ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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Earlier this month, the federal Department of Education (ED) released a new set of responses to frequently asked questions regarding the implementation of the Perkins Act. Three new questions were included in the new set (Version 5.0), including information on academic courses, school-based businesses and equity activities. The specific new questions are listed below, and answers can be found beginning on page 46 of the compiled Q and As.
It is important to note that the new answers serve as non-regulatory guidance, that while classified as “significant,” is non-binding and is not designed to create or impose new legal requirements.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 08/29/2016 at 04:49 PM in Executive Branch, Perkins | Permalink
The College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research recently released some new resources to support states’ efforts to promote college and career readiness as part of the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It includes a publication on developing a state policy framework that aligns college- and career-readiness priorities with the appropriate provisions of ESSA. They particularly focus on the areas of the law that impact CTE, such as well-rounded education, which now includes CTE, as well as state accountability systems, which may incorporate measures of career readiness.
More ESSA resources are available on our website, and you can follow the latest updates on ESSA implementation on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/29/2016 at 02:21 PM in ESEA | Permalink
New joint guidance on WIOA performance reporting from the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Education demonstrates how eligible training providers (ETPs)—institutions like community colleges that provide education and training to WIOA participants—can connect with wage data to report on WIOA performance measures for employment and earnings.
The guidance makes it clear that a state education authority has the best chance to carry out the data sharing required with workforce agencies or other authorities responsible for wage records, through FERPA’s audit/evaluation exception. This education authority, be it a higher education governing board, state longitudinal data system or other agency, would report de-identified, aggregate wage data back to ETPs. In addition, public ETPs could also receive individual-level wage data, while private institutions would not be able to access individual-level data without establishing a further relationship with a designated authority in the state.
In addition to wage records, final WIOA regulations allow the use of other data sources for performance reporting of employment and earnings. The regulations also encourage states to use a common definition of what it means to “exit” a program, across all WIOA programs. This common exit should eventually become the norm.
The final regulations cleared up a few outstanding questions on what performance measures will be calculated, in addition to those specified in law:
Further information on performance reporting is available at https://doleta.gov/performance/reporting/eta_default.cfm.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 08/29/2016 at 12:34 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues, WIOA | Permalink
With 16 Career Clusters® and more than 75 different career pathways, today’s CTE offers students a wide variety of professions to pursue. Career pathways cover nearly every sector of today’s economy—and it’s no wonder why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the five fastest growing occupations, all five require an associate degree or less. From agriculture to health care, CTE is a critical component to building an American talent pipeline that will meet 21st century workforce demands. However, for students looking to enroll in CTE programs, navigating the many different options can be overwhelming.
Last October, Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education partnered to launch the Reach Higher Career App Challenge. The Challenge encouraged mobile app developers to build software to help students navigate the many different career and education paths available to them. Today, the First Lady announced the winner of the Challenge, ThinkZone Games, developer of “Hats & Ladders,” an app geared to assist secondary students navigating their career and education options.
The app includes an interactive self-assessment tool, mini-challenges, and other engaging activities to allow students to explore their many opportunities. Hats & Ladders is a good example of the new and innovative thinking in the CTE arena brought about by strong collaborations between policymakers, industry stakeholders, educators, parents and students.
As the First Lady said, “[Hats & Ladders] is a cool, new, exciting app that will open up a whole new world for young people.” ACTE congratulates ThinkZone Games and the other app submission finalists for their commitment to CTE and the next generation of American workers.
Note: Hats & Ladders will be available for beta testing in the spring of 2017. Click here to learn more and sign up to participate.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 08/24/2016 at 02:50 PM in Career Readiness, Educator Development, Executive Branch | Permalink
Did you know that more than 5.7 million workers will be needed through 2020 in non-residential construction, while occupations dedicated to legal and protective services are expected to grow by 14 percent by 2018?
There’s no industry sector that’s not relevant to career and technical education. Our latest Sector Sheets look at CTE’s role in developing a skilled, adaptable workforce in law, public safety, corrections and security as well as construction and architecture.
Each Sector Sheet explores projections for the workforce in that industry sector and describes how CTE prepares high school, postsecondary and adult students for careers in that sector through CTE courses, career and technical student organizations, work-based learning and more. Each one-pager also includes profiles of exemplary or emerging programs that are leading to student success.
With these new publications, our Sector Sheet series has grown to include 12 publications on CTE and its role in developing various industry sectors. We encourage you to share these advocacy tools with business, policymakers, education leaders and the public to illustrate how CTE supports specific industries and prepares students for in-demand careers.
You can also delve more deeply into construction career pathways with our latest online seminar with experts from NCCER.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 08/24/2016 at 10:00 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
I recently joined ACTE as advocacy and public affairs manager. In this role, I work with the public policy team to advocate for CTE through the media and before policymakers at the federal level. I am also a resource for parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders interested in engaging their local and state decision-makers on CTE issues. In my first blog post with ACTE, I wanted to introduce myself and outline why I am passionate about CTE.
