KEEPING THINGS IN CHECK.Assessment of career and technical programs provides unique challenges and results in creative approaches at the state level.
Career and technical education is one of the most evolving sectors of the American education system today. As we move into this new millennium, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. is facing a labor shortage A Labor shortage is an economic condition in which there are insufficient qualified candidates (employees) to fill the market-place demands for employment at any price. This condition is sometimes referred to by Economists as "an insufficiency in the labor force. , soon to be a severe labor shortage if few measures are taken, which places an even greater emphasis on the practical, career-oriented education our children are receiving from elementary school elementary school: see school. on through postsecondary schools. The days of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic are about as outdated as typewriters, which is why new emphasis, on both the federal and state level, is being placed on the career and technical programs currently being offered.
With the passage of the new Carl D. Perkins
Carl Dewey Perkins (October 15, 1912 - August 3, 1984), a Democrat, was a politician and member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Kentucky. Vocational and Applied Technology Education Amendments of 1998 (Perkins), vocational education vocational education, training designed to advance individuals' general proficiency, especially in relation to their present or future occupations. The term does not normally include training for the professions. is being placed under an even stronger microscope to bring uniformity to assessment and accountability procedures and to better report to Congress just exactly where and how Perkins funding is being used. While this has placed more pressure on state and federal agencies, it has proven, in many cases, to be a big boon Boon
A general term that refers to a benefit or improvement for investors. This can include such things as increased dividends, a stock market rally and stock buybacks.
Notes: to career and technical education.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Kim Green, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Vocational Technical Education Consortium, only about five to seven percent of the national education budget comes from the federal government with only about $1 billion earmarked for vocational education. The rest of the funding for vocational education, about $12 billion, comes from the states. Since the overwhelming majority of the funding is generated by the states, the result has been a lack of national data on vocational education. In fact, every state even has a different definition of who a vocational education student is.
The 1998 Perkins legislation is the first piece of legislation to have accountability language in it. This new legislation aims to bring all of the states together using a uniform accountability and assessment system, in the hopes of making each and every state compatible with each other and the federal government. This will no doubt prove invaluable, as states will be able to share data and strategies since they will all be on the same playing field.
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is a subdivision of the United States Department of Education. OVAE falls under the supervision of the Undersecretary, who oversees policies, programs and activities related to vocational and adult education, postsecondary , to assist states in making a transition to the new Perkins, collaborated with states, the Department of Labor and stakeholder stakeholder n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) money or property in which he/she has no interest, right or title, awaiting the outcome of a dispute between two or more claimants to the money or property. organizations to create an accountability framework. The framework "identifies the purposes and construction of each core measure, arrays possible measurement approaches for collecting data, and presents quality criteria and scoring rubrics to assist states in improving the quality of their proposed accountability systems." Simply put, this framework helps states comply with the new legislation in the ultimate goal of achieving across-the-board consistent data for vocational education in the United States.
While all of this is being worked on at the federal level, many states are taking their own, often creative, approaches to improving career and technical education within their state borders while still focusing on the mandates of Perkins. They are creating their own internal accountability measures and taking a hard look at themselves in an attempt to raise their state's vocational education programs to a new level. Call it a sort of friendly competition among the states, but the result has been a heightened awareness of vocational education and even more validity to this type of teaching.
The state of Virginia has created what they call the Linkage System by which core academic teachers have crosswalked the content standards they are teaching with those being taught by career and technical education instructors, and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. . The state of Virginia has created the Linkage System in partnership with V-TECs and SkillsNet to "provide a significant base of materials for contextual instruction." Neils Brooks of the Virginia Department of Education notes that this helps teachers collaborate their lesson plans, bringing real-life meaning to textbook concepts and applying textbook concepts to real life.
The system will be a Web portal See portal. that all Virginia teachers will soon have access to. The system uses taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, based on the Snyder Codes. Academic teachers select the appropriate taxonomy code to connect Career and Technical Course Competencies with the Virginia Standards of Learning Standards of Learning or (SOL) is a program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It sets forth learning and achievement expectations for grades K-12 in Virginia's Public Schools. and career and technical teachers select the appropriate taxonomy code to link the Virginia Standards of Learning with Career and Technical Course Competencies. This provides the instructors with a crosswalk of occupational-related skills and state academic content standards.
For example, a math teacher may wish to crosswalk his/her lesson plan with a technical course in electricity and cabling. The Linkages System would illustrate that these two courses are connected by the ability to interpret charts, tables and graphs. Likewise, a science lesson plan crosswalked with a dental careers course would share the common bond of learning about soluble soluble /sol·u·ble/ (sol´u-b'l) susceptible of being dissolved.
Capable of being dissolved, especially easily dissolved. and insoluble insoluble /in·sol·u·ble/ (in-sol´u-b'l) not susceptible of being dissolved.
Not soluble. solutions or biochemistry biochemistry, science concerned chiefly with the chemistry of biological processes; it attempts to utilize the tools and concepts of chemistry, particularly organic and physical chemistry, for elucidation of the living system. fermentation fermentation, process by which the living cell is able to obtain energy through the breakdown of glucose and other simple sugar molecules without requiring oxygen. Fermentation is achieved by somewhat different chemical sequences in different species of organisms. .
