December 1st, 2010
The National Association of State Directors for Career Technical Education Consortium has recently created a two-minute video, “CTE: Making the Difference,” that underscores CTE’s achievements and potential to help our nation in this global economy. We hope you will use the video in your presentations, share it with your members, and feature it on your website. Check out the video and other great resources at www.careertech.org. Download the video and a Vision Toolkit created for the CTE community at www.careertech.org/sharethevision.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Please contact Erin Uy, NASDCTEc Communications and Marketing Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-588-9630.
April 15th, 2010
The spring meeting of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium was in Washington, D.C. from March 28-31. This year’s theme was “Career Technical Education: A Defining Moment for Excellence and Innovation,” and staff reported that in part due to tough economic times, the CTE community sees this as a defining moment for CTE in education reform and work force preparation. More than one speaker said: “This is the best chance CTE has had in a long time to put itself forward because the benefits of CTE are so clear.”
Overriding themes of the conference were career pathways, articulation from secondary to postsecondary programs, national core education standards, employability skills and assessments, assessments, assessments. There was also a great deal of discussion around NASDCTEc’s new vision for CTE entitled “Reflect, Transform, Lead.” It lays out five inter-related principles on the role and future of CTE. One of them specifically references career and technical student organizations.
Staff also reported seeing many of SkillsUSA’s friends including Board Member Wayne Kutzer. The consortium board announced during it’s business meeting on Wednesday that another old friend, Milt Ericksen, Arizona’s Deputy Associate Superintendent of Career Technical Education, will become the new ex officio SkillsUSA board member from NASDCTEc next August.
Unlike the recent past, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education was much in evidence throughout the conference including Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier, Deputy Assistant Secretary Glenn Cummings and several staff members. The conference was a joint initiative between NASDCTEc and OVAE and in her closing remarks, Brenda Dann-Messier said: “This is a permanent partnership. As a community we need to be assertive and insert ourselves [into education reform] because what we have to offer is so important. The work of CTE is central to the work of all of the administration departments.” She assured the directors that she is and will be persistent in getting CTE written into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
November 15th, 2009
When SkillsUSA was founded in 1965, one of the founders’ goals was to give students and teachers a national voice. In part, our founders’ wishes continue to be realized. As a member of the Independent Advisory Panel of Experts to the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education (NACTE), I’m proud to represent the viewpoints of CTE teachers and students as the research and reports are prepared for the U.S. Congress on the Perkins legislation. I met with the panel on October 26 and 27 to review the research and the draft of an interim report for Congress to be submitted early next year. The three top areas for research are the success of the programs of study as laid out in Perkins IV, accountability of instruction and fiscal responsibility. I’m serving on the subcommittee to prepare the full panel’s recommendations to accompany the report. Brenda Dann-Messier, the new assistant secretary for OVAE did stop by for a brief visit.
August 15th, 2009
It’s summer in-service time out in the states as teachers and administrators are gearing up for the new school year. This past Wednesday, I attended the Virginia Association for Trade and Industrial Education Summer Conference in Richmond. There were over 400 Virginia instructors and administrators in attendance. The SkillsUSA Virginia student officers worked at the conference all week and did a great job opening the closing banquet for teachers and administrators.
I was proud to be a keynote speaker at the banquet alongside Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. My presentation addressed CTE and SkillsUSA’s role in the current economy and the work force needs to rebuild America. I was also asked to give a live online demonstration of our Skill Connect Assessments, and they were well received by the group.
It was great to meet our new corporate member Ed Sullivan from the Virginia Department of Education. It was also great to speak with the CTE Director for Virginia’s largest school district, Fairfax County Public Schools, Chad Maclin, who told me ALL Fairfax CTE programs will have 100% SkillsUSA membership in 2010. Thanks to SkillsUSA Virginia and State Association Director, David Rathbone, and the VATIE organization for this great opportunity.