ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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| February 2016 »
As the long process of implementing of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) continues, we have some new information and resources to assist the CTE community. First, states working to develop their WIOA state plans will receive a slight extension. Originally set for March 3, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education announced recently that the deadline for states to submit either a Unified or Combined State Plan will be extended to April 1.
This week, state WIOA implementation teams from across the country met in Washington, D.C., for a conference hosted by National Governors Association and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (ACTE was a national partner for this event). Attendees were able to participate in workshops, hear from Administration officials and interact with their colleagues from other states to better inform their efforts back home. The major theme of this conference was the importance of collaboration among state and local workforce training, economic development and CTE partners on efforts that include strategic planning, implementing career pathways and providing comprehensive services for consumers of WIOA programs.
Finally, as part of our ongoing efforts to provide resources and guidance on WIOA implementation for CTE stakeholders, we have partnered with the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium to share some frequently asked questions on WIOA-related issues impacting CTE. The document is available here. You can also find the latest WIOA news and links to other resources on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/29/2016 at 05:03 PM in WIOA | Permalink
The above data point examines a particular locality to tell the story of CTE’s positive association with high school graduation.
This school district study of Philadelphia students entering high school in 2010 also found that the achievement gap between students of different races and ethnicities was lower in CTE programs than non-CTE programs. This location-specific research supports national findings that CTE helps students stay in school and is associated with strong graduation rates.
When sharing the above information with policymakers, the media and the public, strengthen your argument with stories about your own students who have completed high school and gone on to postsecondary education and/or career success.
Make your case for CTE every day with the help of ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Socolar, “District study: Students in career and technical education programs do well,” Philadelphia Public School Notebook, January 15, 2015.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/29/2016 at 10:51 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
Recently, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee voted to advance a bill, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act, to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs. As we have reported, the most recent reauthorization of these programs, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 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 restaurants.
While the bipartisan bill passed by the committee largely leaves the enhanced nutritional standards for all foods in place, it offers some limited flexibility in a few areas. Related to the competitive food rules specifically, it requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish an advisory panel of stakeholders to examine issues and develop policy recommendations for the sale of competitive foods that will be submitted to Congress.
It’s unclear when the bill might be considered by the full Senate. Additionally, the House Education and the Workforce Committee has yet to announce its own plans for reauthorization of child nutrition. We will continue to provide updates on the CTE Policy Watch Blog as the process unfolds.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/29/2016 at 10:42 AM in School Nutrition | Permalink
In the inaugural edition of its new education-focused segment, entitled “Making the Grade,” PBS NewsHour aired a story that examined the growing recognition of the value of CTE across the country and its path forward.
The story began by visiting Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, near Boston, MA. There, students can enroll in immersive CTE programs that span throughout their secondary school experience, including culinary arts, skilled trades and automotive technology. In addition to requiring high-level academics for all students, the programs strive to incorporate what they refer to as “live work.” Principal David Wheeler says of these experiences that, “Cosmetology takes clients. Construction, we have done complete renovations of buildings. We have done Web sites for people. We do printing. There is no better way to engage a student than they’re doing real, meaningful work.”
The school has encountered some hesitation from those who still hold outdated perceptions of CTE programs, including concerns about “tracking” specific demographics into technical classes. However, Wheeler noted that the school has produced results for all students. He stated during the program that, “When we do follow-up studies, generally speaking, we hit the 90 — high 90 percent range of students that are either in the work force, continue to be enrolled in college, or have gone into the military. The point is to get you to be a happy, productive citizen.”
ACTE works to promote public awareness of CTE and its promise for all students. To view the segment, click here, and click here to learn more about how you can work with the media in your community to build support for CTE!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/28/2016 at 10:52 AM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
Last week, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce launched a new web portal as part of its State Initiative. The new portal is designed to provide access to state-level research and data on the linkages between education and the workforce, including labor market demands. Information is available on all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
The Center reports that the new portal contains:
In addition, the national Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) has released a new series of state pages that summarize the progress each state has made on developing linked education and workforce data systems. The data presented on each state was collected through the WDQC’s recent Mastering the Blueprint survey, which is conducted annually across the country. The new state pages include data system summaries, scorecards, and links to relevant news, resources and legislation.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 01/27/2016 at 10:44 AM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | Permalink
The Department of Education recently announced 236 candidates for the inaugural class of Presidential Scholars in CTE. The high school seniors were nominated from across the country by state education leaders, and now have the opportunity to submit applications in the next phase of the award process.
Application information will be due in February, with finalists announced in early May and the first group of 20 CTE Scholars recognized in Washington, DC in June as part of the annual U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognition.
