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Administation Proposes Major Changes to Perkins


April 19, 2012

Administation Proposes Major Changes to Perkins

On April 19, at an event at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier released the Administration’s Blueprint for Perkins reauthorization. The Blueprint is titled “Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education.” A summary of the document and a press release can also be found on the Department’s Web site.

The Blueprint includes four key principles:

  • effective ALIGNMENT between CTE and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors
  • 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 definitions and clear metrics for performance
  • increased emphasis on INNOVATION supported by systemic reform of state polices and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level

ACTE agrees with these principles and wants to strengthen the quality of the entire CTE system, but has serious concerns about the details of the proposal and the specific changes proposed by the Department. Some of these concerns relate to competitive funding, mandatory consortia, mechanisms that will redirect state funding to federal innovation grants, private sector matching requirements, and only funding specific program areas identified as high-growth by states. You can read ACTE’s statement on the proposal here and view our Perkins reauthorization principles here. We will be preparing more in depth analysis over the next few days.

Perkins is not scheduled for reauthorization until 2013, and even that date is likely to be substantially delayed due to the congressional schedule. It is important to remember that this is only a proposal, and is just one step on the long road ahead of us toward reauthorization!

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