April 2015 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

On Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Department of Education released a program memorandum announcing five notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). We encourage you to share this information with interested stakeholders, and to become familiar now with the content of the NPRMs in advance of the comment period. 

The AEFLA Title II NPRM is available online at https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-05540.  The other four NRPMs are posted on the Federal Register Public Inspection website at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.  They will all be available for comment during a 60-day period beginning on April 16, 2015. 

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

March 2015 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

On behalf of our Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin, we are pleased to release the report, Making Skills Everyone's Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States, which highlights the extent of our nation's skills gap and offers suggestions for how to establish convenient, effective, high-quality learning opportunities for low-skilled youth and adults. Specifically, Making Skills Everyone's Business offers seven strategies that hold great promise for improving the conditions that create and perpetuate poor literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. These strategies do not partition the responsibilities of the public and private sectors; nor do they compartmentalize actions at the federal, state, regional, tribal, or local levels. These strategies are based on the principle of shared responsibility and acknowledge that America's skills challenge is too large to address by any stakeholder group independently.

The data and strategies outlined in Making Skills Everyone's Business also might be of interest to the communities with which you work. Please share this report with your grantees and networks.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

February 2015 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it; you can do it!"  That is the mission of our nation’s career and technical educators—helping students to identify and prepare for careers that they have always wanted or perhaps never even realized were available to them.  CTE "educators" work tirelessly to teach youth and adults the academic, technical, and employability skills they need to graduate from high school and transition to college and careers.  From the student who was contemplating dropping out to the student who always wanted to be an engineer, CTE has provided a pathway and supportive environment for students to thrive and fulfill their dreams. 

This month of February, we celebrate CTE month.  We give thanks to all the individuals who touch the lives of students and help them on their career journey!  Be on the lookout for OCTAE Connection articles, blog posts, tweets, and other opportunities to spotlight—and recognize—our nation’s outstanding CTE educators and students.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

January 2015 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

We hope that you had a joyful and restful holiday season and are geared up for a productive new year!  Over the holidays, we know that many State CTE directors and staff were working feverishly to submit their Perkins Consolidated Annual Report (CAR) for FY 2013-14.  We thank you for your thoughtful and thorough submissions, which DATE staff have already begun to review.  We  look forward to issuing  CAR outcome notification letters to States in mid March.

Also over the holidays, our office issued its Program Guidance for the Submission of State Plan Revisions, Budgets, and Performance Levels for Program Year Nine, beginning on July 1, 2015.  We will issue estimated FY 2015 State allocations as soon as they become available.

Thank you to those who were able to join Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin for the December 11, 2014, Webinar on the intersections and opportunities between Perkins and the newly-authorized Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.  As a next step, the Department, along with the Department of Labor, will be issuing a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) involving jointly administered activities, including unified and combined state plans, performance, and aspects of the one-stop system. The Department of Labor also will issue another NPRM for WIOA Title I and Title III provisions that are administered by the Department of Labor.  Three additional NPRMs will involve Department of Education programs, including one implementing Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and two implementing the Title IV Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  These NPRMs will be published in the Federal Register and posted on www.regulations.gov, where public comments can be submitted following publication.  The Departments of Labor and Education will analyze these public comments and anticipate issuing Final Rules implementing WIOA in early 2016.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

December 2014 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

On November 24, our office announced the availability of a $7.1 million Performance Pilot Partnership for Disconnected Youth Initiative, collaboration among five Federal agencies to help communities overcome the obstacles they face in achieving better outcomes for disconnected youth. For the next 100 days, State, tribes, and municipalities can apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) and test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieve significant improvements for disconnected youth in educational, employment, and other key outcomes.  Applications are due March 24, 2015. 

The Perkins Consolidated Annual Report (CAR) database remains open for States to submit their FY 2013-14 narrative, fiscal, and accountability information.  Please contact Sharon Head at sharon.head@ed.gov or 202-245-6131 if you need any assistance.

On behalf of the entire DATE staff, we wish you the best for a joyous holiday season.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

November 2014 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

We are pleased to announce the release of the publication, “State Strategies for Financing Career and Technical Education,” developed by the Department’s National Center for Career and Technical Education (NCICTE) housed at RTI International.  The publication draws on data collected from a National Association for State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) survey, as well as a review of state educational agency websites and statutory language to identify whether, and if so, how states distribute categorical funds for CTE programs. It also documents states’ performance-based funding (PBF) strategies and their interest in integrating competitive funding into their state education resource distribution formulas.  The full report is available under “What’s New,” as well as on the NCICTE Website at:  http://ctecenter.ed.gov/research/finance

We are also pleased to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

October 2014 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

We are pleased to announce the availability of a presentation on the intersection of Perkins and the newly-authorized Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act—or WIOA.  Please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_CskmYy-DY.  We ask you to review the presentation and then join us for a one-hour Webinar with Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin and other key OCTAE leaders on Wednesday, November 14, 2014, from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST where we will discuss the provisions and implications of the Act.  Further information on the session will be sent out and posted here shortly.

As a reminder, this month, DATE staff will be presenting at the National Career Pathways Network’s (NCPN) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, from October 12-14, and the National Association for State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium’s (NASDCTEc) Fall Leadership Meeting in Linthicum, MD, from October 20-22.  We hope to see you in our travels! 

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

September 2014 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

We are pleased to share the congressionally-mandated National Assessment of Career and Technical Education (NACTE): Final Report was sent to Congress this past Friday, September 12, 2014. Among the findings:

  • In 2009, 85 percent of public high school graduates completed one or more occupational CTE courses, 76 percent had earned at least one full CTE credit and 19 percent were CTE concentrators who completed at least three credits in the same CTE field.
  • Secondary CTE coursetaking declined from 1990 to 2009, while academic coursetaking increased. However, some occupational areas saw large increases in CTE coursetaking, most notably health sciences (+222 percent) and public services (+153 percent).
  • At the postsecondary level, the number of students earning certificates or associate’s degrees in CTE fields rose 71 percent from 2002 to 2012, compared with a 54 percent increase in all undergraduate awards. Some CTE fields showed higher rates of growth (e.g., health sciences, +137 percent) while other fields showed declines (e.g., marketing, –44 percent).

Also transmitted to Congress on Friday was the congressionally-mandated Independent Advisory Panel’s report, entitled Putting "Career" in "College and Career Ready": The Report of the Independent Advisory Panel of the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education.

We hope you will have an opportunity to review these report and discuss ways that its key findings can help inform your State’s career and technical education programs.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

August 2014 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

We are pleased to share the July 2014 report from the Vice President’s task force on job-driven training, which includes federal and private sector actions to improve our federal workforce development system.  See http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/skills_report.pdf. As a first follow-up to this report, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell issued a letter to each Governor on July 24 encouraging them to take action to make their education and training programs more demand-driven.

As a next step, on July 30, the Department of Education issued a letter to State CTE directors, detailing how, in collaboration with our partner agencies, we will take several steps to make our programs more job driven.

We look forward to your support in these efforts and ask that you proactively reach out to your State and local agency partners to consider ways to make your training and education programs more demand-driven.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

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