ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
A new resource developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will assist states in designing and implementing career pathways systems. The tool, titled “Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies,” can be accessed on AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center website. It features four modules, including:
Each section includes presentation materials and activities that will assist education agencies at the state level in implementing career pathways. Career pathways have been a major topic of discussion at the federal level as greater emphasis has been placed on holistically approaching student preparation for college- and career-readiness. Such emphasis has grown since the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which formally defined career pathways and looked to local workforce institutions to create these opportunities in their communities while using labor market information to guide their decision-making.
Because of this emphasis on career pathways in federal policy, ACTE’s National Policy Seminar will include a comprehensive forum to examine CTE’s role in their expansion. There’s still time to register for the forum, which will be held on Wednesday, March 2, as well as for the full National Policy Seminar! Visit the ACTE website to learn more.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/23/2016 at 10:49 AM in Career Readiness, NPS, WIOA | Permalink
With the presidential and congressional election in full swing, the second half of the 114th Congress will be dominated by campaign politics. Despite the election-year partisanship, there are some outstanding education policy issues that may make an appearance in 2016.
The implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will be an important issue in K-12 education. The U.S. Department of Education has already put out a formal request for information for stakeholder input and recommendations on implementation of ESSA’s Title I regulations and issued a letter notifying states of several initial steps regarding ESSA implementation and transition. Expect a flurry of regulations and guidance on ESSA, including its CTE provisions, from the feds in the coming year.
As for education legislation, the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) will be a continued priority in the House and Senate. Simplifying student financial aid programs and reducing the cost of higher education will be key themes in forthcoming reauthorization bills. Congressional Republicans will continue to oppose the department’s gainful employment regulations and other higher education regulations, and will likely use HEA reauthorization to block those efforts. The Senate, in particular, may follow a similar path on HEA as it did with ESSA—crafting a bipartisan proposal to gain support from both sides of the aisle.
It is unclear when Congress may begin to seriously consider the reauthorization of the Perkins Act. Both chambers have been working toward Perkins reauthorization over the past year, but other issues may still take priority in 2016. The passage of ESSA and WIOA does increase the possibility of reauthorization legislation this year, particularly if progress stalls (or moves very quickly) on HEA.
With the passage of the two-year budget deal and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress will be able to focus its attention on funding for FY 2017 in the coming months, with hopes of more regular order in the budget and appropriations process. The new budget cycle will again begin with the release of the President Obama’s FY 2017 budget request on February 9, which will be the last budget of his Administration. The House and Senate will unveil their own funding proposals throughout the spring and summer. Despite a slight increase in discretionary spending levels, the Republican majorities in both chambers will likely push for greater fiscal austerity. The CTE community will continue to advocate for a greater investment in Perkins!
Be sure check out the CTE Policy Watch Blog for regular updates on all the policy activity to come in 2016. We also invite you to join us in Washington on February 29-March 2, at this year’s National Policy Seminar!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/08/2016 at 11:42 AM in Advocacy Resources, ESEA, Executive Branch, Federal Funding, HEA, NPS, Perkins | Permalink
As ACTE is preparing for the National Policy Seminar (to be held February 29-March 2), we are pleased to announce that the nominations process for our national public policy awards is now officially open! These awards recognize policymakers and leaders among ACTE’s membership who have gone above and beyond to advocate for public policies impacting CTE in the past year. Applications for all ACTE public policy awards must be received by January 1, through the ACTE Awards Portal.
ACTE’s Policymaker of the Year award is presented annually to nationally recognized policymakers that have made a significant contribution to CTE through their work, such as Senate CTE Caucus Co-chairs Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) who received the award last year. Submissions should include a cover letter stating the nominee’s qualifications, as well as information about their accomplishments related to CTE and policies affecting CTE. For additional information on the award or to submit a nomination, click here.
In addition, ACTE members can submit nominations for the Baird-English Advocate of the Year Award, presented annually by ACTE to a member who has worked to advance CTE in federal policy through advocacy. This award provides a great opportunity for ACTE members to recognize the contributions of their colleagues through advocacy actions, such as contacting federal policymakers and their staff or working with the media to raise awareness of CTE topics. Applications can be submitted by the nominee themselves, another ACTE member, ACTE staff member or the Board of Directors, and should include a letter of introduction summarizing the applicant’s background and contributions to CTE advocacy, as well as necessary supporting documents. To learn more about the award or submit a nomination, click here.
To learn more about the ACTE public policy awards or ask additional questions, please contact Sean Lynch.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 12/01/2015 at 05:09 PM in Advocacy Resources, NPS | Permalink
ACTE is now accepting nominations for the Policymaker of the Year and Baird-English Advocate of the Year Awards! We encourage you to consider nominating your elected leaders and colleagues from the CTE community for these prestigious opportunities, which recognize leaders that have dedicated themselves to furthering policy issues of importance to ACTE and its members.
