Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released its blueprint for reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The Perkins Act is the principle source of federal funding for secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs. In the blueprint, effective, high-quality career and technical education programs (CTE) are defined as being aligned with college- and career-readiness standards as well as the needs of employers, industry, and labor. High-quality programs provide students with an integrated curriculum that combines academic and technical content and strong employability skills. The blueprint further characterizes effective programs as graduating students with industry certifications or licenses and postsecondary certificates or degrees that prepare them for high-demand, high-growth sectors. The blueprint highlights four core principles for reauthorization of the Perkins Act:
- Effective alignment between CTE and labor market needs to equip students with 21st century skills and prepare them for high-demand occupations in high-growth industries.
- Strong collaboration among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs.
- Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs, based upon common definition and clear metrics of performance.
- Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.
To read the blueprint, go to: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/cte/transforming-career-technical-education.pdf.
Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.