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Career-Technical and Adult Education News


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  • July 02, 2015 7:03 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    First Lady Michelle Obama shard her knowledge of the benefits and paybacks for students who participate in career-technical education programs, during her 12-minute address on June 30 at a special event at the White House.  The event, "Celebrating Innovations in Career and Technical Education," was organized by the  U.S. Department of Education's Office for Career, Technical and Adult Education.

    “A four-year degree is not your only option,” First Lady Obama said during her address. “CTE can be the best option,” she added.  She went on to note that CTE provides skills essential in today’s globalized economy, which requires more than a high school diploma for success.  Through CTE “a paycheck is waiting for you when you graduate.”

    “Listening to her remarks, it’s clear that the First Lady ‘gets’ what CTE is all about,” says Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director.  She recognizes student achievement comes in all forms, Gardner added, and this kind of attention from the White House will help elevate CTE.

    The First Lady inspires students to ‘reach higher every day.’   “There has to be a hunger that you all have,” she said to student present at the event, “that no one can fund for you.  There can be no policy written to make you prioritize your education – it’s on you guys.”

    See her entire keynote address here.

    This event came just days after President Obama announced the addition of CTE to the Presidential Scholars Program, which previously only recognized academic scholars.

  • June 24, 2015 8:28 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    President Obama signed an Executive Order expanding the United States Presidential Scholars program to establish a new category of outstanding scholars in career and technical education (CTE) beginning next year.

    “it’s so thrilling that President Obama recognizes CTE as a scholarly education path, which will help raise the image of the CTE student to the level it belongs,” says Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director.  As one of the biggest and strongest CTE states in the country, Ohio leadership thanks our Federal Sen. Rob Portman for being part of the Federal CTE Caucus and understanding the important role of CTE to Ohio’s economy and students, Gardner added.

    The announcement of this new award category of CTE Presidential Scholars was made June 22 as the White House also welcomed and honored the 51st class of Presidential Scholars. 

    The Presidential Scholars program is among the nation’s most distinguished honors for high school students, and has not been expanded since 1979.  Established by President Johnson in 1964, the Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,000 of America’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 by President Carter to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Each year, the program recognizes two high school seniors from each state and 15 scholars at-large on the basis of excellence in scholarship. An additional 20 scholars are selected for exceptional talent in the arts.

    Click here for more information

  • June 03, 2015 2:49 PM | Abbey Keyse (Administrator)

    National Skills Coalition announced that four states will participate in its State Workforce and Education Alignment Project (SWEAP). California, Mississippi, Ohio, and Rhode Island will receive technical assistance and $180,000 each to implement new data tools. These tools will help elected state officials create policies that close skill gaps and create more equitable, efficient, and aligned state workforce development and education systems.


    Click here to

  • June 03, 2015 2:42 PM | Abbey Keyse (Administrator)

    Thirteen CTE students were chosen by the ODE Office of CTE to represent their career fields as shining examples from the class of 2015


    Click here to meet the students.

  • June 03, 2015 6:14 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    July 1, 2015 - The State Budget was signed into law by Governor Kasich on June 30.  Many of the provisions Ohio ACTE advocated for were included. A full analysis by Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel will be provided as soon as possible.

    The State Budget impacts all career-technical and adult educators in Ohio.  Adequate funding ensures CTE can continue to provide opportunities for students to expand their skills and be prepared for success, whether it’s straight into the workforce or at college.   Ohio ACTE leadership, educators and Terrence O’Donnell have been working diligently with legislators to increase understanding and promote the great work being done in CTE programs throughout the State.  We are now in the “home stretch” as the State Budget, by law, must be presented to the Governor by the end of June.  There will be up-to-date budget information presented at the Ohio ACTE Annual Connections to Education Conference, July 27-29, as well as sessions for all teachers and administrators in CTE - click here for more conference information.

    Christine Gardner,

    Ohio ACTE Executive Director


    Ohio ACTE continues to advocate for career-technical and adult education funding in the upcoming budget at a crucial time when the State budget is being discussed in the Senate at the Ohio Statehouse.

    After working with Ohio House of Representatives, we continue to work with Senate leaders to build on the work Gov.  Kasich and the Ohio House has done on the school funding formula.  After testifying before the Senate Finance Committee’s subcommittee on K-12 Education, CTE leaders spent two hours meeting with key Senate leadership, including Senate President Pro Tem Chris Widener (R-Springfield) and staff.  The Senate clearly seems to understand what Representative Cupp (R-Lima) had focused on when the bill was in the Ohio House:  the funding formula does not offer most career tech programs (including at JVSDs, comprehensives, and compacts) an opportunity to increase revenues when they increase student counts or open new programs.


