ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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In conjunction with the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, ACTE held a school visit on May 29 for Senate education staff at Edison Academy, a CTE school in the DC area.
The visit offered staff an opportunity to hear from the school’s teachers and district administrators about how they are implementing high-quality, rigorous CTE programs and the important role the federal Perkins Act plays in supporting their efforts. Senate staff were also able to tour several high-quality CTE programs in the school, including:
In addition to students and school and district officials, the Senate staff was also able to hear from a representative of both the school’s business partners and postsecondary institution partners.
These types of school visits for congressional staff are critical in breaking down the misperceptions of CTE programs and building support on Capitol Hill. Often times, staff members have never seen a CTE program in action and a visit can transform their mindset.
If you are interested in hosting a visit at your program, check out ACTE’s advocacy toolkit for tips and help or send me an email at email@example.com.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 05/30/2014 at 02:32 PM in CTE Caucus | Permalink
A new tool and a new publication examine STEM education and job growth. The U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index measures key factors related to STEM jobs and education, including employment, degrees granted, Advanced Placement tests taken, high school interest in STEM and standardized test scores. Happily, the index shows a recent uptick in the number of STEM postsecondary degrees granted.
In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Quarterly for spring 2014 focuses on STEM 101, defining STEM as well as the education and skills needed and STEM job growth and wages. The article highlights:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/29/2014 at 11:05 AM in Data and Research, STEM | Permalink
The Condition of Education 2014 explores a number of broad trends in education using the latest data available. Of particular interest in this National Center for Education Statistics publication is data on postsecondary enrollment, fields of study and completion:
While the Condition of Education 2014 does not delve into CTE-specific trends, the above statistics fill in the picture on postsecondary enrollment and attainment across the boom-and-bust cycle of the early 21st century.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/29/2014 at 11:04 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
The president hosted the fourth White House Science Fair on May 27, inviting students from around the country to exhibit their projects, designs and experiments. Students were chosen from winners of an array of STEM-related competitions to attend, and a number of them had backgrounds in CTE. For example, Celine Patrick and Ashlee Tarro from Sumner High School FFA chapter in Sumner, Washington, winners of their division of the 2013 National FFA Agriscience Fair, conducted a project focused on solving a plant infestation problem in their high school greenhouse. You can read more about this project on the FFA blog. Other featured projects included topics such as engineering, biotechnology, rocketry, electric vehicle design, solar energy, robotics, computer app design, and more.
At the event, President Obama also announced several new STEM initiatives that might be of interest to CTE stakeholders. From the White House fact sheet, these include:
ACTE will be watching these initiatives and looking for opportunities for CTE connections. More details will be published on the blog as they become available!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 05/28/2014 at 02:59 PM in Executive Branch, STEM | Permalink
Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) sent a letter to President Barack Obama today asking him to create a Presidential Career and Technical Scholars award through executive order.
During President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Administration, thePresidential Scholars program was created to recognize the top 121 high school graduates based on their scholastic achievement, leadership and community involvement. Under the Administration of President Jimmy Carter, the program was expanded to recognize an additional 20 students based on “outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in the visual and performance arts or in creative writing.”
Today’s request acknowledges the academic and technical achievements of CTE students nationwide and asks the president to expand the Presidential Scholars program to recognize the top-performing CTE students. As with the current awards, recipient qualifications and requirements would be determined by the Presidential Scholars Commission.
ACTE has continually worked with Sens. Kaine, Portman and Baldwin to advance CTE support in the U.S. Senate, including through the creation of the Senate CTE Caucus, and we strongly support today’s request.
“We are hopeful that the President will act on this request from our friends in the United States Senate to recognize and cultivate excellence among high school scholars in CTE fields,” ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson said in a statement today. “ACTE worked with these offices in drafting this letter, and we are hopeful that the U.S. Presidential Scholars program will soon recognize the outstanding accomplishments of CTE students who are building a brighter future for themselves as scholars and professionals.”
ACTE encourages President Obama to be a champion of CTE and to recognize the achievements of CTE students by creating this award. You can encourage the President as well by sending him a message on the CTE Action Center.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 05/28/2014 at 02:31 PM in CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
Earning a higher-level credential does not automatically improve earnings potential, as the above statistics from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce make clear.