I was raised in Virginia in a household at the intersection of education and government – my mother is an educator and my father spent his career on Capitol Hill. My first real engagement in government was in high school, when I spent my junior year as a U.S. Senate Page, going to school as early as 6 a.m. while working in the Senate during the day. It’s there I came to appreciate the value of learning that takes place outside of the traditional four walls of a classroom, and how intertwining real-world experience with education can burgeon an interest and catalyze a career.
I graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in economics and government, where my schooling again deviated from the traditional four-year path. I spent the latter half of my undergraduate career taking part-time and online classes while working in the Virginia legislature and on federal, state and local political campaigns. My work during those years has paid dividends since, providing career opportunities only possible because of the real-world experiences I had while still in school.
I deeply believe that every person has something to contribute to the 21st century economy, but that a one-size-fits-all education policy won’t allow every student to realize his or her full potential. Instead, we must provide students with a range of secondary and postsecondary education paths, including robust CTE options. Such programs provide immense benefits not just to students, but they also help fuel the talent pipeline so critical to meeting today’s diverse workforce demands.
Most recently I worked in public policy at an association representing software developers, where my portfolio included STEM, ed-tech and workforce development issues. Outside of my professional career, I am an appointed member of the Arlington Community Services Board, active in the Big Sibling mentorship program, and enjoy hiking, tennis and basketball.
I look forward to promoting CTE on behalf of our members, and am available as a resource for anyone looking to get involved in advocacy and grassroots engagement. I can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 08/23/2016 at 11:29 AM in Advocacy Resources | Permalink
State longitudinal data systems are an important way for your state to know how students are progressing through education and into the workforce. However, information gaps reduce the effectiveness of these tools.
A new infographic from PostSecData, an initiative of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, partnered with the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, shows the gaps in most state longitudinal data systems. Data is missing or incomplete for such key elements as:
Filling these gaps is the aim of such initiatives as the WDQC (ACTE is a partner in both PostSecData and the WDQC). In addition, ACTE is working to be part of the solution through our project to help states access data held by industry certification organizations.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 08/17/2016 at 04:28 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues, State and Local Issues | Permalink
While the race for the White House will dominate the nation’s attention in 2016, there is a lot happening “down ticket” in some important House and Senate races. While the next president will set the policy agenda, Congress still makes the laws and controls the budget. In recent years, the House and Senate passed major education and workforce development legislation, including the Every Student Succeeds Act and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. With the upcoming reauthorization of several important pieces of legislation including the Perkins Act and Higher Education Act, as well as the continued threat of budget austerity in federal CTE funding, the battle for control of the 115th Congress will significantly impact the future of CTE policy.
The political party that has the majority of members in the House or Senate is able to drive the legislative agenda and control key leadership positions in their respective chamber. Currently, Republicans hold a slim majority of seats in the Senate (54-46), and 61 seat advantage in the House (247-186, two seats currently vacant). All of the 435 seats in House of Representatives will be up for grabs in 2016. In the Senate, where lawmakers serve staggered six-year terms, 34 of the 100 seats will be contested in the following states:
ACTE is a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/15/2016 at 04:00 PM in Election Watch | Permalink
Elections do have consequences, and this election will have a major impact on the policies that are created, the legislation that becomes law and funding decisions that affect CTE programs nationwide. For CTE advocates, election season provides an important opportunity to further our advocacy goals and spread awareness about CTE’s important role in addressing employment, economic growth and other critical issues facing our country. ACTE is committed to providing the tools necessary for our members and the CTE community to actively engage in the electoral process.
As part of ACTE’s efforts to deliver information and resources during this crucial election cycle, we are pleased to announce the new Election Watch 2016 page on our website. Through our partnership with the national organization Nonprofit VOTE, ACTE is able to provide voter education tools as well as grassroots voter registration and mobilization information for CTE supporters. Additionally, we will offer regular updates on the state of the race with our Election Watch 2016 series available on the CTE Policy Watch Blog now through November 8!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/09/2016 at 10:52 AM in Advocacy Resources, Election Watch | Permalink
As the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) moves forward, there are new tools available on engaging K-12 education stakeholders, including the CTE community, in the process. Understanding ESSA, a new website from the Collaborative for Student Success, aggregates state-by-state information on implementation, including announcements for upcoming state outreach events, news updates and links to state resources. The Council of Chief State School Officers has a guide for stakeholder outreach that includes practical tips for states to engage ESSA stakeholders as well as examples of best practices that states are already using. ACTE has published a series of fact sheets on the CTE components of ESSA available here, and all of our online ESSA resources are available here.
Additionally, ACTE and Advance CTE submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s draft federal regulations on the accountability, reporting and state plan provisions of ESSA. Specifically, our comments address the use of new indicators of school quality and student success, including career readiness measures, in state accountability systems as well as the design and delivery of state and district annual report cards that can include CTE student performance data. Our full comments are available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/01/2016 at 03:48 PM in ESEA | Permalink
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