    Career technical education “weighted funds,” long the lifeblood of successful CTE in Ohio, have been reduced in recent years, and functionally prove impossible to draw down for schools that are on state-set funding “caps,” or on minimums known as “guarantees.”


    Ohio ACTE, through its leadership and with the help of some highly engaged treasurers, is working with the Ohio Senate on a solution to ensure that as programs add students, the state funding follows.  While we will always be prepared to advocate for additional resources, this “structural” change to the formula should help every school with expansion into more areas of local employment demand.  In addition, we are advocating for more flexibility at the local level in how CTE funds are spent.  (This particular issue is specific to JVSDs).  Last, we are working with Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) to allow JVSDs to choose a school calendar based on days instead of hours if they so choose.


    With respect to adult education at Ohio’s Technical Centers, Ohio ACTE is supporting a legislative change to allow a pilot project at one OTC, whereby the OTC can offer an Associate degree in a very limited context and with proper accreditation.  Senators Joe Uecker (R- Southern Ohio) and Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) have worked on the amendment.


    We expect to see the Senate’s version of the budget in the second week of June.  After that, the Senate will amend the bill and send it back to the House.  The two chambers will reconcile their respective versions and send the budget to Governor Kasich for his signature before the end of June.  


    - by Terrence N. O'Donnell, Attorney and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel

    Dickinson-Wright, Columbus

  • June 02, 2015 10:26 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio Revised Code states that the department and the lead district of each career-technical planning district shall conduct an annual review of each CTE program in the lead district’s CTPD.  ODE Office of CTE staff is working on a process for this review, so Lead Districts are asked to wait for that process before beginning the reviews. They will attempt to use the information already available, meet the requirements of the ORC, and develop a tool that will be beneficial to those working in the field of CTE.
    There will be more information on this process at a session at the Ohio ACTE Annual Connections to Education Conference, July 27-29, Hilton Easton Columbus. Click here for Conference registration information.

  • June 02, 2015 8:00 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The Ohio Department of Education career-technical education online middle school validation process is now operational.
    Teachers instructing middle grade CTE courses must meet one of the following:

    1. Possess a current, five-year Ohio professional license that includes middle school grade levels, and complete the Ohio Department of Education’s career-technical education validation process by Sept. 30, 2015.
    2. Possess a current, five-year career-technical education license.
    3. Possess an alternative resident educator license for career-technical education (can only teach middle school courses within the specific program and taxonomy).

    The modules will take approximately 30 hours to complete and the participant will receive a certificate of completion.  A link to instructions on how to sign up for the online process can be found by clicking here.
  • May 21, 2015 12:09 PM | Abbey Keyse (Administrator)

    Serena Drake of Vantage Career Center is this year's Conference Program Design Contest winner!


    With the help of her Interactive Media instructor, Jill DeWert, Serena's cover was selected out of 50 plus other entries!


    As seen in the picture here, Serena is holding her winning entry - which will be the program cover for this year's
    Connections to Education Conference, Monday, July 27 - Wednesday, July 29 at the Hilton - Easton in Columbus.


    Also in the picture is Ben Winans, Vantage Career Center Director, Staci Kaufman, Superintendent, and Jill DeWert, Serena's Interactive Media instructor.


    Serena plans to further her education in both web coding and graphic design after graduating high school. She has completed volunteer work for the local humane society's website. She hopes to one day run an animal rescue for pet rats that have been abandoned by their owners.


    Congratulations to Serena and all of the staff at Vantage Career Center!

    For more information on the 2015 Connections to Education Conference, please click here.

  • May 13, 2015 11:29 AM | Abbey Keyse (Administrator)

    The Ohio General Assembly has been busy this budget cycle, and several bills directly relating to career-technical education (CTE) are currently under consideration.  Below are several bills and provisions that Ohio ACTE is advocating:


    Budget Bill: House Bill 64, or the “Budget Bill,” passed in the House last month and is currently under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee.  Career-technical educators and a CTE student has testified in both chambers in support of amending the funding formula to increase funding for CTE—specifically by funding CTE outside of the state share and cap and guarantee limitations.  As you are likely aware, current funding formula limitations such as the “caps” and “guarantees” prevent any career centers, comprehensives, or compact districts from receiving the “tiered” CTE funding when adding new students.  In addition, the tiered funds are reduced depending on the relative wealth of a district.  As a result, some districts do not receive any tiered funding at all. 


