ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« March 2012 |
| May 2012 »
Since last fall, ACTE has been working with a number of agriculture education groups to oppose the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed revisions to the child labor regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) related to agriculture occupations and work experiences. Throughout the proposed regulations, many of the student learner exemptions were eliminated, which would have severely limited or eliminated opportunities for students to participate in the experiential learning aspects of school agriculture programs.
Due in large part to the work of the agricultural community, the Department of Labor announced on April 26 that it was withdrawing the proposed regulations. “The Obama administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations.”
The announcement goes on to announce a partnership with ag groups to increase safety for students and other children involved in agriculture activities. "Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders—such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H—to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices."
This is a great example of how grassroots advocacy can have an impact at the federal level, and a great victory for agriculture education experiences!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/27/2012 at 09:36 AM | Permalink
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released a bundle of resources to aid state, local and tribal entities in developing career pathway systems, as part of the ETA’s Career Pathways Initiative.
The resources can be found at the Career Pathways Communities of Practice and include the following:
ETA’s Career Pathways Initiative, which began in June 2010, has provided best practices and opportunities for training and peer-to-peer learning to 11 grantees to create well-articulated and sustainable career pathways systems. In addition, the initiative is making resources such as those listed above available to the broader workforce investment system. A major focus of the initiative is cross-agency partnerships and active industry involvement.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 04/27/2012 at 09:35 AM in Data and Research, Executive Branch | Permalink
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the Common Core assessment consortia, provides a number of ways that K-12 educators can get involved in the development of PARCC assessments.This summer 2012, PARCC will be launching an item review committee which is planning to engage with many educators at the state and local levels.
PARCC will also be working with state-specific educator leader cadres this summer with the intent to deeply engage with teams of district and school level educators within each of the 24 PARCC states around the tools and supports being developed through PARCC. While states will organize a range of activities for their K-12 communities, each year, PARCC will bring together 24-member teams of K-16 educators from across PARCC states. The meetings will provide an opportunity for educators to build expertise in the Common Core State Standards and PARCC by engaging in deep analysis of the standards and aligned material such as the PARCC Model Content Frameworks and item prototypes.
If you are a CTE educator interested in getting engaged with either of these activities, you should reach out to your state leadership team member. PARCC states and state team leads are listed on the PARCC Web site on individual state pages.Another way to notify PARCC of your interest in involvement is to fill out PARCC’s K-12 engagement survey which allows educators to check the activities they are most interested in participating in, such as providing feedback on the soon-to-be refreshed model content frameworks, piloting item prototypes (the first of which will be available this summer), or reviewing professional development modules. ACTE encourages you to actively participate in these and other activities initiated by PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). CTE educator participation will ensure CTE is included as Common Core assessments are developed.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 04/24/2012 at 09:39 AM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a measure that caps federal discretionary spending at $1.028 trillion for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. It also determined how that amount would be divided among the 12 appropriations bills. The individual FY 2013 spending level, known as a 302(b) allocation, for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education is $150 billion in the House. From this amount, the appropriators will divide up funding for individual programs like Perkins. The $150 billion level is a 4 percent reduction from the current FY 2012 level and is $7.72 billion less than the Senate has already allocated for FY 2013. The Senate is using the higher $1.047 trillion overall discretionary spending level set by the Budget Control Act (BCA). The two chambers will ultimately have to find a way to resolve their differences and come to an agreement on a single amount for each appropriations bill. Democrats are accusing the House Republicans of reneging on the deal reached in the BCA. They point to the fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voted in favor of the Senate appropriations package (along with the majority of the Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee) that follows the BCA spending levels. House Republicans argue that the BCA set the spending “ceiling” and that they have the discretion to cut spending further to help reduce the national debt. The White House has already indicated that President Obama will veto any appropriations bills that use the lower spending level. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients wrote to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) to reaffirm the president’s threat. “Until the House of Representatives indicates that it will abide by last summer’s agreement, the president will not be able to sign any appropriations bills,” said Zients. “These funding levels will mean deep and painful cuts in investments America needs to succeed—in education and training, in research and development, and in clean energy and infrastructure.”
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/24/2012 at 09:38 AM in Federal Funding | Permalink
Last week the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education signed an agreement to promote agriculture education postsecondary and career pathways. Under this agreement, the Departments will work together to identify and use career pathways and programs of study that prepare students for employment in the agriculture, food and national resources cluster, including as teachers of agriculture education. They will also collaborate in identifying industry-validated standards, assessments, accreditations, certifications and best practices. As part of this pact, the departments will exchange resources and jointly organize Webinars and conferences.
"Agricultural education is central to the future of American prosperity,” Secretary Duncan said in the official press release. “Many Americans may not realize that agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs across the nation. For the U.S. economy to continue to rebound and grow, agriculture has to help lead the way.”
It sounds like a win. Agriculture educators, what do you think?
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 04/23/2012 at 09:40 AM in Executive Branch | Permalink
In early April, representatives of the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) signed a “Dear Colleague” letter highlighting their joint commitment “to promote the use of career pathways approaches as a promising strategy to help adults acquire marketable skills and industry-recognized credentials through better alignment of education, training and employment, and human and social services among public agencies and with employers.”
