December 1st, 2010
The fate of 24 children in a typical elementary school class in the U.S.
- Seven drop out before HS graduation
- Five go from HS to work (with 22% of those pursuing training)
- Six do not graduate from college
- Three do not find college-level jobs
- Three find jobs requiring their baccalaureate degree education
In percentages, 30 percent drop out. Half of the 24 go to college, but only half of those graduate (BA/BS). Six of the 24 do graduate from college, but only three of those six find jobs upon graduation worthy of their education, meaning only 12.5 percent “win” the pursuit of baccalaureate education.
From the presentation to the fall 2005 conference of National Association of State Directors of Career & Technical Education (NASDCTEc) in Harrisburg, Pa., by Ken Gray, Ph.D., now-retired professor of Workforce Development & Education at Penn State.
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 email@example.com or 301-588-9630.
November 15th, 2010
While I was in Kansas City, a staffer represented SkillsUSA during the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc) fall meeting in Baltimore. NASDCTEc meeting agendas are always packed with great information. The first half of this conference focused on leading strategic change and was very much in line with SkillsUSA’s own Vision 2020 when looking at the acceleration of change around us. (Here’s an interesting factoid from workshop leader Langdon Morris to illustrate the rate of change: An iPod – if it had existed in 1976 – would have cost $3.2 billion and would have taken up an entire computer room.)
The second half of the conference got down to specifics on career and technical education including a presentation and a panel discussion by experts on a recently released study entitled Learning for Jobs: The OECD Policy Review of Vocational Education and Training. Simon Field, the project manager for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development cited several of the study’s findings comparing vocational education at the high school level in 34 nations. He began with the point that “The wealth of nations will come to rely more on the skills of their people than on other sources such as natural resources.” As a consequence, nations should be investing in vocational education and, he said, “The top priority should be bridging the gap between school and business.” When compared to other developed nations, Simon said: “The U.S. actually has a good high school CTE structure. It just needs to be used for far more students” and he spoke specifically of those students who delay postsecondary education until they are 28. One of the panelists, Robert Schwartz, professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education, said he has changed his mind on the value of career and technical education. He said the applied method works and that CTE, when focused on a credential – not narrowly job specific – and including employability and occupational skills, is the way to build a society, not just workers.
Staff met with Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, as she began her “national Perkins listening tour” on CTE and we’ve invited her to national conference. We also broached the subject of a briefing at the Department of Education for the Youth Development Foundation Committee meeting to be held in Washington in April and was told: “Get me the dates.” Staff reports that Board Member Milt Ericksen was an outstanding master of ceremonies for the NASDCTEc sessions.
August 1st, 2010
The National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSOs) met at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education in Washington, D.C. on the 21st. The early part of the meeting was a proposal by the National Research Center for CTE to conduct additional research on the CTSOs. Specifically, the research would be modeled on the math study done by the center a few years ago to demonstrate the value of CTE in teaching mathematics. This would focus on CTSOs as an intervention model and would include professional development for advisors as the math study did.
In our round table discussion, we heard that ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of CTE consortium (NASDCTEc) believe that Congress will go ahead with level funding for CTE next year. NASDCTEc is pushing to have CTE written into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act particularly in light of career clusters. And, speaking of career clusters, SkillsUSA also received congratulations for the great job SkillsUSA Kansas State Association Director Ann Wick did showing how CTSOs fit into the career cluster model during the NASDCTEc Career Clusters Institute in Denver last June. Representatives of ACTE and NASDCTEc were pleased with the opportunity to present during the Call to Action session at conference.
May 1st, 2009
Staff attended the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc) Spring Meeting April 8-10 in Washington, D.C. The report is that the mood among the state CTE directors and representatives from the administration, Congress and inside-the-Beltway experts was decidedly upbeat about CTE. There were at least three reasons:
First, the new administration is receptive and supportive of CTE. Dennis Berry, acting assistant secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) reported that he already had a meeting with the “triple crown” of the administration including the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Office at their invitation to discuss the role of CTE in education and training. He said career pathways are a hot topic with the administration. He also said the administration is looking at the full continuum of education with specific aims in preventing school dropouts and moving students to higher education (including community colleges and technical training), and CTE has the proven track record.
Second, CTE has been gathering the data for accountability to show success in both education reform and education outcomes and, now, they have the results to swing around. All the directors were quoting their state research when they spoke, and they referenced the studies that are ongoing. And, OVAE presented aggregated data from the states that showed CTE concentrators (three or more courses) nationally are either holding their own or exceeding test scores of students generally. In some places, they’re way ahead. Two places where CTE really stands out are in the areas of preventing dropouts, and figures are also excellent for going to higher education and completing studies. The official figures will be released in May.
Third, the condition of the economy and the need for retraining throw a light of inevitability on CTE. As Tony Carnevale, director and research professor at Georgetown University put it: “The economy and education have finally run into each other.” He made several points following that assertion – including the turn around in college degrees from liberal arts to what are essentially “vocational education” degrees – to the fact that jobs paying a middle-class wage depend upon education and half of all those jobs now and in the future are taught by CTE. Many speakers referenced the fact that CTE is always on the cutting edge of changes in the economy.
Other big topics during the conference were the effects of the stimulus and recovery monies on the states particularly on education budgets, green careers and the federal legislative calendar among others. Staff says a big congratulation goes to Kim Green and her staff at NASDCTEc, and he enjoyed visiting with board member Wayne Kutzer throughout the conference.