Transcripts

TechNotes - April 30, 2008

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

The New Jersey Governors Press Office, on PolitickerNJ.com, has posted about the unveiling of a plan for preparing every New Jersey student for college and the workforce. The paper, “NJ STEPS: Re-Designing Education in New Jersey for the 21st Century,” concentrates on five points: standards and high school graduation requirements, assessment alignment, school leaders and teachers, learning communities and personalized education, and P-16 alignment. Related to CTE are the recommendations to redesign high schools as learning communities and the pathways through postsecondary education.

CNN and CareerBuilder.com are reporting on entry-level salaries for recent college graduates. In the technical field, computer science majors should see a 7.9 percent increase in entry-level salaries. Engineers should expect a smaller increase. Finance, accounting, and business administration and management majors are predicted to receive a less than 2 percent increase from last year, while liberal arts majors are looking at a 9 percent increase in entry-level salaries.

Ventura County, California, students will be losing CTE classes as a result of potential state budget cuts and $292,000 that, according to county officials, is being redirected from Ventura County to Los Angeles. This money had already been planned for in the Ventura County budget, but when Los Angeles’ attendance rebounded, the money was moved by the state. At least six programs will be cut from Ventura County, including an auto class and computer maintenance courses. These courses were chosen because of low numbers or because the teacher is leaving at the end of the year.

But other CTE programs in California are getting funding. Ceres High School and two other Modesto-area schools will receive state bond money to update their CTE facilities. According to an article in The Modesto Bee, almost 175 projects will share $198 million statewide.

Mississippi is starting a statewide pilot of Math-in-CTE. 30 teacher teams will begin this fall, keeping track of student achievement. This program is the result of a five-year research study, and a representative from the Mississippi Department of Education tech-prep office says that all public high schools in Mississippi will offer Math-in-CTE eventually.

And finally, let’s wish a happy 100th birthday to CTE in Massachusetts!

Well, this will be the last episode of TechNotes. Thank you all for listening. I encourage you to tune into ACTE’s interview podcast, Career Tech Talk, throughout the summer and next year at http://careertechtalk.podbean.com/. You can also find this podcast on iTunes. Career Tech Talk features interviews with policymakers, educators, industry leaders, authors, celebrities and others who are making a difference in career and technical education. Once again, thank you for listening.

Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes – March 31, 2008

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings defended President Bush’s extensive cuts to CTE funding in front of Oklahoma legislators early in March. In response to comments by Pat McGregor, Oklahoma ACTE executive director, about CTE’s role in Oklahoma with workforce development, displaced workers and prison inmates, Spellings explained her belief that the CTE system overall is not effective enough to merit more funding.

Led by its principal, a Massachusetts high school is implementing a marine technology course this fall. Housed in an unused auto shop, this college prep course “introduces students to the skills necessary to repair and maintain oceangoing pleasure craft.” The class will teach students a practical application of physics. To fund the program, Marblehead High School will receive money from the state but the school will provide curriculum supplies. Grants and private funding will supply the rest of the money. According to the article, Marblehead’s dedication to vocational training is in contrast to the rest of the state.

A new technical academy will open in 2010 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The idea for the academy came from a district committee considering changes to the traditional high school format as the state legal dropout age goes from 16 to 18. The half-day academy would be free to Sioux Falls public school students and some or all students might be eligible for free bus service. The $13.3 million cost estimate for the school should be covered by the district capital improvements plan and should not require a tax increase, although neighboring districts would pay an enrollment fee for their students to attend.

A hearing was held on renovations for the Connellsville Area Career and Technical Education Center in Pennsylvania, built in 1972. Additions would include a kitchen, a cafeteria combined with a gym, an education wing and a security vestibule. Theory classrooms would also be added to the shops, and basic systems such as heating and plumbing would be upgraded. A biotechnology room was requested and administrators are looking into that. If you couldn’t attend the hearing, you can still send your thoughts to the Connellsville Area School District administration by noon on April 21.

Recently, the Northwest Ohio Tech Prep Regional Showcase displayed student-produced projects. Winning for agriculture and environment management was a project on the Veterans' Freedom Flag Memorial. Other winning projects were “Kidz Space” for the law and public safety category, work on sleep deprivation in the health sciences category, and a fuel and ignition system in transportation systems. Members of the winning teams were awarded $500 scholarships to local colleges.

