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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Department Rewards AP, CTE Left Out

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August 28, 2013

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Department Rewards AP, CTE Left Out

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education announced $28 million in grants have been awarded to 42 states to cover the costs of Advanced Placement (AP) exams for low-income students. 

The AP Test Fee Program was created under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to encourage low-income students to earn college credits by subsidizing their AP exam fees. The funds awarded are able to cover all but $10 of the cost of each exam.

While the program is intended to help more students earn college credit, the grants are limited by law to only reimburse schools for assessments developed for AP, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge International courses. This restriction limits the programs application to academic credit, and leaves out other types of exams that may lead to technical skills in addition to college credit, such as those linked with CTE courses.

Because of current federal statute, the department does not have the authority to broaden the types of exams covered to include technical skill assessments for college credit. This issue must be resolved through the ESEA reauthorization process.

ACTE has lobbied for this change in our ESEA campaign to help legislators truly understand the term ‘college and career ready,’ which goes beyond academics to include employability and technical skills. 

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