The Policymaker of the Year award is presented annually by ACTE’s Public Policy Department to nationally recognized policymakers who have made a contribution of national significance to CTE. The recipient(s) will be selected based on the significance of their impact on CTE, whether that is based on recent work or over the span of their career. If you feel that your legislator is doing a great job working for CTE, this is a fantastic way to thank them for their work!
The Baird-English Advocate of the Year award is presented to an ACTE member that has demonstrated a personal dedication to advocacy for CTE issues before federal policymakers. Recipients will have taken repeated and consistent action on CTE policy issues, whether that is by setting up meetings with their elected officials or their staff or simply sending an e-mail. Be sure to think about which of your colleagues in ACTE membership will be a good fit and nominate them for this opportunity!
To submit a nomination for either the Policymaker of the Year or Baird-English Advocate of the Year Award, simply access the ACTE awards portal here and complete the necessary application materials.
In addition, remember that the eligibility period for our new E-Advocate recognition program will last until December 31, which will showcase the efforts of the top five individuals who have taken action through the CTE Action Center. There’s still time to log in and make your voice heard for CTE, so don’t delay.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 12/02/2014 at 08:56 AM in Advocacy Resources, NPS | Permalink
ACTE is very pleased to announce that the Policymaker of the Year award will be presented to Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Begich (D-AK) during the 2014 National Policy Seminar. This award is given annually by the ACTE Board of Directors to nationally recognized policymakers who have made a significant contribution to career and technical education during the past year
Sen. Begich is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and has been a strong support of federal funding for Perkins. He is the sponsor of the Counseling for Career Choice Act, which would provide support for school counselors to help students make informed decisions regarding their career and academic goals. ACTE is a proud supporter of this legislation, and we applaud the senator for his efforts to promote career guidance and counseling. Additionally, Sen. Begich introduced two bills in 2013 aimed at professional development for CTE educators (Professional Development for Educators Act) and the modernization of CTE facilities (Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act) respectively.
Throughout 2013, Sen. Baldwin has been a leader on CTE issues as member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. She is the sponsor of the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, a bill that would encourage the development of technical programs of study leading to careers in the green energy field. ACTE worked with Sen. Baldwin to introduce an amendment as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The amendment, which was adopted with bipartisan support in the HELP committee, would incorporate career readiness measures on state and school report cards for the first time. ACTE congratulates these two dedicated Members of Congress for their continued commitment to CTE!
The awards will be presented during the Offsite General Session at the Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday, March 4. The session will also feature remarks from the co-chairs of both the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). We hope you will join us in Washington on March 3-5, for NPS 2014!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/21/2014 at 11:34 AM in NPS | Permalink
The 2014 National Policy Seminar will feature Catherine “Kiki” McLean as the keynote speaker during the Opening General Session on Monday, March 3, from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Kiki is a co-founder of No Labels, a nonpartisan organization that supports “a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving.” A veteran Washington insider and experienced political consultant, Kiki previously worked as a senior advisor for Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and served as the national press secretary and spokesperson to Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000. Additionally, she was the communications director for the Democratic National Committee and is a frequent guest on cable news programs.
Throughout her career, Kiki has distinguished herself as a communications expert in the field of politics and public policy. Her insights will provide CTE advocates with an insider’s view of the Washington political landscape, helping us to further our CTE policy goals on Capitol Hill. ACTE is proud to welcome Kiki McLean to NPS 2014! Register today!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/11/2014 at 06:05 PM in NPS | Permalink
ACTE is excited to announce that the 2014 National Policy Seminar will, for the second year in a row, feature programing on Capitol Hill! The stately Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) will once again play host to our Offsite General Session on Tuesday, March 4. Completed in 2008, the CVC is a beautiful addition to the Capitol complex—conveniently located between the House and the Senate office buildings with easy access to the Washington Metrorail.
Tuesday’s session will feature remarks from invited Members of Congress and congressional staff who will provide updates on important policy developments affecting CTE. Lawmakers and staff will discuss topics including the reauthorizations of the Perkins CTE Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and Workforce Investment Act, as well as federal funding for CTE. Additionally, ACTE will present the Policymaker of the Year Award to recognize policymakers who have made significant contributions to furthering the cause of CTE over the previous year. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear directly from the policymakers who have a major impact on CTE issues in the year ahead!
The session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., so please try to schedule your NPS Hill visits after this time! Register for NPS today!
Any events held during NPS at the Capitol Visitor Center will be free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend a CVC event who are not registered for the full conference must RSVP to Brendan Desetti by Feb. 21, 2014.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/31/2014 at 01:01 PM in NPS | Permalink
By: Sanjay Koduvalli, Iowa TSA Vice President, Johnston High School
I'm sitting here, at the 2013 National Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., with some of the brightest young minds I have ever met. We've been called here for one purpose, to talk to our legislators about the importance of CTE funding to Iowa's well-being.
