknown, her plans for the department’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and whether she would seek to downsize or eliminate the office and its role in providing technical assistance to states and supporting CTE research. ACTE has worked with the committee and its members to seek clarity from Mrs. DeVos on these and other CTE issues, and we will make those answers available if/when they are provided to us.
DeVos’ nomination will now be voted on by the full Senate, but getting the chamber’s approval is not a foregone conclusion. Democrats, as well as several Senate Republicans, have raised concerns about her commitment to public education. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus and HELP committee members, are among those opposing the nomination. For more updates on the new Administration, follow us on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/01/2017 at 03:30 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
At a briefing on infrastructure and CTE hosted last week by the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced Senator Todd Young (R-IN) would join the caucus as a co-chair. In addition to Sen. Young and Sen. Portman, the caucus is also led by co-chairs Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
Senator Young graduated from a public high school in Indiana and from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He trained as a rifle platoon commander, served as an intelligence officer and later managed recruiting for the Marine Corps in the Chicago area. While in Chicago, Sen. Young earned an MBA. His career later took him to London for further studies followed by a stint in Washington, DC to work at a conservative think tank and as a congressional staffer. He later returned to Indiana and earned a J.D., working at a small law firm until he was elected to Congress in 2009.
In the House of Representatives, Sen. Young voted on a number of important education bills, and he supported the Every Student Succeeds Act. He also introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) to provide more affordable student loan options. In 2016, Sen. Young won election to the United States Senate, and was sworn in at the beginning of this year. He serves on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the committee of jurisdiction for the vast majority of CTE-related legislation. He also serves on the Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committees.
ACTE thanks Sen. Young for demonstrating his commitment to CTE so early in his Senate career by agreeing to join the caucus as a co-chair. We look forward to working with him in the years ahead.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 01/30/2017 at 03:00 PM in CTE Caucus | Permalink
CTE Caucus, Todd Young
Through work-based learning, students can gain a variety of skills that positively impact their education in the classroom and set them on a path to their futures. For instance, research points to higher postsecondary GPAs earned by students who participated in work-based experiences in high school. Data has also demonstrated better employment outcomes for students who participate in workplace learning
There are a variety of work-based learning experiences that students can participate in, ranging from tours and job shadowing to internships and apprenticeships. And luckily, these experiences are not as difficult to develop and manage as some employers think, according to a brief from the Pathways to Prosperity Network. In addition, states are coming up with innovative ways to measure the effectiveness of work-based learning, as described in this report from Advance CTE.
When sharing the above information with business leaders, the media and policymakers, highlight how work-based learning has helped students and employers in your area.
You can find more research and data about CTE with ACTE Fact Sheets.
Continue reading "Data Driven: Work-based Learning Benefits" »
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/30/2017 at 01:41 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
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