ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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On average, those who participated in 100 hours or more of adult basic skills programs experienced a wage premium of almost $10,000 more per year.[i]
Adult basic skills education, particularly when integrated with CTE and workforce training, can help low-skilled adults on the road to success.
The above data point is from research commissioned by the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education to examine the long-term impacts of adult basic skills (ABS) programs using the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning, which tracked ABS participation and outcomes between 1998 and 2007. The result was five briefs that identified long-term positive outcomes for adult basic education participants, particularly for those who participated at higher levels, in relationship to earnings, literacy proficiency, GED attainment and early college engagement. In addition, research on the I-BEST model has demonstrated that programs for adult education students that bolster basic skills in a CTE context, preparing them for future education and the workplace, are effective for improving student outcomes.
When sharing this research with policymakers, the media and employers, enhance it with data and success stories about adult education students who have achieved college and career success from a foundation of contextualized basic skills education.
In addition to this monthly data-focused blog series, you can find CTE data and research at any time with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Reder, The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term Economic Outcomes, U.S. Department of Education, 2015.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/30/2015 at 02:20 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
The importance of collaborative skills and the lack of emphasis in most curricula on developing collaborative skills is the focus of a survey from Wainhouse Research of more than 1,000 teachers, administrators, parents and students in North America and the United Kingdom.
According to The Role of Education in Building Soft Skills, the vast majority of respondents believe collaborative skills are vital for economic development, but 60 percent say schools are placing far too little emphasis on these skills.
To combat this, 91 percent of these education stakeholders think that educators need assistance learning how to foster collaboration, and 87 percent think collaboration should be taught in teacher education.
CTE’s focus on experiential, project-based learning is extremely effective at helping students learn to work in teams, and CTE educators are skilled at developing and supporting collaboration. CTE teachers can be a great resource for helping all teachers across the curriculum better foster collaborative skills in their students.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/30/2015 at 02:17 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
On a party-line vote of 16-14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill on Thursday, following on the heels of House appropriators who passed their own version of the bill out of committee on Wednesday. Like in the House, the Senate bill also proposes level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion, with a slight cut in Perkins National Programs ($3 million in the Senate compared to $3.6 million in the House version). The committee chose to maintain state grant funding for CTE despite tight FY 2016 budget caps, and a $1.7 billion cut in education funding overall in their bill.
Other education and workforce training programs did not fare so well. The committee proposes to cut Adult Education state grants by $21.3 million, with a $6 million cut for national leadership activities. In the Department of Labor, the formula grant programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for youth, adults and dislocated workers would all be cut under the Senate bill. Similar to the House version, the Senate Labor-HHS-ED bill includes policy provisions to prohibit the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to establish a college ratings system, place new requirements on teacher preparation programs or implement its gainful employment rule without a congressional reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. It’s not clear if either bill will be taken up by the full House or Senate, but we will continue to provide updates on FY 2016 Perkins funding on the CTE Policy Watch blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/29/2015 at 04:35 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 authorized the federal government to issue new nutritional standards for schools nationwide. In addition to creating enhanced requirements for reimbursable meals sold in school cafeterias, the law also established the first-ever national nutritional standard for “competitive foods” sold in schools, which went into effect in the 2014-15 school year. These regulations not only impact foods sold in vending machines, a la carte lines and school stores, but also CTE programs that operate school-based enterprises, such as student-run cafés, bakeries and catering businesses. As Congress looks toward reauthorization of the law this fall, the House Education and the Workforce Committee has begun a series of hearings to consider possible reforms.
A hearing held on June 16, primarily focused on federal rules and regulations related to nutrition assistance programs, with most of the conversation centered on the school lunch program. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the committee and responded to questions, many of which had been raised by local school districts. Committee members expressed concerns about the costs of compliance with the new rules, waste and fraud within the program, specific nutritional requirements related to the program, such as those for calories, sodium, milk and whole grains. Only two Members of Congress asked about the competitive food rules, and both raised the issue relative to revenue for schools and whether the new rules resulted in a reduction of resources.
The Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee held a separate hearing this week focused on the implementation of the HHFKA nutrition rules from the perspective of state education agencies and local school districts. The state and local school nutrition administrators who participated in the hearing touched on some reoccurring themes, including concerns about food waste, the added regulatory burdens for states and districts, and the need to preserve flexibility in administering school meal programs. You can read more about this issue and its impact on CTE at our CTE Policy Watch blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/26/2015 at 05:13 PM in School Nutrition | Permalink
Many young people, despite being immersed in a digital environment, have little experience of using technology to solve problems.
According to an analysis by Change the Equation of results from the 2012 Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 58 percent of young people between 16 and 34 years of age have low skills in using technology to solve problems. This means they are unable to, for instance, sort columns in a spreadsheet, locate a piece of information and send it via email. Younger people perform better than older adults—70 percent of 35-64-year-olds have low skills in using technology to solve problems—but neither score is comforting.
This is particularly disturbing as 80 percent of middle-skills jobs require skills in using technology, and those with the highest technology skills earn 40 percent more than those at the lowest level.
To address this, the brief suggests that schools need a better technological infrastructure, teachers need more help learning how to use and teach with technology, and curriculum must incorporate technology into project-based, real-world learning, facilitated by employer partnerships. Examples of programs that are succeeding in this sphere include Project Lead the Way and its STEM curriculum, as well as the National Academy Foundation career academies.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/25/2015 at 04:53 PM in Data and Research, STEM | Permalink
A new survey of 1,000 college students conducted by McGraw Hill and Hanover Research indicates that although the majority of students believe their education should prepare them for the workforce, only 35 percent of them say college was effective in preparing them for a job and 20 percent feel very prepared for the workforce. The survey’s results reinforce the need for students at both the secondary and postsecondary levels to have access to high-quality CTE, which provides technical and employability skills that are communicated through hands-on learning opportunities.