Throughout the course of this conference, I have increasingly gained a new perspective on education. For as long as I can remember, the plan of action promoted for students has been college. I realize now that a four-year degree is not the best route for everyone, because college may not develop the skills necessary for every career path. A trade school, two-year degree, a junior college or career academy is an excellent path for many students. And of course, nothing provides more valuable experience for the upcoming workforce than participation in the desired career. Students have always been encouraged to postpone their biggest decision, what career to pursue, for a later time. Yet this push can have catastrophic results. Students should experience these career opportunities from a very young age, and focus their efforts on their career interests. Somewhere along the way, a line formed between education and preparation for work. We must eradicate this line using CTE, or we face a future of unprepared, debt-burdened college graduates who are qualified only for the next level of education, and not for the workforce America so desperately needs them to be a part of. Now it is our turn to send out this information to our legislators.
As we tell our stories to policymakers, I see understanding in these amazing people, as they sympathize with our cause. They each let us know that they believe our role is important, and definitely something they will keep in mind in the months to come. We all share a smile, knowing we have fulfilled our role.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/21/2013 at 01:58 PM in NPS | Permalink
By: Timothy Stammeyer, Iowa Student Ambassador and Iowa DECA President
Amidst the scattered snowflakes, animated atmosphere and momentous memorials of Washington, D.C., a small town Iowan embarked on the biggest journey of his life. This young man has always wished to make a tremendous impact in the world. The National Policy Seminar provided the perfect opportunity for him to advocate for the importance of CTE, for the importance of youth in the nation and for the importance of being united towards a common goal. This young man, of course, is me.
Upon embarking on my first day to the capital, I quickly realized that the nation's capital was vastly different from my home town. Public transportation and passing through metal detectors at every public building was a unique new experience. As I sat down to meet with my representatives and senators, however, I felt much more at home. In the modern era, the view of government is unanimously negative. This view, I quickly realized, was incredibly unfounded. After each meeting, I felt a heightened sense of companionship and citizenship. Our elected officials genuinely care for the citizens they represent.
Furthermore, CTE turned out to be a bipartisan issue. Education is the most vital tool in strengthening the economy, creating and filling jobs, and maintaining peaceful relations. I believe we all need to find something to agree on. CTE provides this common ground. We all believe in education and the youth of tomorrow. The National Policy Seminar is the vehicle to bring citizens from across the nation together. We met with different thoughts, from different walks of life and with different stories, but we united with a single mission-to provide needed opportunity to the students of today and of tomorrow. I thank ACTE for this opportunity and hope the seminar is successful in its future endeavors.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/18/2013 at 01:59 PM in NPS | Permalink
By: Kandy Smitha, ACTE Fellow
The 2013 National Policy Seminar closing session started with greetings and remarks by Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration.
Ms. Oates began with a history of her career starting as a 9th grade teacher in Boston and Philadelphia. She has been an advocate for CTE since the 1970s. She feels it is critical that elected officials and their staff members get involved with CTE and that the staff members we meet with on Capitol Hill communicate with those elected officials. She encouraged us to get personal with our elected officials and put a face on CTE. We want them to provide funding and structure, but not to micromanage, and make sure the law fits for what we need to do. Let them know we, as educators, are happy to be accountable for what we do.
She is convinced that every worker will need some postsecondary education. One example of job openings that will be prevalent in the future is air traffic controllers, where the average age now is 54. According to Ms. Oates, there are currently 86,000 jobs in cyber security and we need programs to get them prepared for this career pathway. In addition, we are importing more welders from other countries than we are training here in the U.S. She admonished us to stay true to our basics but to make them relevant. "CTE teachers are key players in making government work," stated Ms. Oates. "CTE is the difference between a frivolous expense and an investment."
Ms. Oates suggested utilizing career technical student organizations to help develop the soft skills needed by students to be successful. She also suggested we "take the gloves off" and talk about the needs of our schools. Talk about how many students are successful and get rid of the old misconception that CTE students are not college-bound students. She is open to any way her department can help.
Following Ms. Oates, a panel session on the Federal Focus on Career Pathways kicked off with Mary Alice McCarthy from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education and Brendan Kelly of the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Brendan stated that CTE has promise to increase the earning potential of the average worker and that career pathways help to guide students to their goals. He also stated that people are bad at choosing and are often overloaded with choices and make no choice at all. Career pathways help to make those choices. Mary Alice then took the stage with a question. She asked how many of us attending had seen the letter placed on our table that was addressed to their colleagues in Washington. Most of us were unaware of the letter. The purpose of the letter was to bring awareness of the joint Career Pathways Initiative from the Departments of Labor, Education and HHS and to establish a common language for career pathways. Attached to the letter is a layout of how to create a pathway.
Following these presentations, my colleagues and I braved the weather to meet with a legislator on Capitol Hill, and then we were homeward bound!
Kandy Smitha is a 2013 ACTE Fellow from Region III and an instructor of Advanced Life Sciences and Veterinary Assisting at J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/15/2013 at 02:00 PM in NPS | Permalink
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