Employment and earnings success is about more than a student's highest level of education-field of study is key. As the Georgetown researchers have reported, certificates holders in high-wage, high-demand fields such as computer and information science, electronics, and business and office management earn more than many associate and bachelor's degree holders.[ii]
When communicating this message to policymakers, education leaders and the public, back this data up with success stories from your students who have succeeded with less than a bachelor's degree in high-demand fields. In addition, explain how the growth in stackable, portable credentials enables adult students to return to education over their lifetime so they can earn those higher-level credentials and move up the career ladder.
Remember, you don't have to wait for a new entry in our Data Driven blog series to access CTE data and research. The information you need is available at any time with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Valuing Certificates, Presentation, 2009.
[ii] Carnevale, A.P., Rose, S.J., & Hanson, A.R. Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2012.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/28/2014 at 11:06 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a measure that caps federal discretionary funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The $1.014 trillion total is consistent with the overall spending limit agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and the level approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. However, when the Senate appropriators determined how to divide that total among the 12 appropriations bills, the allocation for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, known as a 302(b) allocation, was set at $156.8 billion—$1 billion above the House endorsed level and equivalent to the current level for FY 2014. The Senate 302(b) allocations were passed on a party-line vote of 16-14, with Republican members of the committee opposing the Democrat majority. From this amount, the appropriators will determine funding for individual programs, including Perkins, in the coming months.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 05/23/2014 at 04:18 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
Yesterday I presented to congressional staffers on the importance of measuring and reporting student attainment of non-degree credentials such as industry-recognized certifications, licenses and postsecondary certificates, as part of a briefing hosted by the Workforce Data Quality Campaign. The WDQC has developed a set of legislative recommendations focused on the need for expanded reporting on credentials earned; greater use of administrative data, such as unemployment insurance wage records, to measure employment outcomes; and enhanced data sharing among states and between education and workforce systems. ACTE is happy to be a WDQC partner and to take part in educating Hill staff on this important topic!
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/23/2014 at 11:07 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
On May 22, I presented on a webinar sponsored by the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education focused on employability skills and an Employability Skills Framework resource that the U.S. Department of Education has initiated. Over 300 individuals participated in the call, indicating the interest in the topic. Presenters in addition to ACTE, included several secondary and postsecondary education organizations, Skills USA, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and IBM.
Stressed on the call was that the resources provided on the Employability Skills Framework "Choosing an Assessment" page are not intended to be a rating system or "best choice" option, but rather a diagnostic tool to help state and local education and workforce administrators, policy makers, educators, and employers think through important issues related to selecting an employability skills assessment.
Also communicated was that the Framework is intended to be useful for adult learning in addition to secondary and other postsecondary education. The site's development was partially funded with funds from the Division of Adult Education and Literacy at the U.S. Department of Education.
Many presenters noted the need for improving measurement of employability skills and that partnership will be needed to address the issue. The U.S. Department of Labor highlighted its 22 competency models which are available on the Career One Stop web page.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 05/22/2014 at 04:57 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch | Permalink
Today, Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) introduced the Jumpstarting Occupational-learning and Entrepreneurialism (JOE) Act, H.R. 4713, which would provide an exemption for CTE school-based enterprises from new, federal nutritional requirements for “competitive” foods sold in schools. As we have reported, rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—authorized under the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010—will require all foods sold in schools to meet strict nutritional standards beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Though intended by Congress to target snack foods sold in vending machines, a la carte lines and school stores, these regulations will impact many students in CTE programs that operate school-based enterprises (SBE), including student-run cafés, bakeries and catering businesses. This is the first time that national nutritional standards will be mandated for these types of foods sold in schools. Read our recent “What You Need to Know: Implementing School Nutrition Regulations for CTE” blog series here and here.
Rep. Womack specifically cited the House of Grounds, a student-run coffee shop operated by Harrison High School’s DECA chapter in Harrison, Arkansas, as an exemplary program that will benefit from this legislation. The bill ensures that CTE programs across the country can continue to provide their students with practical, real-world experience through these hands-on learning laboratories. The final text of the bill can be found here. ACTE worked with Rep. Womack on developing the JOE Act and will continue to support congressional efforts to provide regulatory relief for affected CTE programs nationwide.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 05/22/2014 at 04:14 PM in School Nutrition | Permalink
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