In addition to respondents’ perceptions of their own workforce readiness, the report includes information about their insights related to their career planning. 67 percent of students reported that they wanted more internships and professional experiences, both examples of work based learning that is a hallmark of high-quality CTE. Furthermore, 61 percent of students report that they want classes that are designed to help them build career skills and 58 percent want more time to focus on career preparation.
CTE programs provide students with foundational technical and employability skills that empower them to enter the workforce ready to hit the ground running, and are fundamentally important to student success. These survey results highlight the need for additional CTE opportunities to prepare students for their careers and to help them achieve their goals. To access McGraw Hill’s new infographic detailing the full survey results, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/25/2015 at 04:08 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research, In the News | Permalink
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced that it will significantly alter its planned college ratings system in response to widespread concerns about the plan’s feasibility and effectiveness. The system, which would originally have rated postsecondary institutions into three broad categories of high, medium and low performing and tied their ranking to receipt of federal financial aid, has been overhauled to now function as a source of consumer information that would not have repercussions for institutions.
Top education officials outlined the new plan to journalists in a closed conversation on Wednesday, June 24, stating that they wanted to “empower [consumers] to make comparisons based on measures that matter to them.” The tool will now provide information aligned with many of the 11 originally planned categories of data, including measures of net price, percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and employment outcomes. It will not, however, make judgments about the overall merits of an institution or score its effectiveness.
Upon the announcement of the College Ratings Framework in December 2014, ACTE joined a broad group of education advocates and policymakers alike in providing feedback on components of the plan. Issues including the system’s lack of consideration for the varied purposes of postsecondary institutions, as well as ED’s capacity to take into account outside factors affecting an institution’s perceived effectiveness, such as geography, detracted from the framework’s goals.
ED has indicated that they plan to have the system available to the public by the end of the summer. ACTE will continue to monitor the new plan as it is further detailed, and notify members of its impacts and opportunities for postsecondary members to provide input.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/25/2015 at 02:00 PM in Executive Branch, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
The Brookings Institution’s Higher Education and Workforce Policy: Creating More Skilled Workers (and Jobs for Them to Fill) recommends fostering the creation of quality, family-sustaining jobs and the training that supports them through a three-pronged approach, including:
Author Harry Holzer provides a brief overview of CTE and the benefits of high-quality CTE, with its commitment to academic integration, career exploration and work-based learning, resulting in valuable credentials.
In order to foster high-quality CTE, Holzer recommends creating incentives for work-based learning through employer tax credits and incorporating additional competitive funds, on top of the current basic state grant funding, into the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. He also encourages expanding CTE in the Higher Education Act.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/24/2015 at 04:29 PM | Permalink
Last week, ACTE joined with the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium to submit comments in response to the formal Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) that were issued by the Departments of Labor and Education in April.
While the NPRMs covered a wide range of topics, we focused on our comments on the issues most relevant to CTE audiences. Our comments were related to two of the five NPRMs. First, we addressed the combined rule from the Departments of Education and Labor, the “Joint Rule for Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint Provisions; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” Under this rule, the areas we addressed included:
A.) Unified and Combined State PlansB.) Sharing of Infrastructure Costs for the One-Stop SystemC.) Eligible Training Providers Eligibility and Annual Performance ReportsD.) Performance Accountability
We also included brief comments on the Department of Labor’s individual rule, “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” In these comments we referenced youth programs and additional areas related to eligible training providers.
In addition to our joint comments with NASDCTEc, we also signed on to comments submitted by the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, which go into extensive detail on the accountability and data-related provisions of the law.
There were hundreds of comments submitted on each of these proposed rules, and the Departments are now beginning a process of reviewing and synthesizing the recommendations. The final rule is supposed to be published by January 2016, but additional guidance may be posted in the interim.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 06/23/2015 at 04:19 PM in Executive Branch, WIOA | Permalink
House and Senate appropriators will continue consideration of their respective Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 education funding bills this week.
The House Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of its Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill on Wednesday—it was passed on a party-line vote in subcommittee last week. We have recently learned that the bill proposes level funding for the Perkins Basics State Grant at $1.118 billion, which is a major achievement considering that education funding overall is reduced by $2.8 billion. Perkins National Programs would be funded at $3.8 million, which is $3.6 million below the current level. There will be no funding for the Administration’s proposed American Technical Training Fund in the bill—an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to fund this program was defeated in subcommittee. Though overall funding for the Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor is cut by $196 million, formula grant programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for youth, adults and dislocated workers are level funded in the bill. It also includes several policy provisions to prohibit the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to establish a college ratings system, place new requirements on teacher preparation programs or implement its gainful employment rule.
In addition, today, the Senate Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee will begin work on its funding bill, to be followed by full committee consideration later this week. Though it is not yet known how much the Senate bill will provide for Perkins, tight budgetary caps for FY 2016 make it likely that many education and workforce training programs will be cut or frozen at current funding levels as they were in the House bill.
With such an important week for FY 2016 Perkins funding ahead, please take a few minutes to contact your Members of Congress and let them know that funding CTE is a top priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/23/2015 at 04:10 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
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