January-February 2009

 

Happy New Year! Welcome to CTE Connections! This will be a bi-monthly update from the CTE Center. We want to keep you posted on legislative news, current events, valuable research studies, resource materials, and, of course, alert you to our own products, resources, and services as they become available. For past postings, please see our archives page.

 

CTE in the Community

New Process Technology Program Meets the Demand of a Growing Industry

Leeward Community College graduated its first class of the Process Technology Program.  The 18 month program, offered through Leeward CC’s Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, offers specialized classes in Process Technology.  Process Technology is a career for students seeking a high-tech job in fields such  , pulp and paper manufacturing, and water treatment. Hawai’i’s process technology industries are having a difficult time finding qualified applicants, while the numbers of available jobs are expected to increase as current aging workforce begins to retire.

 

Pahoa High School Teachers wins essay Contest and $60,000 worth of computer equipment

The Star Bulletin (1/5, Thompson) reported that Pahoa High and Intermediate school food service and nutrition teacher Suzanne Nozaki was one of 30 first-prize winners nationwide in the Samsung Hope for Education Contest! Thanks to Nozaki’s essay on how many old gadgets “have a second life”, the schools will receive $60,000 in technology devices. Kudos to Ms. Suzanne Nozaki for her outstanding work!

 

 

2008 Year in Review- Legislative Update

Perkins Implementation

  • Department of Education’s approval of each state’s five year Perkins plan.
  • Department of Education’s awarding six state grant awards to promote rigorous CTE programs of study through statewide articulation agreements, to better align secondary and postsecondary education. Hawai’i was one of the states awarded.

 

Appropriations Work

  • In terms of budget and appropriations works, Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 was unproductive. Only one bill, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act was signed into law.A tug-a-war between the Senate and House resulted in the Senate passing their education spending bills, funding Perkins at FY 2008 levels. The House was not as productive.
  • Adjournment ended all appropriations work, but the good news is that the FY 2009 appropriations spending bill is expected to be one of the first orders of business when Congress convenes in January.

 

Higher Education Act Reauthorization

  • For the first time in 10 years, a new, comprehensive version of the Higher Education Act was signed into law.
  • The new act largely focuses on financial aid for postsecondary students and teacher education. Highlights include:
    • Raised ceiling on Pell grant to $8000 and allows students to receive Pell grants year round
    • Simplified and shortened federal student aid process and application
    • Tightens regulations of private loans

 

National Conversation on CTE

  • Many organizations took interest in CTE in 2008, particularly related to school reform from the perspective of student engagement and academic-CTE integration. The following organizations produced reports and/or undertook significant policy work related to CTE
    • Achieve’s American Diploma Project works with states to ensure all students completed high school ready for college courses. Achieve also produced a policy paper, “The Perkins Act of 2006: Connecting Career and Technical Education with the College and Career Readiness Agenda.”
    • National Governor’s Association released an issue brief, “Retooling Career and Technical Education” in 2007 and further built upon the brief by issuing grants to six states.
    • National Association of State Boards of Education produced the report, “Learning to Work, Working to Learn” in October 2008. The report develops policies to address quality, recruitment and compensation for CTE instructors and addresses the poor image of CTE with educators, parents, guidance counselors, and the public.

       Complete review.

 

 

Publications and Research

Tough Choices or Tough Times, the report of the new commission on the skills of the American Workforce is an eye-opening report that educators, policymakers, businesspeople, job seekers and citizens who want America to be prosperous and competitive in the 21st century should read. Excerpts from the Executive Summary:

“The first Commission never dreamed that we would end up competing with countries that could offer large numbers of highly educated workers willing to work for low wages.  But China and India are doing exactly that.  Indeed, it turns out that China and India are only the tip of the iceberg.  Whereas for most of the 20th century in the United States could take pride in having the best-educated workforce in the world, that is no longer true.  Over the past 30 years, one country after another has surpassed us in the proportion of their entering workforce with the equivalent of a high school diploma, and many are on the verge of doing so.  Thirty years ago, the United States could lay claim to having 30 percent of the world’s college students. Today that proportion has fallen to 14 percent and is continuing to fall.”

 

 

National News

Duncan Confirmed as Secretary of Education

The Senate confirmed former Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan as U.S. Secretary of Education yesterday. The confirmation isn't a surprise, given the warm reception Duncan got from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. But, now that Duncan is officially in place, we may start hearing about some of the other positions in the Department of Education.   Mr. Duncan is the former chief executive officer of Chicago’s public school system.  During his seven years as the leader of the 408,000-student school system Mr. Duncan has aggressively pushed for more charter schools and new ways to recruit and prepare teachers. Mr. Duncan will confront a host of challenges at the Department of Education including reauthorizing NCLB as well as keeping student loans flowing.

 

 

Tips for Teachers

The Dallas Morning News (1/5, Unmuth) reported, "Thousands of teachers are sharing videos on a website called Teacher Tube, started in March 2007 by Jason Smith, 39, the superintendent of Melissa ISD in rural Collin County, and his brother Adam, 29, an engineer." The website "now has about 220,000 regular users, more than 54,000 videos and is averaging about 800,000 visitors to the site every month." Adam Smith noted that "videos that incorporate songs, visual aids, and math and science tend to be popular on the site." According to the Morning News, "teachers from across the country are sharing instructional videos for kids, raps and jokes on the website often shown at teacher training sessions," and "many teachers use the videos in class." The article noted the mechanics of the site, and added that "teacher Tube is just one example of how technology, and particularly social networking websites, are changing education. Other sites include School Tube, which is aimed more at kids producing videos, and Curriki, where teachers share lesson plans."

 

 

 

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