And now I have a brief announcement about this podcast. Listenership for TechNotes hasn’t been very high, and ACTE is considering discontinuing it. Please leave a comment on the Web site, http://actemedia.podbean.com/, or e-mail me, podcasting@acteonline.org, if you would like TechNotes to continue. Otherwise, this podcast may be cancelled at the end of the 2007-2008 school year. We will be continuing with Career Tech Talk, ACTE’s interview podcast throughout the summer and into the 2008-2009 school year. You can reach that podcast at http://careertechtalk.podbean.com/.

More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes – February 29, 2008

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

Unless you’ve been residing under a rock, you have probably heard that the Administration’s proposed budget for FY2009 eliminates all federal funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, including the Perkins Basic State Grant, Tech Prep and National Programs, and eliminates 44 other educational programs at a total cost of $3.2 billion. For more information or to take action, visit http://www.acteonline.org/

California has launched a statewide marketing campaign encouraging students to take career and technical education courses. Called “Who Do U Want 2 B?” the campaign features Internet and radio ads that target 12- to 19-year-olds by showing career-oriented community college students and graduates. Activities and outreach will target corporate and community partnerships and information will be distributed to schools, regional occupation centers and program sites, and community colleges. This is part of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s CTE Initiative. 

In other California news, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, a new organization that promotes CTE, has released 10 policy recommendations. But ConnectEd’s president says that only four are realistic this year given Gov. Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cuts for education. These four are government acceptance of multiple pathways policy goals, giving students time to take more courses, making more work-based learning available and improving teacher preparation. 

Some schools and districts were very active during Career and Technical Education Month 2008. Activities at Thomasville High School in Thomasville, Alabama, included mailbox surprises for teachers and a Valentine’s party at an assisted living facility—both projects were sponsored by FCCLA students. In addition, a teacher appreciation day was held, a new chapter of the Health Organizations Student Association was organized, and community professionals were invited to talk about careers and success in the current job market. 

In Pennsylvania, February brought the 18th year of an event showcasing career and technical education as well as Gov. Rendell’s latest budget proposal, which calls for continuing investment in programs that engage students with science and a $1.6 million increase in CTE funding. This increase would bring the state’s total funding for CTE to $64.5 million in 2008-2009. The governor also launched Job Ready Pennsylvania to bring local workforce spending into line with high-priority occupations and industries.

February 10-16 was SkillsUSA Week. This week is for promoting SkillsUSA programs at the state and local levels. Activities included visits to local businesses, open houses for parents and competitions. 

The Texas H.O.T. Jobs Web site is expanding to provide more health careers resources to young career seekers, especially to minorities and those from underserved rural and urban communities, with help from a $342,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Part of the expansion will be a professional role models section, for which the site is soliciting feedback from health career professionals through an online survey. You can find the link in the show notes. 

An application to establish the Roughrider Area Career and Technical Center in North Dakota was approved in January. In addition, an approximately $46,000 grant will help support videoconferencing capabilities at the center, which will virtually connect 10 schools. 

According to an article on MinnPost.com, Minneapolis Public Schools will be redesigning all seven of its high schools into smaller learning communities and building courses around four core programs: Advanced Placement, College in the Schools, Career and Technical Education, and International Baccalaureate. Students in the CTE program will also be eligible to participate in the Advanced Placement and College in Schools programs. The article describes the expansion of CTE as the most radical part of the redesign, although district data indicates that CTE students are outperforming their peers. Some of these changes are already taking place, although significant fundraising will be needed to fully implement the redesign by 2014. 

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education. 

TechNotes – January 31, 2008

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

Housing Downturn Squeezing Schools,” announces the front page of the Washington Post on January 30. The article explains that school systems draw funds from state and county governments, and that those governments rely on property taxes for revenue. So the 7.7 percent drop in home values in the DC metro region in the third quarter last year has halted the rapid growth of education budgets. In the District, next year's budget will probably drop from $796.2 million to $794.6 million. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, there is no money for teacher raises in the budget, and a plan for K-8 schools will be put on hold. And even in wealthier Fairfax County, Virginia, schools may stop covering fees on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests for some students.