The paragraph below, from the Department of Education’s website, summarizes the program:
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
ACTE worked closely with Members of Congress and the Administration to promote the CTE Scholars program, and we are very excited to see the first class of candidates! It is an honor for students’ CTE accomplishments to be recognized as part of this prestigious national award.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 01/25/2016 at 04:51 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
On January 21, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium released our third-annual review of state policies impacting CTE. The report, titled "State Policies Impacting CTE: 2015 Year in Review" provides a comprehensive look at the CTE policies enacted in each state in 2015, including legislation, state board rules, executive orders and other official state agency actions.
The report covers over 125 new policies enacted in 39 states, signaling consistent fiscal and programmatic investments in CTE as state policymakers look to promote, expand and improve CTE across secondary, postsecondary and adult education. In 2015, there was a strong focus on leveraging CTE in meaningful ways to boost state economies and close the skills gap, including encouraging business and education partnerships and improving work-based learning opportunities for students. Additionally, there was a dramatic increase in policies supporting career and academic guidance and awareness, with twice as many states enacting policies compared to the previous year.
Funding emerged as the top category for the third year in a row, with 28 states including CTE-specific provisions in their budgets or changing their funding approaches. In the vast majority of these cases, funding was increased rather than decreased. It was also directed to postsecondary CTE and workforce development initiatives slightly more often than to secondary CTE.
A webinar providing an overview of the report, as well as a deep dive into the package of legislation passed by Colorado last year, which could serve as an example to other states, is available here. In addition, you can view ACTE's press release on the report here.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 01/21/2016 at 05:43 PM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Global financial institution JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan) announced Tuesday that in response to growing concern about youth unemployment nationwide, it will invest $75 million over the next five years in CTE programs that prepare students for their future. The initiative, titled “New Skills for Youth,” will be conducted in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. 20-25 states will receive $100,000 each to support the development of CTE programs that reflect the needs of local employers, with an emphasis on career paths in high-skill industries, and 10-15 states will receive a three-year grant of up to $650,000 annually to implement their strategy.
The announcement received significant attention from media outlets and policymakers alike, notably including U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus.
“[CTE] has always been a passion of mine,” said Kaine in a release. “The New Skills for Youth program will help prepare America’s students for the jobs of the 21st century through hands-on learning experiences. I’m proud to help announce this program, which will help states make systemic changes to transform CTE programs and expand partnerships between schools, businesses and communities.”
U.S. News and World Report and USA Today ran Op/Ed pieces penned by JPMorgan leadership on the announcement, including Head of Workforce Initiatives Chauncy Lennon and Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. In addition, Education Week’s High School and Beyond blog published an article explaining the grant competition and additional investment JPMorgan will make to strengthen CTE systems nationwide, including building on CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative.
To learn more about New Skills for Youth, click here to visit the JPMorgan website. To access information about the grant program and application process, click here to visit the CCSSO page.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/20/2016 at 02:01 PM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
The majority of jobs needed in manufacturing by 2025 could go unfilled, according to a report from electronic components distributor Newark element14. Two million of 3.5 million jobs needed may remain vacant, according to the analysis. In addition, companies lose about $14,000 for every job that remains vacant for at least 3 months, with a negative impact on morale and productivity.
Scaling work-based learning is one solution to the manufacturing skills gap proposed during a summit hosted by Jobs for the Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the Manufacturing Institute. Another recommended approach is ensuring that individuals be able to enter the manufacturing workforce pipeline at multiple points: in high school, in community colleges and as returning adults.
To learn more about CTE’s role in preparing the manufacturing workforce, check out ACTE’s Sector Sheet on advanced manufacturing, newly updated this past fall with more recent data and new profiles of promising programs.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/20/2016 at 11:18 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
Today, President Obama and his Administration announced two new proposals that would expand the Higher Education Act’s (HEA) federal Pell Grant program, which supports low-income students pursuing postsecondary education with financial aid.
The first, called “Pell for Accelerated Completion,” would support students seeking to conduct their studies during the summer by expanding the academic year to include a third semester of Pell eligibility. Currently, many full-time students exhaust their annual Pell eligibility during the traditional school year and cannot continue their studies into the summer. By adding a third semester of Pell eligibility, the proposal would help more students to complete their studies efficiently and progress toward their career goals.
The Administration’s second proposal would seek to encourage students to complete their studies efficiently by offering an increase of $300 for students who complete at least 15 credits per semester. By incentivizing students’ participation in full course loads, the Administration hopes that more students will finish their education quickly and accrue less debt.
Year-round Pell eligibility has long been a priority among education stakeholders and leaders, including Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander and ACTE. The Administration’s proposals, however, would need to earn Congressional approval before they can be enacted. You can learn more about ACTE’s recommendations for HEA and financial aid here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/19/2016 at 04:56 PM in Executive Branch, HEA, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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