    This poses significant obstacles for CTE, particularly when schools seek to start new programs.  As a result, Ohio ACTE advocates for phasing-in a tiered funding system that falls outside of the caps and guarantees and the tiered funds are not reduced based on wealth index.  We believe this approach would provide significant financial support for new CTE programs and fully funds the CTE formula, and we will continue to advocate for a more effective funding model in the Senate.


    Other CTE-related provisions we are tracking include:

    - Increase in CTE Funding Tier amounts.

    - Option for CTE resident educators to forego years one and two of the resident educator program and obtain a professional license after successfully completing the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA) required in years 3 and 4.

    - Option for students using CTE graduation “pathway” to take a career-based pathway mathematics course as an alternative to Algebra II.

    - Permanent exemption of CTE articulated credit courses from College Credit Plus (currently only exempted until July 1, 2016).

    - Increase in Ohio technical center funding by $1 million


    Assessments/WebXams: Last session, Ohio ACTE advocated for eliminating the Department of Education’s WebXams in courses where students earn an industry-recognized credential or a license.  As our testimony noted, typical CTE students will sit through at least 14 standardized assessments, including at least 4 WebXams. This year, the House has included our proposed language in House Bill 74—the bill has been reported out of committee but has yet to come up for a vote on the House floor.  In addition, we have been working with the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing, which will be evaluating current testing requirements and making recommendations to the General Assembly.  We will continue to work with both chambers to reduce the significant testing burden on CTE students and advocate for the reduction of duplicative assessments. 


    RESA: As passed by the Senate, Senate Bill 3 will significantly modify the requirements for all participants in the Resident Educator programs. Ohio ACTE representatives testified that RESA significantly impedes the progress of new teachers and discourages new teacher candidates—particularly those coming from industry—from joining the profession.  The RESA process involves cumbersome submissions of required information, and the results of such tests were inconsistent with other evaluation systems and provided little guidance for teachers who did not pass.

    Championed by Senate President Faber (R-Celina), the bill would allow all districts, including joint vocational school districts, the option of (1) continuing to use RESA or (2) assessing resident educators in years three and four of the program through OTES.  Note that this amendment covers all teachers taking part in the Resident Educator program, including career-technical educators in Route A and Route B licensure programs.  The bill is currently under consideration in the House Education Committee. 


    Hours-to-Days: Recently, many JVSD members have stated that they would prefer to revert back to the “days” reporting method for purposes of establishing the minimum school year.  You may recall that the legislature shifted the measurement from “days to hours” in the last Budget cycle.  This shift has created significant transportation and scheduling issues for JVSDs because of the wide variation in district schedules. Based on this feedback, we are seeking to allow JVSDs the option of utilizing and reporting either days or hours for minimum school year purposes.  We will continue to advocate for this change and will keep you posted with our progress.


    EMIS Update:  As you may know, difficulties in transitioning portions of the EMIS system has caused some issues regarding funding—particularly for CTE providers with increased student counts.  The Ohio Department of Education has confirmed that CTE data is currently being finalized, and districts waiting on additional funds owed should receive such funds this fiscal year.  Further, ODE has stated that districts may carry over funds this year without repaying all categorical funds by year’s end.  More information about this process should be available in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.


    We will continue to follow these and other CTE-related issues—particularly with regard to the Budget Bill—as they move through the General Assembly.


    by Terrence O'Donnell and Adam Schira, attorneys with Dickinson Wright and legislative counsel for Ohio ACTE.

  • May 13, 2015 10:11 AM | Abbey Keyse (Administrator)

    Out of nearly 250 applicants, two Darrell Parks Student Scholarship Recipients have been chosen. Each student will receive a 1,000 dollar scholarship to help further their education. The winners, chosen by Dr. Parks, are:


    -Joshua Blochowski, from Penta Career Center, a graduating senior enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program.


    -Mackenzie Slicker, from Washington High School (Massillon City Schools), a graduating senior in the Exercise Science/Sports Medicine field.


    Congratulations to both students, their families, and the staff at both Penta Career Center and Washington High School!


    Read more about these exceptional CTE students by clicking here.  

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