This system will work with the state's accountability system in that it raises the level of learning for all career and technical education students. It provides extra assurance to employers that career and technical education students are receiving required academic content. It also provides teachers with a "context" for academic instruction for almost every student, not just career and technical education students.
Virginia has also taken their career and technical education to a new level by offering career and technical education classes as an option to fulfill a diploma requirement. As of September 1, 2000, students will be able to earn a certification in one of many different industries to serve as their verified credit of choice toward graduation as an option to another academic credit. This unique approach to including career and technical education into academic secondary education is in addition to the state's two new diploma seals being offered to high school students completing either a career and technical education sequence or an advanced mathematics and technology sequence. The board of education has approved 80 industry-based certifications for the career and technical seal and 28 for the advanced math and technology seal.
Virginia has been quite aggressive in its approach toward industry certifications. As of the end of August, 2000, 136 grant awards have been given to local school divisions or regional vocational education centers, more than $220,000 in funding has been awarded, 637 state career and technical education teachers are working on industry-based certification, and more than 42,000 students are enrolled in programs geared toward industry-based certifications.
In North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , vocational education can be found in all of the comprehensive high schools as well as the state's 11 vo-tech schools, or career centers as they are commonly referred to. The state's accountability and assessment system is a three-part system. First, the state created VOCATS VOCATS Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System , Vocational Competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. Achievement Tracking System, a tracking system to provide assessment items to teachers to administer to their students. Teachers receive CD-ROMs, and each course is now assessed at its completion. VOCATS measures technical attainment as mandated by the Perkins legislation and is reported on a school, district and state level.
June Atkinson June St. Clair Atkinson was elected North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction on November 3, 2004, in a race that was decided by the North Carolina General Assembly on August 23, 2005. Dr. of North Carolina's Department of Education says that over the last five years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time state has seen an increase in student achievement based on the VOCATS tracking of student scores. She notes that the VOCATS system has brought greater attention to students' scores and is being used as an indicator for where improvements can be made.
The second part of the state's assessment system is the North Carolina Community College Placement Tests, which are similar to other states' competency tests. These tests are used to determine placement when students apply to community colleges.
Finally, the state assesses itself based on positive placement of vocational education students after high school. North Carolina considers a positive placement as either enrollment in a postsecondary school, enlistment ENLISTMENT. The act of making a contract to serve the government in a subordinate capacity, either in the army or navy. The contract so made, is also called an enlistment. See, as to the power of infants to enlist, 4 Binn. 487; 5 Binn. 423; Binn. 255; 1 S. & R. 87; 11 S. & R. 93. in the military, or employment. In 1999, the state had 94.8 percent positive placement for all of its career and technical education students and for the school year 2000-2001, the state hopes to maintain that same level.
Atkinson points out that an added bonus has resulted from North Carolina's strict assessment system. The state's community college system has agreed that if a student scores a certain level on their VOCATS and maintains at least a B average in a course, community colleges will allow that student to bypass a prerequisite course in that subject as a college student. Some colleges are even offering college credit for that high school course.
New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of is another state that is taking a hard look at what needs to be done to assess their schools and students. Karl Wittman of New York State's Office of Workforce Preparation and Continuing Education continuing education: see adult education.
or adult education
Any form of learning provided for adults. In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). , says that the state is working hard to perfect their assessment and accountability system. He feels that the state needs to track students through their entire school career as opposed to the current tracking of very general information. He adds that information should go beyond whether they passed their Regents exams, the state's high school graduation exams, but should also include how well they did in their career and technical education classes, whether they got a job, and if they were prepared through their programs to continue on to a postsecondary school or the military, for example.
While the state is currently working toward this goal as a compliance with Perkins, there are many hurdles that need to be tackled first. Among those, Wittman points out, is the privacy problem with using Social Security numbers. Each school would need to assign tracking numbers to students, and after graduation these numbers would have to be linked with the Department of Labor in order to obtain postgraduation information. This, he says, will enable states to compare with each other, but it is something that will not happen quickly.
In regard to New York State standards, the commissioner of education changed the state's approach about five years ago. Rather than providing a strict curriculum that career and technical programs must follow throughout the state, the commissioner established a set of standards that the programs must adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. , so that each school could have the freedom to offer what they see fit to meet those standards. The career and technical standards as set forth by the commissioner are completely separate standards from those set forth for comprehensive high school programs.
In light of the separate vocational education standards, New York State is currently reviewing a proposal made to the Board of Regents An independent governing body that oversees a state's public Colleges and Universities.
All 50 states have governing bodies that oversee the administration of public education. to create a certification and a designation for career and technical education students. Wittman feels that if this proposal is passed, the certification and designation will serve to further prove that vocational education is viable and valuable to employers.
No matter the approach being taken to comply with Perkins, most everyone agrees that this new legislation will only stand to improve our nation's career and technical education programs. By upgrading assessment programs and making improvements based on program results, it will be nothing short of a winning situation for America's career and technical education students, courses and instructors. And, while it will take quite some time before a uniform standard of measure can be put into place across state lines, states and school systems are clearly taking an important initial step by taking a critical look at themselves first.
Jennifer L. Shure is a senior editor with Print Management, Inc. in Vienna, Virginia Vienna is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 14,453 at the 2000 census and it has grown by about 3% since.
In July of 2005, CNN/Money and Money .