ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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| October 2014 »
In a recent e-blast and post on the White House Blog, the Department of Education announced that it is seeking stories of innovation and leadership from education professionals nationwide. The initiative began as a follow-up to the department’s recent back-to-school bus tour, which included stops in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. During the tour, Secretary Duncan and other department officials spoke with students, parents and teachers about programs and institutions in their areas that have found innovative ways to connect students with the education and skills they will need for college and career success.
To continue the momentum from the bus tour, the department has requested that America’s education professionals submit examples of innovation in their communities or suggestions of what could be done better on the White House’s website, here. The Department will select the top ideas and strategies to share on the White House blog and with Secretary Duncan himself, which may influence further policy and program development
ACTE encourages its members to share their stories of innovation and CTE success to increase public awareness and appreciation for programs that prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce. I invite you to share your stories with the Department of Education and with me as we prepare for CTE Month in February!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 09/29/2014 at 03:27 PM in Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
To increase their postsecondary investment, employers say they need better evidence of return on investment and an easier path for identifying appropriate institutions or programs with which to collaborate, according to an Economist survey of U.S. executives.
The report also finds that employers are more likely to collaborate with four-year schools than community colleges or training programs, missing key linkages with institutions that focus on preparing the workforce. About two-thirds of U.S. business leaders who responded to the survey are currently or have recently collaborated with postsecondary schools; 77 percent have done so with four-year schools, 32 percent with community colleges and 31 percent with technical/training programs. Respondents are more likely to invest in further education for their employees, in an effort to retain their workforce, than to invest in postsecondary education generally.
The publication concludes that “favoring four-year institutions could hinder progress towards more fruitful collaborations.” In addition, it provides examples of successful business-education partnerships such as BMW apprenticeships and the Center for Energy Workforce Development’s pre-apprenticeship boot camp.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/29/2014 at 11:20 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Students attending CTE high schools in Philadelphia were more likely to successfully complete a college preparatory mathematics sequence than those attending other schools in the district.1
CTE can engage students and help them gain academic knowledge and skills, in addition to technical and employability skills.
Today’s featured data is from research with students in Philadelphia that found positive academic impacts from attending a CTE high school, including students being more likely to complete Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry. Other research has shown how CTE-academic integration fosters achievement: The Southern Regional Education Board has found that high school students who take an integrated CTE and academic curriculum are more likely to meet college and career readiness goals than those taking an academic curriculum alone.2
When sharing this information with policymakers, education leaders or parents, follow it up with data about your students’ achievement in CTE and in their academic courses, as well as stories of students who have succeeded through an integrated, aligned and rigorous curriculum.
As always, you can access CTE facts and figures online any time you need them with ACTE Fact Sheets.
 Neild, Boccanfuso and Byrnes, The Academic Impacts of Career and Technical Schools: A Case Study of a Large Urban School District, Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools, 2014.
 Southern Regional Education Board, High Schools That Work 2012 Assessment.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/29/2014 at 10:18 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
While lawmakers have left Washington to campaign for the midterm election, there is a long to-do list of pending issues that will be waiting for them when they return in November. This “lame duck” session is currently scheduled to last from November 12 through early December. Congressional productivity in the closing days of the 113th Congress will likely depend on the outcome of the election, however, there are a handful of issues that will require attention during this short work period.
The first must-pass issue on the lame duck agenda is Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 funding. As we reported last week, Congress passed a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) to provide temporary funding for the federal government through December 11. The CR was necessary to keep the federal government running past September 30, and will maintain current funding levels for Perkins and other education programs during this period. In the lame duck session, Congress is expected to either negotiate a full-year omnibus appropriations bill, or opt to delay action on a final bill until the next Congress by passing another CR. ACTE has called on Congress to complete its work on a full-year appropriations bill that includes an increase in Perkins funding because investing in CTE can’t wait!
While reauthorization efforts for major education programs like Perkins, ESEA and HEA will have to wait until the 114th Congress, the Senate is expected to vote on a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. Similarly, the reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), which focuses on federal education research, has gained bipartisan momentum in Congress. The House-passed reauthorization bill was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee this month, and will likely have a noncontroversial vote on the Senate floor after the election.
