Secretary DeVos Approves 10 Additional Perkins Career and Technical Education Plans

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department of Education has approved 10 additional career and technical education (CTE) plans. Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin are the latest states, along with the District of Columbia, to have their CTE plans approved under the new, bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on July 31, 2018.

“Thanks to the president’s leadership, the new career and technical education law gives local leaders the flexibility to make investments in the highest impact areas of local need,” said Secretary DeVos. “We know many well-paying, in-demand jobs require CTE training but not necessarily a college degree and the associated debt. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for all education to be tailored to meet each student’s unique needs, more nimble, and relevant to 21st-century realities. High-quality CTE programs are a critical way to help learners of all ages and get our economy back up and running at full speed.”

Perkins V encourages states and territories to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success. Each state and territory crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community partners.

To date, 25 Perkins plans have been approved by the Secretary.

The following are some of the noteworthy elements from each of the approved plans. Additional details about each approved plan can be found on the Department’s website.

Arizona

  • Offers professional development to retain CTE teachers, improve pedagogy, and help industry professionals become expert teachers in their career field.
  • Convenes stakeholders to develop career literacy standards for grades K-8 that define employability and professional skills, and career awareness and exploration.
  • Implements a framework to ensure each CTE program is consistently evaluated for quality and compliance.

District of Columbia

  • Launches Advanced Technical Centers where students from schools/local education agencies across the city can access high-quality CTE programs.
  • Expands industry advisory boards that are responsible for assisting with all work-based learning objectives.
  • Implements industry-validated standards for all CTE courses that include work-based learning experiences, credentialing outcomes, and opportunities to participate in CTE student organizations.

Idaho

  • Uses a digital badging/micro-certification system that allows educators to validate skills as students demonstrate proficiency and gives employers access to the information for talent recruitment.
  • Improves the occupational outlook for a skilled workforce by increasing degree and/or certification attainment for its CTE students.
  • Coordinates statewide articulation agreements for CTE programs that meet its state’s standards.

Kansas

  • Provides data dashboards and materials to share with local workforce boards, community leaders, business and industry partners, and other stakeholders to encourage stronger commitment to CTE and ensure workforce input in decisions affecting CTE programs.
  • Scales high-quality, work-based learning by utilizing a regional intermediary and developing an aligned statewide process.
  • Personalizes learning by providing contextualized instruction and the ability to earn an industry-recognized credential for the CTE student.

Louisiana

  • Partners with business and industry by aligning career and college readiness programs to meet industry needs and increases degrees and certifications attainment in high-demand fields. 
  • Provides high school graduates up to two years of skill or occupational training to be pursued at an accredited postsecondary institution that offers a CTE certificate/diploma through a state scholarship program.
  • Provides financial assistance through its Next Steps Scholarships for adult education graduates to enroll in state community and technical colleges.

Missouri

  • Provides an online, comprehensive career development program at no cost to students, parents/guardians, adults, and educators.
  • Introduces STEM career awareness in the middle grades and continues to promote career exploration and preparation for every high school student through the development of an Individual Career and Academic Plan.
  • Increases the number of high school student graduates who attain an industry-valued postsecondary credential.

Nebraska

  • Partners with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity to focus on meeting the needs of students and mitigating any performance disparities specific to special populations identified in Perkins V legislation.
  • Supports CTE teacher retention efforts through mentorships and a community of practice that sustains professional learning opportunities and responds to the changing needs of the instructor.
  • Ensures CTE program standards are implemented with fidelity through a systemic approach adhering to a state-developed framework.

Oklahoma

  • Addresses strategies to improve outcomes for students by increasing collaboration and funding for its state’s equity and diversity professional development specialist. 
  • Establishes a state-level, work-based learning liaison position, as well as a database to identify work-based learning opportunities within the state.
  • Dedicates funding for discretionary innovative programs to improve student outcomes.

Texas

  • Implements a rigorous process to evaluate industry-based certifications to be included in the state’s accountability system.
  • Transitions from locally developed course sequences to approved statewide and regional CTE programs that ensure students are prepared for high-wage, highly-skilled, and in-demand careers in its state.
  • Develops a sophisticated auto-coding process for CTE student data collection.

Wisconsin

  • Launches a data dashboard that will provide an analysis of performance data to help identify any equity gaps in CTE programs.
  • Recruits and retains individuals from underrepresented groups to the teaching profession through its “Talent Development Framework Project.”
  • Fosters collaboration and coordination among secondary/postsecondary partnerships with career preparation coordinators.

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