Education stocks are also hurting in the fluctuating stock market. Shares of Corinthian Colleges Inc. lost more than a third of their value in January after the company revealed that three lenders, including Sallie Mae, will no longer provide loans for subprime student borrowers. Analyst Suzanne Stein expressed concerned over the quality of Corinthian’s assets and student population because its borrowers typically pursue career-oriented diplomas rather than degrees. She states, “These students are generally at a higher risk of default.” Career Education, ITT, Devry, Universal Technical Institute and Strayer also saw declines.

Kentucky To Host SkillsUSA National Conference,” according to kypost.com. Leaving Kansas City after several years, SkillsUSA is moving its conference to Louisville for six years beginning in 2015. SkillsUSA is the nation’s biggest showcase for CTE students, and each year of the conference is expected to attract 14,000 attendees.

Columbia University’s Community College Research Center has received funds to conduct a three-year project to implement and study dual enrollment in California. This $4.4 million grant from the Irvine Foundation will allow the center to bid out several grants to enable partnerships between California schools on the secondary and postsecondary levels. The center will help grantees implement their programs and will assess the programs' effectiveness.

Bob Priddy on Missourinet says that in that state, students are turned away by the thousands each year from CTE centers because those centers can’t accommodate them, and don’t have the money to expand. Local tuition has increased 19 times more than state and federal funding has increased, according to secondary and postsecondary CTE school administrators. Rich Payne, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, says that this lack of state and federal support means local costs may make CTE too expensive for many students and school districts.

In other Missouri news, the state just held six public hearings on the CTE plan under Perkins. Written comments may be submitted online from February 1-15.

Virginia’s first six Governor's Career and Technical Academies have each received grants of $120,000 for planning and implementing Gov. Tim Kaine’s plan to align STEM instruction and workforce development with secondary education. The academies, located in Arlington, Halifax, Stafford and Russell counties as well as Newport News and Suffolk, should be in operation by the 2008-2009 school year. One of the schools, Arlington Career Center, will likely be reconceived as a technical academy, integrating science and technology into automotive, digital media, information technology, emergency medical services and engineering. The money is from grants awarded by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

Georgia is investing $93 million in CTE. A bond package announced by Gov. Sonny Perdue would provide $1.5 million for an auditorium at Lanier Technical College Forsyth County campus, $12.86 million for expansion and classroom building at Lanier’s Dawson County campus and Appalachian Technical College's Cherokee County campus, $5 million to build high school career academies on public school campuses across the state, and possibly $18.7 million for a life sciences building at Gwinnett Technical College. An additional $19 million would go toward equipment.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, in a State of the State speech this week, announced a plan for 100 small high schools. These schools would be limited to 400 students or fewer and would be governed on site by a principal with increased autonomy to set budgets, create curriculum and hire teachers. The initiative would be funded by $300 million raised by borrowing against future school aid revenue, according to The Flint Journal.

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes – January 4, 2008

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

In December, education funding was approved with a small cut to Perkins. Congress finally approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill as part of a larger $555 billion omnibus legislative package known as H.R.2764. The bill includes $59.2 billion for education and $1.175 billion for the Perkins Act, which represents an $11 million cut from the FY 2007 Perkins level.

Approved by the House on December 19 by a 272-142 vote, the bill met two requirements from President Bush: it remained under $933 billion, and it included $70 billion in increases for funding the Iraq War. Perkins funding had been increased by $25 million in an earlier Congressionally-passed bill, but that measure was vetoed by the President and Congress was unable to override the veto. Check out the funding chart on the ACTE Web site—there’s a link in the show notes.

Nearly $1 million of that Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill will be used to support STEM education in Rochester, New York. The Rochester Area Colleges Center for Excellence in Math and Science will receive funds for more teacher training. The money will also be used to entice students to become STEM teachers. In addition, several New York state schools have received $3 million over five years from the National Science Foundation for such projects as articulation agreements with area community colleges, research internships, and academic services for minority and economically disadvantaged students going into STEM.

Monmouth County's Career Academies Honored As America's Best,” according to the Manchester Times. Four Monmouth, New Jersey, career academies are listed in the 2008 U.S. News & World Report list of America's Best High Schools. High Technology High School in Lincroft is ranked seventh out of 18,790 public high schools and is included in the magazine's list of Gold Medal schools. Allied Health and Science High School in Neptune and the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at Sandy Hook were honored as Silver Medal schools, and Communications High School in Wall was recognized with a Bronze Medal.

