Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education


Career-Technical and Adult Education News


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  • May 26, 2016 12:59 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

                Navigating transgender issues continues to be confusing and overwhelming for school districts.  Districts are often faced with perplexing questions and complicated requests from both students and employees, which can lead to controversy in the district and the community.  Without clear cut guidance, it is difficult to discern the correct way to handle these issues as they arise.  However, this area of law continues to rapidly evolve and it is important for school districts to remain abreast of the changes as they occur.  Recently, the federal government issued a strong pronouncement to districts on transgender student rights, of which all school districts should be aware.


                In a recent Dear Colleague Letter, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice articulated “significant guidance” on the rights of transgender students.  In this guidance, these federal agencies are clear in their strong support of transgender rights, stating that a school “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.”  In addition, the Dear Colleague Letter definitively states that transgender students be permitted to participate in sex-segregated activities and access sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity.


                While this recent pronouncement does not include any new policy positions, and no new laws or regulations governing transgender students have been created, the Dear Colleague Letter leaves no question as to the stance of these two federal agencies on transgender issues.  The new guidance also includes a Q&A containing advice for school districts on supporting transgender students and ensuring safe, non-discriminatory environments for them.


                Though the federal agencies have made their position clear, the policy statements and guidance do not have the force of law.  Therefore, the guidance is not necessarily binding upon school districts across the country.  It will instead be up to the courts to establish more definitive rules related to discrimination against transgender individuals and interpretation of gender identity in general.  As school districts continue to find themselves at the center of litigation, challenges, and controversy related to transgender rights, it is clear that the educational landscape across the country will continue to transform.  As a result, it is important for school districts to follow developments in the law to ensure compliance with the ever-changing law and reduce the risk of legal liability.  

    By Megan Savage Knox, an attorney with Bricker & Eckler, Columbus


  • May 19, 2016 3:52 PM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    Cami Clement, a senior in Upper Valley Career Center's HVAC/R program, was recently featured in a New York Times article covering the job search process for recent and to-be graduates.

    In her interview, Clement, age 18, explains how she has already been offered a full-time position with a Emerson Climate Technologies, a local company.

    "My job search was a bit different than a lot of other high school students’. I didn’t have to do a lot of searching. In fact, the employers came to me. I was offered a job shadow for Emerson Climate Technologies based in Sidney, Ohio. After touring the facility for the day, I was given the opportunity to be an apprentice. I jumped on that offer as quick as I could. My first day was June 1, 2015. I mostly worked with the older employees so that I could get a feel of how the equipment ran and operated. Not too long after that, I was able to maintain, modify and tear down compressors all on my own.

    After almost a year of working at Emerson, I was offered a full-time position as a buildup technician after high school. Not only was I offered a full-time position, but they also offered to reimburse me for my college tuition. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve always wondered how I was going to be able to pay for my college years, not to mention the amount of debt that would be staring me on the face. It is such a relief that I won’t have to worry about what most 18-year-olds coming out of high school do, and for that I am grateful. Now I will be able to work full time while I attend school during the evening."

    Click here to see the full article.

  • May 19, 2016 3:15 PM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    The Ohio State University's College of Pharmacy and the Cardinal Health Foundation have partnered to create Generation Rx, which offers free, age-appropriate materials for educators to use while teaching on the appropriate uses of prescription medications. This partnership was formed as a result of House Bill 367, which now requires all public educational institutions to educate students about the dangers of opioids and the proper use of opiate prescriptions.

    Generation Rx's resources are designed to educate teens about the "importance of using medications safely, as well as teaching teens key skills to turn down invitations to misuse and positive alternatives to cope with the demands of life." Click here to learn more.

    Another resource available to Ohio's educators is the Start Talking! drug prevention program. Start Talking! is rooted in research that shows youth are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs when parents and adults talk with them about substance abuse than youth whose parents do not. Click here for more information.

    Click here for a letter from Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Lonny Rivera.

  • May 13, 2016 9:38 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Paolo-DeMariaweb.jpgIn a unanimous vote May 11 by the State Board of Education of Ohio, Paolo DeMaria was selected as the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction to lead the Ohio Department of Education.

    “We are excited to announce today Paolo DeMaria as state superintendent of public instruction. We started this process by seeking input from educators and the public about the desired qualities of the next superintendent. We worked with Ray and Associates, a firm specializing in educational executive leadership recruitment, and received a total of 44 applicants,” said Tom Gunlock, President of the State Board of Education of Ohio. “Through a rigorous process of closely reviewing qualifications, discussion by the State Board of Education and interviews, we are excited and ready for Paolo DeMaria to lead the Ohio Department of Education as we continue to build upon and improve education for the students of our great state.”

    “I love Ohio and want our children to be the very best they can be. There are so many smart and energetic people working in education as teachers, administrators, policy makers and advocates, and Ohio has what it takes to be the best,” said Paolo DeMaria, Ohio’s incoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Ohio Department of Education has the great task of working with districts to prepare our students for success as they enter college and career. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to serving the people of Ohio.”

    Paolo DeMaria most recently served as Principal Consultant for Education First Consulting, LLC. Previously, he served as Executive Vice Chancellor at the Ohio Board of Regents and Associate Superintendent for School Options and Finance at the Ohio Department of Education. DeMaria served as Director of the Office of Budget and Management for Governor George Voinovich and Chief Policy Advisor for Governor Bob Taft.

    DeMaria is a native of West Virginia but has called Ohio home for over 30 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Furman University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University.

  • May 05, 2016 2:37 PM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    Upper Valley Career Center and he Troy Development Council delegation attended the Hannover Messe Industry Fair in Hannover, Germany in April.   Jason Haak and Tony Trapp, representatives of Upper Valley Career Center and J. C. Wallace, CEO of Troy Development Council, attended a panel discussion that examined workforce development strategies employed by German-based companies with operations in the United States.

     “We met with the president of the Germany American Chambers of Commerce. They are excited that Upper Valley Career Center has started to implement a Dual Education System of vocational education similar to the German model,” said Jason Haak, Upper Valley CC Executive Director.

    They visited a school BBS|ME in Hannover which Trapp says is the Germany equivalent of Upper Valley.

    “It was extremely interesting to observe their facilities and teaching methods.” Trapp especially enjoyed time spent with the students. “Their students even gave me a few tips for improving soldering techniques,” he laughs.

    The second week of their journey included a trip to Sweden to tour the MicroPower Group. Wallace, Haak and Trapp toured the plant and met with nine other Sweden-based companies to share what the City of Troy and the Upper Valley Career Center  have to offer.

    “We are learning so much that can help our students, but we are also sharing ways our students can benefit their U.S. operations,” says Trapp. “It has been an incredible exchange and amazing experience.”

  • May 03, 2016 10:27 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    In early 2014, President Obama announced an initiative to double the number of apprenticeships in the United States. Since making this goal, the United States added 75,000 apprenticeships, the largest increase in nearly a decade. According to the US Department of Labor, the average starting salary for an apprenticeship graduate is more than $50,000 a year, and employers are able to train and retain skilled workers.  Every dollar invested by the public in apprenticeship sees a $27 dollar return in economic activity.

    To continue this growth, the Department of Labor announced another $90 million will be invested to support state strategies to expand apprenticeships and create industry partnerships. In addition to increasing apprenticeships, the United States seeks to increase diversity in industries to ensure that all types of students have access to an apprenticeship.

    To read more about increasing apprenticeships in the United States, click here

  • May 03, 2016 10:19 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    In this Education Week article, the author reports the results of a new study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on career and technical education (CTE). The study finds that students may benefit from concentrating in one area of career-technical education. Taking three or more related courses in one career area boosted a student’s chance of graduating from high school on time by around 21 percent. Furthermore, this concentration also had a correlation with an increase in jobs, two-year college enrollment, and a modest boost in pay. By focusing on a well-rounded education with a concentration in a certain career field, students can choose the future that they want as well as receiving a well-rounded education. 

  • May 03, 2016 9:57 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Kick Off the 2016 - 2017 School Year with Business and Industry Leaders!

    Join Ohio ACTE leadership on Sept. 7 at  the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and hear from business leaders on their leadership philosophy, career paths and expectations of educating.   Local business executives will share their insights on leadership and innovation. 

    To view the agenda, for more information and to register click here.

  • May 03, 2016 9:24 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Education released a series of case studies this month with examples of fewer and better student assessments from across the United States. The Department also announced proposed priorities for applicants of the Enhanced Assessment Grant, which is a grant program designed for states to improve their academic assessments. These assessments must have three priorities: innovative assessment item types and design approaches, improved assessment scoring and score reporting, and a reduction in unnecessary or low-quality tests. The grants amount to $9 million and will be awarded to states later this year. 

    These case studies and the Enhanced Assessment Grant build upon the Obama administration's Testing Action Plan, which attempts to create high-quality assessments without taking time away from teachers in the classroom. 

    To read more, click here

  • May 02, 2016 3:51 PM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    Each year, Ohio ACTE awards up to two Darrell Parks Student Scholarships, which provide $1,000 toward the continuing education of career-technical graduates. After considering almost 200 applicants, Ohio ACTE is awarding the Darrell Parks Scholarship to Brandon Monty of Auburn Career Center and Philip Son of Butler Tech/Northwest High School.  Darrell Parks selected the winners of this year's scholarships.

    Brandon Monty is an Interactive Multimedia Technology student at Auburn Career Center. While at Auburn Career Center, he has participated in Skills USA and received certifications in OSHA, IC3, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premier. In his spare time, Brandon participates in cross country and track, volunteers with the Flying R Club, and works at the Lake County Captains. After graduation, he plans on attending a four-year college to pursue a career in broadcasting and video production. Click here to read Brandon Monty's scholarship essay.

    Philip Son, a Financial Services Honors student at Butler Tech, has participated in Business Professionals of America and is currently the organization's Treasurer. He has been named to the National Honor Society and takes college-level economics courses at the University of Cincinnati. In his spare time, he plays on his school’s soccer team, serves on the student senate, and volunteers with Driving Angels and Young Life. Philip plans to attend a four-year university to continue his studies and hopes to become CEO at a global company. Click here to read Philip Son's scholarship essay.

    Congratulations to both students, their families, instructors,  and the staff at both their schools!

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