Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education


Career-Technical and Adult Education News


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  • January 11, 2017 12:33 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio was one of 10 states chosen to receive the New Skills for Youth grant  for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that prepare Ohio’s youth for and align with in-demand jobs. Ohio  will receive up to $2 million each over three years to help execute the plans they developed in the first phase.


    New Skills for Youth state grants are one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE, aimed at strengthening job-readiness, starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with high-skill jobs that are in-demand with Ohio’s businesses.

    From the left - Dennis Franks, Pickaway-Ross Career Center Superintendent and Governor's Executive  Workforce Board Member with Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Paolo DeMaria, State Superintnedent and Steve Gratz, ODE, at the New Skills for Youth Grant announcement at Kokosing Inc. in Westerville

  • January 08, 2017 10:23 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Roots of Career-Technical Education Established 100 Years Ago Through the Smith-Hughes Act


    It was 1917 when Congress formally adopted policies to fund vocational education at the secondary level through the Smith-Hughes Act, also known as the Vocational Extension Act.  Policy makers 100 years ago recognized the need for Americans to develop skills in order to develop the labor force needed in a country that was experiencing rapid industrialization.

    It is from the roots of the Smith-Hughes Act that career-technical education has grown and changed to meet the needs of today’s economy, including both employers and students.  The Smith-Hughes Act was the precursor to today’s Carl D Perkin’s Career and Technical Education Act, currently winding its way through the re-authorization process at the national level.

    Career-technical education has changed drastically in 100 years.  Some of the changes include the expansion of programs offered (in 1917 there were only three major areas: trade and industrial, agriculture and home economics).  Today, students choose from numerous pathways and many courses aligned to Ohio’s economic needs.  Another change is the highly technical nature of all careers and the need to keep up with advances in every career field.

    One of the biggest changes is that career-technical education now includes an emphasis on academics as well as career-specific learning.  Critics of the Smith-Hughes Act say it created the dichotomy between skills and academic learning.  Subsequently, the Perkin’s Act has increased accountability and the connection between academics and career education. It recognizes that today’s career opportunities require both technical skills and knowledge to be successful.

    In the book “A History of Vocational and Career Education in Ohio” Drs. Darrell Parks and Byrl Shoemaker say it best when they wrote that career-technical education transitioned from a “hands on to a head and hands on” education model.

  • January 06, 2017 3:20 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    On December 9, 2016, after nearly two years of consideration and debate, the Ohio House of Representatives passed SB 3 by a vote of 56-29.  Sponsored by Senate President Keith Faber and Senator Cliff Hite, SB 3 passed the Ohio Senate in March of 2015 and was subsequently the subject of numerous House Education Committee hearings.  House members expected to pass the bill earlier this year prior to summer recess, but concerns and disagreement over several proposed amendments stalled its progress until the Lame Duck session.


    Initially labeled an “education de-regulation” bill, SB 3 originally proposed to exempt high-performing school districts from a variety of state regulations.  But during the final months of the 131st General Assembly, the bill emerged as one of the few education-related measures anticipated to pass before the end of the year.  As such, House Education Committee members flooded the bill with a diverse array of nearly thirty amendments, most of which the full committee accepted.


    Governor Kasich signed SB 3 on December 15, 2016.  It will take effect March 15, 2017.  Below we summarize the bill’s main provisions.


    1.               Limitations on State Assessments: Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, standardized testing time will be reduced to no more than 2% of the school year with no more than 1% spent on practice tests. School districts may only exceed this limit via board resolution after a public hearing.  Exempted from this limitation are assessments administered to students with disabilities, diagnostic assessments for the third grade reading guarantee, assessments used to identify gifted students, and alternatives to certain end-of-course examinations.[1]  Diagnostic assessments in writing (grades 1-3) and math (grades 1-2) will now be permissive rather than mandatory.[2]


     In addition, the bill exempts certain public and private high school students from taking college and career readiness assessments (ACT/SAT).  Exempted students include those with cognitive or intellectual disabilities, those who have a limited proficiency in English but who have been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than two years, and those who received a “remediation free” score on the assessment.[3]


    Other provisions related to state assessments under SB 3 include: 1) an authorization for charter schools to administer the kindergarten readiness assessment beginning with the 2018-2019 school year;[4] and 2) language that allows a score of 2 on an AP exam to be treated as a proficient score for end-of-course purposes.[5]


    2.         High Performing School Districts: The bill exempts certain qualifying school districts from state regulations pertaining to teacher qualifications, teacher licensing, mentoring under the Ohio Teacher Residency Program, and class size restrictions.  In order to qualify for the exemption, the school district’s most recent report card must reflect: 1) At least 85% of the total possible points for the performance index score; 2) a grade of an “A” for performance indicators met; 3) a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 93%; and 4) a five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 95%.[6]


    3.         Community School Governing Boards: Current law prohibits community school governing board members and their immediate relatives from being an owner, consultant, or employee of the school’s sponsor.  The bill modifies this rule by adding that if the school is sponsored by a district or ESC, conflicts only exist if the governing board member or relative serves as an officer for the district/ESC or works/consults for the section responsible for sponsoring community schools.  In addition, an “immediate relative” will now include in-laws that are residing in the same household as the governing board member.  As in current law, the bill’s limitations do not apply if at least one year has elapsed since the person was a governing authority board member.[7]


    4.         Miscellaneous Community School Provisions: Other SB 3 provisions relating to community schools include: 1) an authorization for community schools to offer admission preference to students who are the children of full-time staff members, provided the total number of students receiving the preference is less than 5% of enrollment;[8] 2) language allowing community schools to contract for sheriff services to the same extent as school districts;[9] and 3) an authorization to allow community schools to administer the kindergarten readiness assessment beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.[10]


    5.         Career and Technical Education / RESA: The bill exempts individuals teaching career-technical courses under an alternative resident educator license from the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA).   No later than December 31, 2017, the Department of Education, in collaboration with the associations of career and technical education, must establish an alternative method of teacher assessment.[11]  The bill also specifies that schools need not conduct teacher evaluations during the year in which the instructor is taking RESA for the first time.[12]


    6.         Technical Skill Attainment / Web Exams: Under the bill, career and technical students who take (or will take) an industry-recognized credential or license examination will no longer be subject to additional technical assessments.  The effect of this provision is to eliminate the Web Exam assessment requirement for those specified students.  However, if a student does not ultimately participate in the credentialing assessment or license examination, the student must then take the applicable technical assessment required by ODE.  Note that ODE must certify that the credentialing assessment is aligned to the student’s career-technical education program to qualify.[13]


    7.         Joint Vocational School District Board Membership:  The bill modifies several requirements related to JVSD Board membership.  Under current law, JVSD board members must meet specific professional qualifications and be selected based on the diversity of employers in the geographical region.  In addition, JVSD board members are currently limited to serving two terms, and at least 3/5 of the members of a JVSD board must reside in or be employed within the JVSD territory.  SB 3 allows greater flexibility by removing these requirements.  Going forward, JVSD board members may either be a current board member of a member school district or an individual who has experience/knowledge regarding the labor needs of the region with an understanding of the skills, training, and education needed for current and future employment opportunities.[14]  The bill also allows all JVSD boards to stagger the terms of its board members.[15]


    8.         Educational Service Centers: The State Auditor will now have express legal authority to conduct performance audits of ESCs.  The State Auditor is also required to conduct a comprehensive operational study of all ESCs in the state no later than three years after the bill’s effective date.[16]


    9.         State Seal of Biliteracy: The bill establishes a “biliteracy diploma,” which will demonstrate the attainment of a high level of proficiency in one or more languages (other than English).  The State Board of Education will be tasked with adopting rules governing this diploma, including the requirements and criteria for earning the seal of biliteracy.[17]


    10.       Interscholastic Activities: The bill permits students enrolled in non-public schools to participate in interscholastic activities in the public school district of their choosing.  In order to participate, the resident district superintendent and the non-resident district superintendent must mutually agree in writing to allow the student to participate in the activity.[18]  The bill also clarifies the rights of students enrolled in College Credit Plus to participate in interscholastic athletics.[19]


    11.       Other:  SB 3 contains numerous other provisions:


    -Expands the grade levels for which schools must provide information about advanced standing programs (from grades 8-11 to grades 6-11).[20]

    -Allows STEM schools to offer instruction to any of grades K-12, rather than grades 6-12 as in current law.[21]

    -Removes the requirement that the State Board adopt a report card measure for the amount of extracurricular services offered to students.[22]

    -Permits a state university or college to participate in a joint self-insurance pool to provide personal liability coverage to protect the institution and its employees against loss incurred while undertaking official duties.[23]

    -Increases the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts from $25,000 to $50,000.[24]
    • Prepared by Dickinson Wright, LLP, Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel

    Amy Borman

    Adam Schira

    Terrence O’Donnell

    Will Vorys

    [1] R.C. 3301.0729.

    [2] R.C. 3301.079(D)(3).

    [3] R.C. 3301.0711.

    [4] R.C. 3301.0715(F).

    [5] R.C. 3301.0712(B)(5)(d).

    [6] R.C. 3302.151.

    [7] R.C. 3314.02(E).

    [8] R.C. 3314.06(H).

    [9] R.C. 311.29(F).

    [10] R.C. 3301.0715(F).

    [11] R.C. 3319.223(B).

    [12] R.C. 3319.111(C)(2)(e).

    [13] R.C. 3313.903.

    [14] R.C. 3311.19.

    [15] R.C. 3311.191.

    [16] R.C. 3311.051.

    [17] R.C. 3313.6111.

    [18] R.C. 3313.5311(C).

    [19] R.C. 3313.5314.

    [20] R.C. 3313.6013.

    [21] R.C 3326.03.

    [22] R.C. 3302.034.

    [23] R.C. 3345.202

    [24] R.C. 3313.46

  • January 02, 2017 10:29 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    "So many great things are happening every day in Ohio’s districts, schools and classrooms, and we want to highlight those accomplishments for other educators across the state. That’s why we’re launching the #MyOhioClassroom campaign on Instagram and Twitter — to offer administrators and teachers a way to share stories of success, innovation and other great news with their statewide peers.

    Did something great happen in your lab or classroom today? Let the world know! Have a lesson that really clicked or a new project that would encourage others to strive higher? How about a story on your staff or students doing something inspiring? Did a group of students go above and beyond? Did new technology help students go to the next level? We want to see what is working and inspiring students to reach their dreams.

    To participate, simply share a picture with your story using #MyOhioClassroom and tag @OHEducation on Instagram and Twitter, and your post may be shared with other educators across the state. We cannot wait to share the great work happening every day in Ohio’s schools!

    Reminder - please use social media appropriately by never using student names or student photos without parental consent."

    Click here for more information.

  • January 02, 2017 10:25 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, December 20 State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria visited schools in Auglaize and Mercer counties to discuss current issues in education.  Included in his visit Superintendent DeMaria took a tour of Tri Star Career Compact's Vet Tech/Animal Science program as well as the Ag Mechanics program.  Vet Tech/Animal Science instructor Michael Seibert along with a couple students explained the importance of career tech and what his class entails. 

  • December 15, 2016 11:26 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    State School Board Sends Graduation Debate to New Working Group

    State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will convene a workgroup of parents, legislators, education officials and others to devise answers to concerns that substantial numbers of Ohio students aren't on track to graduate on schedule, following action of the State Board of Education on Dec. 13.

    The board voted to create the workgroup, which is to provide recommendations by April, after Vice President Tess Elshoff withdrew a proposal to lower the required number of points students must accrue on end-of-course exams to earn a diploma.

    The action follows presentations Tuesday and at last month's board meeting from DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) staff on exam score data for the class of 2018, the first group of students subject to the new requirements. Statistics show about 30 percent of students in that class are at risk of not graduating on time, though ODE staff cautioned the figures provide an incomplete picture of the situation. Students have two other pathways to graduation -- by earning a certain ACT or SAT score, and by earning an industry credentials and passing the WorkKeys assessment -- and information on re-takes, alternative assessments and other relevant data is scarce or unavailable at the moment.

    Current law requires students to earn 18 points across seven end-of-course exams as one way to earn a diploma. Elshoff had proposed to lower that to 15, then gradually restore it to 18. DeMaria and staff presented data showing the potential effects on the proportion of students on track vs. off track were the threshold to be set at 14, 15, 16 or 17 points.

    Given gaps in the data and the variety of ideas proposed to her, Elshoff said she was concerned about acting without additional information and input. The workgroup she proposed will consist of members of the General Assembly, board members, parent and business representatives and appointees of education groups representing administrators, teachers, educational service centers, career-technical education professionals and the like. Per Elshoff's resolution, the workgroup is to be run by an outside facilitator.

    An April deadline will still allow the board to act in time if necessary to make change for the class of 2018, Elshoff said.

    "I've heard a lot of ideas, and I've heard around this table a lot of people say there's a lot of unknowns yet," she said.

    Her resolution passed 17-1, with board member Stephanie Dodd dissenting. Dodd proposed an alternative resolution to lower the end-of-course exam point threshold to 14 points until further notice, among other changes, but it was defeated. Dodd proposed an alternative resolution to lower the end-of-course exam point threshold to 14 points until further notice, among other changes, but it was defeated.

    The final vote came several hours after the Standards and Graduation Requirements Committee started presentations and debate on the topic at 8 a.m. While he voted in favor of the resolution, positing a workgroup unlikely to make the situation worse, committee Chairman C. Todd Jones was critical of it and the earlier proposal to lower the graduation points threshold. He said local school officials really ought to be focusing their energy on identifying where their struggling students need additional remediation and assistance to help them achieve the current exam point's threshold.

    "Just because people are jumping up and down saying do something doesn't mean you have to do it," he said.

    "You're giving in to the Veruca Salts of the world. Remember her? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Don't care how, I want it now," Jones said.


    Like Elshoff, other members of the board said even though they're sympathetic to the situation facing the class of 2018 and want to act, the lack of available data makes it difficult to decide the best solution.

    "What we have heard, loud and clear from our constituents, all of them, is that we need to do something," said board member Nancy Hollister.

    "I hear the board trying to craft a whole solution to everything right now," said board member Melanie Bolender. "Let's get going and take a vote on this resolution, with a few refinements maybe, but we can't do everything right now."

    Dodd said the proposal for an outside working group is unnecessary, as the state board has the ability and obligation to address these matters. And she expressed concern that an April reporting deadline left too little time to truly address the problem.

    "There is no need to have some external ODE-led task force to do the work that we are elected and appointed to do," said Dodd.

    Board member Ron Rudduck said he was disappointed not to have a chance to vote on Elshoff's initial proposal to reduce the point threshold to 15, suggesting the board consider passing both resolutions so as to provide an immediate solution while letting the workgroup study additional changes.

    "It appeared to me that was a very logical place to start, at 15," Rudduck said.


    Story originally published in The Hannah Report on December 13, 2016.

  • December 15, 2016 11:19 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Gov. John Kasich gave his endorsement Dec. 13 of a number of recommendations from his Executive Workforce Board, saying he will work to implement many of those recommendations through rulemaking or through the biennial budget next year.

    Many of the recommendations seek to connect business and local schools, including establishing teacher externships, having school boards appoint three new members from the business community, and expanding mentorship programs.

    Kasich said that it would be up to school boards to determine how much of a role those business members would have on the boards. He suggested that if business people attend local school board meetings, they can ask how the academic rigor of the district can help graduates get a job, or to bring financial responsibility to school budgets.

    The governor said he is ready to act on the recommendations immediately, saying he “doesn’t want it to be sitting on a shelf hanging around. If you go and do the work and nothing ever comes of it, it is a waste of time,” he told the board. Kasich called the plan the “most significant workforce outline in the country.

    He said his administration will implement the recommendations by going to the Ohio Department of Education and figuring out what can be done on a regulatory basis; going through the Ohio Department of Higher Education to implement those programs; and put the items that need to be done legislatively in the budget.

    The governor also lamented during his remarks the difficulty of getting his message out on higher education, discussing with the members of the board when something should be done by a “top-down” approach, citing the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee as an example, and when it should be done from the bottom up, drawing parallels with the state’s opioid crisis.

    Overall, he said education reform is “not scalable,” but he believes the reformers who are having success should be held up to show it off to the rest.

    He also said he has received pushback from some schools on the College Credit Plus program that gives students in high school college credit for taking college classes. He told the board that “we’re not watering down” the program. “We just won’t do it.”

    Other recommendations include:

    - Give teachers externships, something the governor was told could be done through continuing education or certificate renewal requirements.

    - Promote collaboration of local chambers of commerce, regional economic development groups and JobsOhio with community colleges, Ohio technical centers and K-12 schools.

    - Foster mentoring relationships between schools and businesses.

    - Rebrand Ohio’s public libraries as “continuous learning centers” that serve as hubs for information about local in-demand jobs and relevant education and training resources.

    - Require the Ohio Department of Education to develop an "OhioMeansjobsReady Certificate" for high school students who demonstrate their work readiness by successfully exhibiting to-be-determined work ethic competencies (such as teamwork, problem-solving, reliability, punctuality, etc.) validated by no fewer than three teachers and/or business mentors and attaining at least four objective competencies -- including community service and technology before graduation.