A Utah tech college is resisting a merger with a general community college. The state commissioner of higher education has recommended that the Salt Lake-Tooele Applied Technology College, SLTATC, merge with Salt Lake Community College to decrease program overlap and costs. The technology college opposes the recommendation because the region served by SLTATC is the largest in the state and demand for job training is very high, according to SLTATC board chairman Tom Bingham.

Washington State is asking the public to help determine how the state will spend Perkins dollars. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board will conduct five hearings this month to solicit ideas and comments on how it should spend federal money to improve and expand access to the state's career and technical education programs. A draft five-year plan will be available at http://wtb.wa.gov/ by January 7.

An article from Bloomberg.com describes how Bill Gates is helping the group Strong American Schools make education the number one domestic issue in the upcoming presidential election. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding $30 million for a project called Ed for ’08, which will encourage the next president to support learning standards, increased training and salaries for teachers, and longer class days and school years. Providing another $30 million for the project is the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in Los Angeles.

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes - November 30, 2007

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill has been vetoed by the President, and since the House was two votes shy of overturning the Presidential veto, Congress must identify another strategy for passing the legislation when it returns in December from Thanksgiving recess. A $25 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant program contained in the bill is now in limbo.

Virginia to Open Six Academies Emphasizing Science, Technology (registration required),” from the Associated Press on November 19. Virginia. Gov. Tim Kaine hopes to open up to six Governor's Career and Technical Academies focused on STEM topics by next fall. The academies are meant to produce graduates ready to start work in technical fields immediately after high school. Part of the funding comes from a $500,000 grant awarded to the state this summer from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. Kaine spokesman Gordon Hickey says Kaine decided to use the grant money for these academies after discussions with business leaders who need a more skilled workforce.

An annual survey of Indiana high schoolers shows that health careers are the most popular careers for juniors planning on attending college, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. The arts, A/V technology and communications cluster was second in popularity, with the STEM disciplines holding on to third place. Interest in the STEM field has remained flat for the past three years, with 11 percent of students choosing STEM as a career goal.

There’s an interesting article in the Voice of San Diego about the problems that can arise when students take courses off-campus. In California, due to a quirk in how schools keep track of attendance, students who take college classes or job training during school hours aren't counted for attendance dollars, even though they're earning credits in school-approved programs. This rule could discourage California schools from recommending that students take advantage of off-campus opportunities. ACTE’s own Steve DeWitt is quoted in the article, which goes on to tell readers that in the San Diego district, a student spending a full day in the classroom makes $32 for his or her school.

In the global workforce, some American companies are feeling less friendly about employing nonresidents. In a Business Week article by a Duke University professor, at a recent job fair at the college in North Carolina, some businesses posted signs saying “U.S. citizens and permanents only.” Foreign-born students expressed disappointment that companies such as General Electric, IBM and Carmax would not interview them. The companies say there are not enough visas, even though statistics from the American Society of Engineering Education say that foreigners make up almost 45 percent of masters-level engineering students and 60 percent of PhDs.

The virtual world Second Life is now helping nursing students train. According to the News Tribune, a professor at Tacoma Community College in Washington has simulated an emergency room environment for his students. Second-year surgery students are practicing diagnosis and life-saving procedures in Second Life. Professor John Miller’s simulation involves presenting students with a patient lying on an operating table who suffers from a particular condition. The students diagnose and tell their online personas or avatars what real-life tools to use to help the patients.

The Patriot-News reports that a house-building program called New Beginnings: Houses of Hope Initiative will enroll at least 60 students who are on the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, school system's dropout roster or in the Dauphin County juvenile justice system. The students, who will be between 17 and 24, will be trained in construction and will work on city and county housing rehabilitation programs. They will earn $50-100 per week with an option for $25 weekly bonuses. These students will also be re-enrolled in school and will be helped to make a transition to full-time work with a private employer. The program is funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor's YouthBuild program. In the Harrisburg area, about 40 percent of freshmen don’t make it to their senior year.

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes – October 31, 2007

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

The biggest news is that on October 23, the Senate passed its FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. The bill was approved by a 75-19 vote. The Senate’s bill provides $150 billion, including $60.1 billion for education, an increase of $4.1 billion over the President’s request.

The Senate-passed bill provides level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant and Tech Prep programs. While Sens. Smith (R-OR) and Casey (D-PA) had offered an amendment to increase Perkins funding by $25 million to match House-passed levels, this was not considered during the debate. Sen. Harkin, the bill’s sponsor, says he hopes to increase funding for Perkins during the conference with the House. 