The letter, distributed to stakeholders of each department, encourages states to align resources “to support integrated service delivery across Federal and state funding streams and to ensure that interested partners and agencies—whether focused on education, workforce development or human and social services—are aware of this joint commitment for improved collaboration and coordination across programs and funding sources.”
It also recognizes that there are varying definitions of career pathways in use, and generally uses the term to apply to “a series of connected education and training strategies and support services that enables individuals to secure industry-relevant certification and obtain employment within an occupational area, as well as to advance to higher levels of future education and employment within that area.” The following essential components are emphasized:
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/20/2012 at 09:41 AM in Executive Branch | Permalink
Earlier today, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium released the following statement in response to the Administration's Perkins reauthorization proposal:
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION LEADERS RESPOND TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PERKINS BLUEPRINT
ALEXANDRIA, VA—On April 19, 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, outlining the Obama Administration’s proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) appreciate the Department’s focus on Perkins, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), at a time when many industries face a shortage of well qualified skilled workers. However, some of the details in the Blueprint raise serious concerns.
While we support the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation—we worry that the details in the Blueprint could have an adverse affect on CTE programs and result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. As the reauthorization process moves forward, CTE stakeholders across the country are looking forward to providing input to develop a new law that will best meet the needs of CTE students and our nation’s economy.
We believe that a new CTE law should provide sufficient resources to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE, beginning early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and building pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary education, postsecondary education, and the labor market. To achieve this goal, we believe it is critical that the new law focus on improving program quality by building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways.
Recent data prove that CTE is making the difference in the lives of students, in communities and for businesses all across our nation. We are eager to work with the Department of Education, the Obama Administration and Congress to develop federal policy and legislation that builds on strengths, expands opportunities and access for more students to be successful in college and careers, and helps keep our nation’s economy strong and prosperous.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/19/2012 at 09:43 AM in Perkins | Permalink
On April 19, at an event at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier released the Administration’s Blueprint for Perkins reauthorization. The Blueprint is titled “Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education.” A summary of the document and a press release can also be found on the Department’s Web site.
The Blueprint includes four key principles:
ACTE agrees with these principles and wants to strengthen the quality of the entire CTE system, but has serious concerns about the details of the proposal and the specific changes proposed by the Department. Some of these concerns relate to competitive funding, mandatory consortia, mechanisms that will redirect state funding to federal innovation grants, private sector matching requirements, and only funding specific program areas identified as high-growth by states. You can read ACTE’s statement on the proposal here and view our Perkins reauthorization principles here. We will be preparing more in depth analysis over the next few days.
Perkins is not scheduled for reauthorization until 2013, and even that date is likely to be substantially delayed due to the congressional schedule. It is important to remember that this is only a proposal, and is just one step on the long road ahead of us toward reauthorization!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/19/2012 at 09:42 AM in Perkins | Permalink
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is releasing today six guiding principles that it believes should shape the future of the federal investment in career and technical education (CTE) through the reauthorization Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act).
While the Perkins Act is not scheduled for reauthorization until 2013, these guiding principles are designed to inform initial policy discussions related to the reauthorization and help shape the foundation of future Perkins efforts. They represent key principles that ACTE believes must be considered as any new legislation is developed. The full Perkins guiding principles document can be found on the ACTE Web site. The principles include:
Cutting across all of these guiding principles must be a clear goal of building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways, which lead to self-sufficiency and provide opportunities for advancement. At its core, CTE is about preparing a competitive workforce to participate successfully in a global economy—meeting the needs of individuals and employers.
“We hope these principles will spark a positive discussion about how to better support a system of high-quality CTE programs around the country,” said ACTE executive director Jan Bray. “The federal Perkins Act is a critical lever within the CTE system, and its reauthorization can serve a powerful role in ensuring CTE programs can prepare students for the workforce of the future and that business and industry have the skilled employees necessary to drive U.S. economic growth.”
The principles were developed by ACTE’s Perkins Reauthorization Task Force, comprised of CTE practitioners from around the country, and will be followed by a set of more detailed policy recommendations later this year.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/17/2012 at 09:44 AM in Perkins | Permalink
We have reported in the past on the serious and looming threat of sequestration and its potential devastating effects on federal funding for CTE. The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the “Super Committee” of Members of Congress who were tasked with creating a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget in the next 10 years. Their failure to reach an agreement triggered a provision in the law that will institute a 9.1 percent automatic across-the-board cut to all discretionary programs on January 2, 2013. To avoid these cuts, Congress will have to either amend the Budget Control Act or come to an agreement on cuts in specific areas.If sequestration goes into effect in January, federal funding for Basic State Grants would be cut by over $100 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Estimates show that a cut of this size could prevent 1.4 million students from receiving quality CTE programs and may result in a loss of as many as 1,450 jobs. It is also unclear what impact sequestration will have on advance funded programs like Perkins. It could create a similar situation to that of the 1.5 percent cut to advance funded programs in the temporary continuing resolution that was passed by Congress last fall for FY 2012. Though that situation was ultimately resolved, the looming threat of immediate cuts to Perkins (as well as IDEA and Title I of ESEA) in the middle of the 2012-13 school year is a serious concern that we have expressed to the Administration and Congress. ACTE and our partners in the education and workforce training community will continue to fight to prevent these cuts. Please consider signing this petition from the Committee for Education Funding and tell Congress to stop these devastating cuts to education!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/06/2012 at 09:45 AM | Permalink
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner