As the House Education and the Workforce Committee works to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, last reauthorized in 2006, NASSP offered recommendations today to ensure that the law strengthens career and technical education (CTE) programs to promote college and career-readiness for all students.
The central focus of our comments was on educator quality, ensuring that school leaders are able to manage high-quality CTE programs and CTE teachers are knowledgeable and proficient in both effective teaching methods and technical skills. NASSP recommended that state leadership activities be focused on leadership development and technical assistance for districts and schools. States should be allowed to use Perkins funds to provide professional development opportunities for current CTE leaders and to support leadership training programs that help current principals manage CTE programs in their schools.
NASSP also provided recommendations on the qualifications and training for CTE teachers and the unique professional development opportunities needed for individuals who come into the profession through alternate routes. Essentially, professional development must strengthen the capacity of CTE teachers to collaborate with content area teachers and integrate academic and CTE curricula and coursework. Implementation of new, higher college and career-ready standards in most states will also require a focus on making numeracy and literacy relevant in CTE courses. Finally, CTE teachers will need additional training to ensure that they’re knowledgeable of the latest equipment and certification requirements of their industries.
The comments from NASSP also included recommendations to personalize the learning environment for each student, encourage CTE programs and career counseling at the middle level, and evaluate the effectiveness of CTE programs through multiple measures of student performance.
NASSP also expressed concern about the blueprint for reauthorization that was released by the US Department of Education in March 2012. We opposed the provisions to require a private sector match at the district level, permit only consortia of districts and postsecondary institutions and their partners to apply to States for Perkins funding, and allocate Perkins funds at the district level by a competitive grant.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on Perkins reauthorization on November 19 and is expected to move quickly to markup.