In other legislative news, the DREAM Act, which would have provided a conditional residency permit for the children of illegal immigrants, allowing them to go to U.S. colleges, was defeated in the Senate.

The DailyPress.com reported on October 26 that “New Horizons has plan for school for disabled.” The Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind and Multi-Disabled in Hampton began 100 years ago as a school for disabled Black children but expanded over the years to include students from all races and ethnic backgrounds. The school is about to end its residential program and students will be sent to school in Staunton, Virginia, next year. But the New Horizons Regional Education Center, which offers vocational, technical and special education programs and is the site of the regional Governor's School for Science and Technology, has several ideas about what the site could be used for, including career and technical education for students with disabilities.

In a New York Post story, New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson recently called for greater focus on CTE to meet projected labor shortages in certain trades. Thompson said the city’s department of education has not focused on CTE and urged these steps to fix the problem:

- Greater funding for vocational education

- A 5-year high-school course for CTE instead of four years

- More partnerships with private firms that offer internships and training

In other news in New York, state education officials are proposing to place 12,000 potential dropouts in dual enrollment courses. These students would complete high school and a bachelor’s degree in seven years, according to Commissioner Richard P. Mills. The program is requesting $100 million in funding from the state, with student enrollment starting in fall 2009.

According to KPBS, California released a new blueprint for career technical education programs in October. It's designed to make CTE programs meet state academic standards. According to the report, there hasn't been a career tech framework for public schools until now, which has resulted in a hodgepodge of classes that may not satisfy state standards.

Funds will aid Utes’ careers,” says the Cortez Journal Online. Members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will soon be able to receive career counseling and postsecondary professional training at a new career center funded by a five-year, $2.8 million grant administered under the Department of Education's Native American Career and Technical Education Program. The center will open next year, first in an advisory capacity and then with courses taught by staff from nearby colleges. The first courses will focus on administrative skills, including computer and office training, and heavy equipment operation and construction.

 

Lawmaker Proposes Free Tuition at Oklahoma's Two-year Colleges.” State Sen. Kenneth Corn has a proposal that would allow any Oklahoma high school graduate to go to a community college or career tech school for free regardless of their parents' income. The program would not have the same curriculum and grade point average requirements as Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarships, which are for four-year schools. In workforce issues, a blog on CNET discusses how the fast-track immigration program known as the blue card, meant for high-tech workers, is making U.S. tech firms uneasy. One reason for this uneasiness is that the EU blue cards would take only one-three months to process, unlike U.S. green cards, which take 5-10 years.To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.TechNotes – September 28, 2007Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.There’s a lot going on in general education news right now, so I’m just going to start with a brief rundown. In the headlines, we have the College Cost and Reduction Act, which cuts interest rates on subsidized student loans, increases Pell Grant money, invests in institutions that typically serve minorities, provides loan forgiveness for public servants and provides tuition assistance for future educators who will teach in high-need areas and subjects. You can find more information on the bill at edlabor.house.gov. The President just signed this act into law yesterday.In addition, there is the DREAM Act that would allow children brought into the country illegally before the age of 16, who also meet other requirements, to get a conditional residency permit. Upon completion of two years of military service or two years of postsecondary ed, the students could get full citizenship. You can see the full text at the Library of Congress’s Web page under S.774.  There is also the 2007 National Assessment of Education Progress, released this week with reading and math scores from fourth and eighth grade. For the results, go to nces.ed.gov. And I’ll have all these hyperlinks available in the transcript for your use.And Collision Week, on September 14, 2007, covered the September 10th testimony of education leaders before the House Education and Labor Committee hearing, providing recommendations on No Child Left Behind. ACTE’s own executive director, Jan Bray, discussed high school reform, links to career and workforce readiness, and the importance of including CTE in the reauthorized law.Many other people involved in education spoke before the committee, including the NEA president, who said the organization could not support the current draft. Full testimony can be found at edworkforce.house.gov.To move to the state level, attempts to open a technology school district in northwestern Oklahoma have been abandoned after voter dissent on funding. “New school district dissolved by CareerTech Board,” an article in The Journal Record, discusses how the new district in Texas County was dissolved after a tax levy was opposed by 80 percent of voters.And in a story titled “Board decides to go it alone,” in the Salina Journal, the Salina Area Technical School has voted to become a stand-alone college after Kansas mandated that technical schools either become degree-granting colleges or merge with one within the next couple of years.

We have more news from Kansas. In a story in the Arkansas City Traveler on September 12, 2007, “Oxford Students Plan to Reopen the Old Mill.” This is about a school system in Kansas that will teach students entrepreneurial skills through reopening an old flour mill. Oxford students will design an overall business plan; develop marketing, financial and personnel skills; and earn college credits for courses. The mill will have a specialty restaurant and gift shop and will display artwork and serve as a music venue. It will open in January 2008 for limited occasions.

A story from Arizona State University on September 21 talks about students at Coronado High School in Scottsdale involved in an after-school program sponsored by ASU and the Scottsdale school district. The program teaches high schoolers cutting-edge software techniques that aren’t usually taught until graduate school. This latest process in software development, called service-oriented computing, uses packages of existing code to put together an application. The differences between this and traditional computing call for different teaching approaches, the story says. The article also discusses the drop in undergraduate enrollment in computer studies, which is now half of what it was in 2000. 

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at www.acteonline.org. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes – August 30, 2007

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

Our first story is titled “More Students Finish School, Given the Time.” The New York Times reported on August 21, 2007, about the city’s programs that help students who have failed many classes earn diplomas.For younger high school students, there are more than two dozen “transfer schools” that offer smaller classes and remedial instruction. It’s hoped that more of these will open over the next five years.

For most students who are older than 17, the city has established “young adult borough centers” that provide counseling and night classes. The efforts end for students when they reach the age of 21, at which point the school system is no longer required by state law to educate them.

The programs began in 2004 with 2,000 students, and they now educate more than 7,000 students. The transfer schools and centers are part of a $37 million investment; an additional $31 million is contracted for more programs.

Next we have “Plan for a Turnaround: Two schools are overhauled toward a new mission,” from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 12, 2007. This article describes how South Atlanta High School and D.M. Therrell High School will have small schools within each school similar to colleges on a university campus. Each small school will have its own principal, a couple of hundred students and a different academic theme.The $60 million initiative is meant to boost achievement and graduation rates by creating a more nurturing environment than is provided by larger, more impersonal schools. Small school themes include law, medicine, engineering and business.

In news on the other coast, “Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Budget that Creates Historic Reserve,” according to the NewsBlaze on August 24, 2007. This budget fully funds education without raising taxes.In the K-12 segment, career and technical education is funded with $52 million, including $20 million from Proposition 98—which requires a certain percentage to be spent on K-12 education—and $32 million from other sources.

This next story relates to a topic that has been in the news a great deal lately. “UAS to offer mine training classes,” the AP on August 23, 2007, explains that the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will offer entry-level mine training classes in October. This is in response to the mining industry's request for better trained entry-level employees. The classes include labor training, mine safety and a course for entry-level underground miners or nippers.

And from Nevada, we have a story titled “WNC starts online manufacturing education program.” The Nevada Appeal reported on August 22, 2007, that Western Nevada College (WNC) received a $101,000 grant from the state Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation for online programs in manufacturing. This will meet the needs of area industrial companies for qualified workers while minimizing the amount of time workers spend off site in class.

The first course this September will cover the basics of handling electrical and mechanical systems.

On the national front, we have the article Pell Grant increase in the works,” in The New York Post, August 26, 2007. Congress is working on legislation that, if signed into law, could help college students get an additional $8,000 in aid over four years of college. This is in response to concern that the federal Pell Grant program has not kept up with inflation.There are two different versions of the legislation in the Senate and the House, with students receiving approximately $1,000 to $2,000 more per year by 2011. There may be a veto from the President, however, as the administration claims that the bills are being loaded with other pork.

Our last story is titled “Children of invention ‘build cool stuff’.” The Boston Globe reported on August 2, 2007, about students at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell’s recent DesignCamp. Five hundred fifty students in grades 5-11 attended the summer program, which offered workshops on designing robots, marshmallow cannons and water balloon dunk tanks and on analyzing fingerprints, hair, fibers and ink with chemicals and microscopes.

Projects included 15-year-old Rachel Wilk’s flashlight that attaches to a backpack to keep hikers hands free and 14-year-old Anthony Altieri’s stereo speaker that included a foam board, a styrofoam plate and latex rubber.

