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We have much to celebrate!

IT'S OFTEN SAID THAT TO KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING, YOU HAVE TO KNOW where you've been. On February 23, 1917, Congress signed into law the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act, which marked the start of federal investment in secondary vocational education, or career and technical education (CTE) as we now know it, in the United States. As recognition of this momentous anniversary occurs across the country, you, as CTE teachers and administrators, should take great pride in being part of a system that has long worked to ensure the career success of its students.

But Smith-Hughes was just the start of federal investment in CTE. Other legislation, like the Vocational Education Act of 1963 and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which is waiting reauthorization, have played a major role in CTE's rich history. Each piece of legislation throughout the last 100 years has further solidified CTE's relevance in our schools, with business and industry leaders, and with lawmakers.

February is significant for another reason--it's also CTE Month![R] One of the traditions of celebrating CTE Month here at ACTE is a visit by staff to a local secondary or postsecondary school to see its CTE program in action. This year's visit will take place at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia. Each year, it is a joy to watch CTE students applying their skills and showcasing to policymakers, business leaders and the media the positive impact CTE has on their lives and in the local community. And last but not least, ACTE celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2016. What monumental landmarks to celebrate back to back!

CTE has come a long way over the last 100 years. From the growing focus on the science, technology, engineering and math fields to the emergence of dual enrollment and academic-CTE integration, CTE shows it is adaptable to the needs of the workforce. We know that the skills needed to thrive in the workforce 10, 50 or 100 years from now will be radically different in many industries. Our children will be able to pursue careers in fields that do not exist today. That is exciting because it means that CTE is destined for growth as more stakeholders--parents, students, administrators, lawmakers, industry leaders, etc.--buy into CTE's importance and its necessity for creating a resilient workforce.

So, here's to 100 years of CTE and many more to come!

LeAnn Wilson


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Title Annotation:LEADING EDGE; 100 years of career and technical education in the U.S.
Author:Wilson, LeAnn
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2017
Previous Article:Santa Fe Community College.
Next Article:The Smith-Hughes act: The road to it and what it accomplished.

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