SREB Commission Focuses on Career and Technical Education
The goal: Prepare students for many options after high school
Frankfort, Kentucky, December 10, 2013 â€” Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear today charged a new commission to update career and technical education so more students graduate equipped with both the academic and technical know-how for rewarding careers in todayâ€™s workforce. Governor Beshear hosted the first meeting of the commission at the Governorâ€™s Mansion in Frankfort.
The Southern Regional Education Board Commission on Career and Technical Education convened education leaders from around the South. Its charge: Recommend statewide policies to bring students intellectually demanding career-pathway programs that are aligned with opportunities in demand in the region.
â€œWe must transform career and technical education so that it is a first choice, not a last resort,â€ Governor Beshear said. â€œThis is a workforce development imperative for our states to retain good jobs and create new ones. When we equip students with the tools for economic success, we enrich our families, our communities and the economic future of our region."
â€œToo many students are not graduating from high school, and many who do are not ready for good jobs, advanced training or college study,â€ said SREB President Dave Spence. â€œHigh-quality career-technical studies can get more students to graduation and help close college- and career-readiness gaps in the SREB region.â€
The Commission will explore, come to consensus on and recommend state policies and practices that:
Specify signature features of optional career pathways that align with key state economic growth sectors and combine college-ready academics, technical knowledge and skills, and exposure to careers.
Define the career-readiness knowledge and skills, both academic and technical, that high school graduates need to enter work and advanced training â€” and outline how these skills might best be assessed.
Outline selection, preparation and certification standards for teachers who come to the CT classroom from other careers, so they can plan curricula and real-world assignments that blend academic and technical skills.
Enable low-performing students to gain the literacy and mathematics skills they must have to succeed in more robust CT programs.
Encourage and reward improved CT programs through state accountability systems.
Ensure that certification exams add value for current employers, the economy â€” and the individuals who complete the exams.
â€œThe foundation of the Southâ€™s new economy will be employees who can solve problems and continue to learn as their career opportunities change,â€ said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. â€œIt is time to address policies and practices to encourage quality career-technical programs that prepare students to succeed in as many options as possible after high school.â€
Members of the commission include state and district superintendents and CTE directors, state legislators and board of education members, leaders of community and technical colleges and systems, and representatives from workforce development organizations and businesses.
The Commission will bring draft recommendations for consideration by the SREB Board in June 2014 and produce a final report later in 2014.
The Commission on Career and Technical Education continues SREBâ€™s longstanding role of bringing together state leaders from across the region to form consensus on major issues from pre-K through Ph.D. It builds on SREB efforts in recent years to help states grow the share of their populations who graduate from high school ready for college and career.
Southern Regional Education Board
Commission on Career and Technical Education
Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky
June Atkinson, State Superintendent, Public Schools of North Carolina
Alan Baker, State Representative, Alabama
Tommy Bice, State Superintendent, Alabama Department of Education
Hugh Blackwell, State Representative, North Carolina
Jay Box, Chancellor, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Harry Brooks, State Representative, Tennessee
Terry Burton, State Senator, Mississippi
Aneesh Chopra, Senior Advisor, The Advisory Board
Norman Conway, State Delegate, Maryland
Elizabeth Creamer, Director, Education and Workforce Development, Virginia Department of Education
Gayle Flowers, Director, Career, Adult & Alternative Education, Caddo Parish Schools, Louisiana
John Ford, State Senator, Oklahoma
Derrick Graham, State Representative, Kentucky
Steve Gratz, Director, Career-Technical Education, Ohio Department of Education
Teri Quinn Gray, President, Delaware State Board of Education
Donald Griffith, Project Lead the Way Affiliate Director, College of Engineering and Computing, University of South Carolina
Robert Gunter, Deputy Director, Division of Career and Technical Education, Arkansas Department of Career Technical Education
Barbara Hampton, Chair, Georgia State Board of Education
Greg Higdon, President, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
Terry Holliday, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education
Lloyd Jackson, Board Member, West Virginia Board of Education
Ron Jackson, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
Johnny Key, State Senator, Arkansas
John Legg, State Senator, Florida
Joe May, President, Louisiana Community and Technical College System
Jean Massey, Associate State Superintendent, Mississippi Department of Education
Joe Meyer, Kentucky
Danielle Mezera, Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education, Tennessee Department of Education
Sharon Morrissey, Executive Vice President/Chief Academic Officer, North Carolina Community College System
Kathy Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent, Maryland State Department of Education
Phil Owens, State Representative, South Carolina
Dennis Parker, Assistant Manager, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Kentucky
Robert Plymale, State Senator and Chair, Senate Education Committee, West Virginia
Tim Shaughnessy, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Gateway Community and Technical College, Kentucky
David Sokola, State Senator, Delaware
Bob Sommers, Secretary of Education and Workforce Development and Director, Department of Career and Technology Education, Oklahoma
Royce West, State Senator, Texas
J. Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia
Michael Williams, Commissioner of Education, Texas Education Agency
Mike Wilson, State Senator, Kentucky