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SREB announces Commission on Career and Technical Education
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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications,
(404) 879-5544 office
(770) 315-2041 mobile

Gene Bottoms, SREB Senior Vice President, (404) 875-9211

SREB Commissions
In 2013 and 2014, SREB focuses on pathways that span the K-20 spectrum through two SREB Commissions: the Career and Technical Education Commission and the Commission on Community Colleges.

These commissions continue SREB’s longstanding role of bringing together state leaders from across the region to address major issues from pre-K through Ph.D. They build on SREB efforts in recent years to help states build consensus on essential statewide policy to improve postsecondary completion, implement effective policy changes, and narrow the gap between high school graduation and readiness for careers and college.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.
Related SREB Reports
High School to College and Careers 2013 reports

Recognizing Academic Achievement in Career/Technical Education: Conditions for Awarding Academic Credit for Career/Technical Courses 
A New Mission for the Middle Grades: Preparing Students for a Changing World Report of the SREB Middle Grades Commission
The Next Generation of School Accountability: A Blueprint for Raising High School Achievement and Graduation Rates in SREB States Report of the SREB Committee to Improve High School Graduation Rates and Achievement
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SREB Commission Focuses on Career and Technical Education 
The goal: Prepare students for many options after high school 

Frankfort, Kentucky, December 10, 2013 — 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 today’s workforce. Governor Beshear hosted the first meeting of the commission at the Governor’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.

“We must transform career and technical education so that it is a first choice, not a last resort,” Governor Beshear said. “This 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." 

“Too many students are not graduating from high school, and many who do are not ready for good jobs, advanced training or college study,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “High-quality career-technical studies can get more students to graduation and help close college- and career-readiness gaps in the SREB region.”

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 — 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 — and the individuals who complete the exams.

“The foundation of the South’s new economy will be employees who can solve problems and continue to learn as their career opportunities change,” said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. “It 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.”

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 SREB’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
Copyright © 2013 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.

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