Non-education issues will take up a good portion the lame duck session. A congressional authorization for military action against terrorists in Iraq and Syria, the extension of expiring tax breaks, and a long list of pending nominations for appointed positions in the Obama Administration are among the most pressing.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/26/2014 at 10:21 AM in Federal Funding, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
A study from Burning Glass finds that many employers are now requiring bachelor’s degrees for an increasingly wide range of jobs, some that have experienced an increase in skills needed to do the work and others that have not. However, fields such as health care, which has a strong system of non-school credentials such as licenses and industry certifications that are incorporated into well-developed education and training programs, are bucking this trend.
In conclusion, Burning Glass recommends improved alignment between K-12, postsecondary education and industry to develop sub-baccalaureate education programs and credentials that will be valuable to employees and students.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/25/2014 at 12:38 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
Registering to vote, and encourage others to register as well, is one of the most important steps you cantake in advocating for CTE during this election year. Today, we celebrate the third annual National Voter Registration Day–a day when thousands of organizations and individuals from across the country work to raise awareness of the importance of registering to vote. Through our partnership with Nonprofit VOTE, ACTE is able to provide resources and information on grassroots voter registration, so that the CTE community can be an active part of the electoral process in 2014. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:
Please visit our Election Watch 2014 web page and the CTE Policy Watch Blog for the latest news and information.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is a nonpartisan organization and does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/23/2014 at 09:57 AM in Election Watch | Permalink
Early childhood and pre-kindergarten CTE programs take notice. The bipartisan reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act includes more robust requirements for training and ongoing professional development for child care workers and provides funding to develop or expand these training programs.
The proposed bipartisan bill would require child care facilities receiving federal funding under CCDBG to meet child care worker requirements established by the state to “promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and to improve the knowledge and skills of the child care workforce.” In order to meet these requirements, the legislation would increase the size of states’ reserve fund for improving the quality of child care from the current 4 percent to 9 percent of total funds.
In addition to the increase in the reserve, states would be required to spend the reserve funds on a limited number of items, one of which is support for child care worker training and professional development programs.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee developed this bipartisan legislation earlier this year and it was passed by the full Senate on a 96-2 vote in March. After negotiations with the Senate on a few key provisions, the House passed a slightly revised bipartisan, bicameral version earlier this month.
While the compromise bill is now back in the Senate for expected final approval, Sen. Pat Toomey objected to advancing the legislation before consideration of his unrelated K-12 background check requirements. While the Senate is expected to approve the bill when it comes up for a vote, that vote will now have to wait until Congress reconvenes, which is not currently scheduled to occur until after the election. If the Senate is ultimately able to approve CCDBG, it will head to the President’s desk for his signature for the first time since its last reauthorization in 1996.
Update (9/22/14):Seeking to end the impasse created by Sen. Toomey's objection to the CCDBG, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a cloture vote for November 13. If the required 60 votes are acheived to invoke cloture, then the bill may advance to a regular vote for passage.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 09/19/2014 at 11:36 AM in Educator Development, Federal Funding | Permalink
Yesterday, Congress passed a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) to provide temporary funding for the federal government through December 11. The House passed the bill (319-108) on Wednesday, with the Senate following suit (78-22) a day later. This CR will continue current funding levels for Perkins and other education programs until a long-term agreement for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 can be reached.
In July, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations subcommittee released an FY 2015 funding bill that would increase the Perkins Basic State Grant to $1.123 billion (up from $1.118 billion in FY 2014)! However, neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives will be able to pass a Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill before the end of the fiscal year, so the short-term CR is necessary to keep the federal government running past September 30.
Following the passage of the CR, Congress adjourned until November for the midterm elections. ACTE has called on Congress to complete its work on a full-year appropriations bill that includes an increase in Perkins funding. With so much uncertainty about the future of funding for CTE, this is an important time to reach out to your Members of Congress and let them know that investing in CTE can’t wait!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/19/2014 at 11:22 AM in Federal Funding | Permalink
Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced legislation yesterday to address our nation’s critical shortage of CTE teachers and help school districts fill CTE classrooms with qualified educators. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act would create an additional use of the Teacher Quality Partnership grants program under the Higher Education Act by incentivizing partnerships between school districts and postsecondary institutions to prepare mid-career professionals, veterans and current educators to be effective CTE teachers.