More than 25 percent of the campers received scholarships, and about 35 percent of the campers were girls. The goal of the program is to stimulate students’ interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

TechNotes - July 30, 2007

Welcome to TechNotes—highlights in career and technical education news—brought to you by the Association for Career and Technical Education, ACTE.

Our first story is called “New Valley school is in a class all by itself,” Anchorage Daily News, July 19, 2007. This article talks about a new school in Wasilla, Alaska, called the Mat-Su Career and Technical High School. The school is opening in August with 270 full-time students and 160 part-time students. They will study everything from architecture, pre-engineering and sports medicine to medical billing, Web design and culinary arts.

Now, the school cost $22 million to build, and it’s described as “a building that teaches.” There are exposed buckling restraint beams that line the interior walls and exposed wires and cables lying in plastic-coated wire trays that line the ceilings.The school’s curriculum will include the traditional high school lineup of English, history, math and science, and many of its students will be geared toward college.

But core classes will be taught contextually. Classes will be lead by people with training in that field: so, certified engineers for engineering classes, nurses for pre-nursing and a chef for the culinary classes.  

Proposed rule change could benefit work-study programs,” School Board News, July 2007. This news item is about the U.S. Labor Department, which is considering allowing students under the age of 16 to work during the school day. The current law prohibits students under 16 from working more than three hours in a school day, but the change would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work up to eight hours a day.

Directors of CTE programs believe the change will provide more opportunities for students to gain experience and learn about different careers.

This would affect programs with on-the-job components. One program in the agriculture department at John Bowne High School in Queens, New York, allows students to choose between working a 300-hour job in the city or spending a summer working on a farm in upstate New York. The department’s assistant principal believes that if younger students were allowed to work longer hours, they could complete their work-study requirements faster and earn more money.

However, child advocates say changes could hurt decades of progress in protecting children from being exploited. But CTE advocates believe it’s less about exploitation and more about providing opportunities.

Our next article is titled “NGA awards $500,000 grants to six states to improve STEM education.” It’s from eSchool News, July 11, 2007. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices has awarded $500,000 grants for STEM centers—those are science, technology, engineering and mathematics center—to six states: Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

These grants will be for creating new STEM centers, supporting the development of a network of STEM centers or reforming existing STEM centers. If you’re in CTE, you probably know that STEM education aligns K-12 education requirements with postsecondary and workplace expectations. Part of the initiative is for improving the quantity and quality of STEM teachers and identifying best practices that can be implemented elsewhere.

The grants are part of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano’s Innovation America campaign.

The Portage Daily Register talks about “A taste of the technical life for Portage students,” July 25, 2007. In Portage, Wisconsin, middle school students are getting a taste of career and technical education at the Madison Area Technical College, known as MATC. According to the campus manager for MATC in Portage, “high school is almost too late for students to start look[ing] into technical careers.”

Through a College 4 Kids workshop, the Portage location is the first MATC school to offer a taste of technical programs to middle school students. Fifteen students, ready to enter seventh or eighth grade, had hands-on experience with "Fun with Plastics" and "Teen Cuisine.” They also explored medicine and business. If College 4 Kids is well received, the program might be implemented at other MATC campuses.

Our last headline is “Fuller Bill to help career tech students land jobs passes senate committee,” Tehachapi News, July 16, 2007.In California, Assembly Bill 973, authored by Assemblymember Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), passed the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee with bipartisan support. AB 973 waives all of the initial fees—including certification, licensing, and exam fees—for high school students and recent high school graduates seeking state certification or licensure. But this waiver is only for applicants that have completed the necessary career and technical education courses. “The entry fees present a barrier to young people who want to enter the workforce,” stated Fuller. The measure now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.To comment on this podcast, you can contact us at podcasting@acteonline.org. More career and technical education news is available on the ACTE Web site at http://www.acteonline.org/. That’s w-w-w dot a-c-t-e-o-n-l-i-n-e dot o-r-g. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by .22, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.                     

     

  

 

 

 

 

. You can also find this podcast on iTunes. Career Tech Talk features interviews with policymakers, educators, industry leaders, authors, celebrities and others who are making a difference in career and technical education. Once again, thank you for listening. Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.  

 

Music for this podcast is from “Busted Frog” by point twenty-two, available from PodShow, music.podshow.com. This has been a presentation of the Association for Career and Technical Education.