ACTE Techniques May 2012 : Page 48

Fea ture By Ayoka Blandford 2012 National Policy Seminar Wrap-up “THE DEPARTMENT OF EDuCATION HAD AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THIS yEAR’S EVENT, WITH UNDERSECREtARY OF EDUCAtION, tHE HONORABLE MARtHA kANtER, SERVING AS THE GENERAL SESSION SPEAkER AND DEpUtY ASSIStANt SECREtARY OF VOCAtIONAL AND ADULt EDUCAtION JOHAN UVIN PROVIDING INSIGHT ON THE PERkINS ACT REAuTHORIzATION, SCHEDuLED TO BE REAuTHORIzED By CONGRESS IN 2013.” C tE WORkS! That was the recurring theme that attendees heard at the 2012 National Policy Seminar (NPS) hosted by ACTE. Speak -ers, workshops and “leave behinds” for Hill visits drove this message home. For those new to the event and lobbying, a pre-conference workshop, Learning the Ropes of Washington CTE Advocacy, laid out the basics of Hill advocacy. Veteran CTE advocates were offered a basics-plus ses -sion, Tailoring Your Message for Reds, Blues, Purples and Beyond . This year’s event was held March 5–7 in Arlington, VA, providing easy access to Capitol Hill for members to make visits with their Senators and Members of Con -gress. A special thank you to our spon -sors: Forrest T. Jones, National Research Center for CTE, and the U.S. Army for their continued support and dedication to career and technical education. The Department of Education had an active role in this year’s event, with Un -dersecretary of Education, the Honorable Martha Kanter, serving as the general session speaker and Deputy Assistant Sec -retary of Vocational and Adult Education Johan Uvin providing insight on the Per -kins Act reauthorization, scheduled to be reauthorized by Congress in 2013. Other department staff were visible throughout the event. “Everywhere I go, I try to make the point, it’s college AND career readi -ness…people like to say one or the other,” explained Kanter. Kanter discussed a “CTE Blueprint,” that the department has developed for the upcoming reauthorization of the Perkins Act, saying that CTE is uniquely positioned to bridge high school, college and the workplace. Although she did not provide details of the blueprint—a topic reserved for later in the conference—the Undersecretary outlined the document’s broad goals as follows: 1. Improve student outcomes 2. Improve program quality and performance 3. Encourage innovation and system reform. Kanter acknowledged that it will be expensive to connect the existing cur -ricula of “general” education and that of CTE, a critical issue that reinforces the need for common standards. Kanter also emphasized the need for business and labor to partner with education in order to make necessary reforms. Undersecretary Kanter said that when she reviews policies to improve students’ college and career readiness, she asks what the federal government’s role is related to connecting existing silos: 1) What should states be doing?; 2) What is the responsibility of students and fami -lies?; 3) What can schools and institutions improve upon?; and, 4) What is the role of organizations to provide guidance? Kanter gave the example of Workforce Investment Boards as a great way to Opening Day Undersecretary Kanter, the second-highest official in the U.S. Department of Education, shared her thoughts during the opening session on CTE’s role in ensuring student success and the Admin -istration’s future policy initiatives. 48 Techniques Ma y 2012

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