ACTE worked closely with these Senators in developing this legislation and strongly supports their efforts to strengthen the CTE educator profession. Over the past few years, ACTE and the CTE community have seen the number of students served by our programs surge while the number of CTE educator preparation programs has drastically declined. If we truly intend to prepare our students to be college- and career-ready, we must prepare our teachers with strong pedagogical and technical skills.
Learn more about our bipartisan #CTE bill, the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. Endorsed by @actecareertech http://t.co/EoLTAFtkZB
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 18, 2014
Learn more about our bipartisan #CTE bill, the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. Endorsed by @actecareertech http://t.co/EoLTAFtkZB
"The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act provides another path to the classroom for professionals with invaluable experience in technical fields and a passion for preparing students for college and career success." said LeAnn Wilson, ACTE Executive Director. "By opening the door for future CTE educators to existing Teacher Quality Partnership grants, these Senators have found a creative solution to the challenges posed by our nation's critical shortage of CTE educators."
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 09/19/2014 at 09:32 AM in CTE Caucus, Educator Development, HEA | Permalink
This week, the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education released the long-awaited final report of the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education (NACTE). You may remember that an interim report came out in 2013, with major findings on student course-taking patterns that increasingly balance CTE and academics.
As noted in the NACTE, the report cannot shed light on the effectiveness of Perkins IV and programs of study (POS), only on early implementation, as the NACTE evaluation period covered only the early stages of Perkins IV. In addition, most of the data from other sources and the original research on CTE outcomes cited in the report are from before Perkins IV.
Programs of study: Through surveys conducted in 2009, the researchers found that states were playing a larger role in developing POS at the secondary level and postsecondary institutions at the postsecondary level. In addition, at the time, compliance with POS as outlined in the law had not been fully realized (not surprising this early in the new provisions’ implementation), particularly the need to ensure that courses are nonduplicative.
Accountability: The good news is that the majority of states have been meeting 90 percent of their targets for most indicators. However, the authors question the validity of some of the state data on student outcomes and the value of the Perkins academic achievement indicators, since they are often administered before students reach concentrator status. These are issues that ACTE has raised in Perkins reauthorization discussions as well.
Research: According to the authors, the research on student outcomes cited in the report is inconclusive (again, remember that this research uses student cohorts prior to Perkins IV). It appears that CTE typically does no harm academically to students, reducing stereotypes of CTE as less rigorous, and may help them, both academically and in relation to postsecondary enrollment and completion. CTE can also have benefits in the workforce; for instance, a Florida study found that postsecondary CTE concentrators achieved significantly higher earnings than those who majored in academic fields, particularly students employed in an industry related to their program of study.
Funding: Trends in funding demonstrate that, by fiscal year 2010, more states were utilitizing the reserve fund option in Perkins. In addition, states were allocating, on average, about two-thirds of their funds to secondary schools and one-third to postsecondary programs. Subgrantees in 2008-09 mostly used Perkinsfunds for equipment and career guidance and academic counseling.
Recommendations: In addition to the main report, the Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) for the NACTE published a separate document with recommendations for CTE, focusing on integrating CTE into broader education reform, better aligning secondary and postsecondary CTE and capturing more robust and actionable data and research, including capturing data on outcomes more effectively than the NACTE is currently able to do. The IAP also recommends that reauthorization “define the federal role in more limited, strategic ways,” which echoes ACTE’s own guiding principles for Perkins.
In conclusion, this report provides some much-needed information, but owing to timing and other limitations, falls short in shedding light on the outcomes of students participating in today’s high-quality CTE. As part of preparing for reauthorization, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium have been talking to stakeholders in the CTE research community and considering ways to make research and evaluation more timely and useful.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/17/2014 at 02:28 PM in Data and Research, Perkins | Permalink
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