    - Require the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Higher Education to promote Western Governors University curriculum and capabilities, as well as other competency-based training resources in areas that align with Ohio's in-demand occupations for working adults with some college or no degree and to employers seeking educational opportunities for their employees.

    See the full article here.

    Dennis Franks, Superintendent, Pickaway Ross Career & Technology Center is one of the Workforce Board members, representing career-technical and adult education.


  • December 13, 2016 9:49 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    The following Ohio CTE students have been selected as Ohio's five CTE Presidential Scholars Program semi-finalists.  Each of the semi-finalists will be invited to apply to the National Presidential Scholars Program. This is the second year that career technical students will be represented among the Presidential Scholars. Out of all the applicants nationwide, 20 CTE students will accepted and invited to Washington D.C. in June as national scholars.

    Carlos Boyd Jr. – Butler Tech – Financial Services
    Dylan Young – Great Oaks – Legal Office Management
    Esmeralda Carachure – Eastland Fairfield – Medical Office Technology
    Madison Wright – Miami Valley CTC - Biotechnology
    Helena Faulder – Ohio Hi Point – Media Arts

    Click here to learn more about Ohio's Semi-Finalists!

    Congratulations to the semi-finalists, their instructors and their schools! For more information about the Presidential Scholars Program, click here.

  • December 09, 2016 9:00 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

     Late in the evening of Dec. 9, after a very lengthy session, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 3 by a vote of 56-29.  The bill now heads to Governor Kasich for signature. 

    SB 3 was originally intended to exempt high-performing school districts from a handful of state regulations, but contained nearly 30 education-related amendments to the original measure.  Throughout the last two years, Ohio ACTE has been advocating for the inclusion of these key amendments important to the effective delivery of CTE:

    - Exempt individuals teaching career technical courses under an alternative resident educator license from the Resident Educator Summative Assessment; require that ODE collaborate with Ohio ACTE, OACTS, and CCS to develop an alternative method of assessment.

    - Eliminate the Web Exam requirement for students who already sit for an industry credential or license examination.

    - Eliminate term limits for JVSD Board of Education members; eliminate other membership requirements for JVSD Boards.


    “Many career-tech educators and leaders, along with our Legislative Counsel Will Vorys and Terrence O’Donnell at Dickinson Wright, LLC worked tirelessly to be sure that our positions were heard in the legislature,” said Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director.


    Ohio ACTE members testified in House and Senate Education Committee Hearings and met with nearly every member of the House and Senate Education Committees to outline our position, Gardner said.

    “Senate President Keith Faber and Senator Cliff Hite were particularly receptive to our concerns and helped us draft the initial amendments.  Chairman of the House Education Committee Andrew Brenner was also extremely helpful in revising certain aspects of the amendments and otherwise supporting our proposals,” Gardner said. 


    In addition, Ohio ACTE held numerous meetings with the Ohio Department of Education to communicate concerns with RESA and Web Exams and after discussion and collaboration with the Department, were able to mutually agree on legislative language pertaining to each issue. 


    On December 7, 2016, the Ohio House Education Committee held its 6th Hearing on SB 3, a bill that was originally intended to exempt high-performing school districts from a handful of state regulations.  The committee voted to accept a substitute version of the bill, which contained nearly thirty education-related amendments to the original measure.  Among the new additions in the substitute bill are provisions from other bills that were moving through the committee process, as well as newly introduced stand-alone amendments. 


    Ohio ACTE will remain in close contact with ODE next year as a replacement for RESA is determined and as new issues arise.  Ohio ACTE members are encouraged to reach out to their legislators and thank them for their support of career-tech issues and being responsive to issues and concerns raised by career-tech educators.


    -        Information provided by Will Vorys, attorney, Dickinson Wright, LLC, Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel

    Click here to read SB3.

    Click here to read the SB3 Vote Tally.

  • November 16, 2016 10:23 AM | Meg Schultz (Administrator)

    The Ohio Department of Education sent out a press release announcing a design challenge in partnership with the Ohio STEM Learning Network.  The aim is to better understand and eliminate Ohio’s opioid problem. This is a multi-week project that all Ohio schools are welcome to participate.

    Throughout the year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network will post resources and events to support schools in organizing local design challenges that will help in the fight against opioid abuse. A page on the Ohio STEM Learning Network website, www.osln.org/design, provides templates and early guidance on creating a design challenge. The network also is hosting two free informational webinars on design challenges in November.

    Click here to read the full press release online and register for the challenge!

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