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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

NASDCTEc Unveils Report on State Standards: Links to Common Career Technical Core

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November 4, 2013

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NASDCTEc Unveils Report on State Standards: Links to Common Career Technical Core

On October 23, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a report titled "The State of Career and Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards." The report provides an analysis and comparison of state standards related to the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), which states are currently considering for adoption.

At the report's release, NASDCTEc Executive Director Kim Green emphasized that states have developed the CCTC standards and that the report is not meant to be a rating of states but rather a tool for use as states seek to improve and align their systems.

The report shows a diverse system of CTE around the nation, which Ms. Green said is both the strength of CTE in the United States as well as a hindrance related to providing comparability. The report indicates that the majority of state-level secondary standards are occupational- or course-specific in nature as opposed to the Program-of-Study standards and disciplinary standards proposed by the CCTC.

Findings in the report indicate that state postsecondary standards are driven by accreditation and not usually connected to secondary standards. Only two states and one territory have systems that are fully aligned between secondary and postsecondary education. 

The results are linked to the following recommendations that NASDCTEc is urging states to consider:

     1) Filling the postsecondary CTE standards gap

     2) Implementing CTE standards with fidelity

     3) Continuing to make progress on Programs of Study

     4) Adopting the Common Career Technical Core

NASDCTE's report and the CCTC are linked to the larger discussion about quality CTE which has been a "hot topic" in many policy-related education meetings this year. The CCTC reflects earlier work by NASDCTEc on the Career Clusters Framework and is offered as a way to drive a discussion about broader career pathway and career cluster content standards, although NASDCTEc says the CCTC is not intended to be a wholesale replacement of state standards.

ACTE's Board of Directors will be considering a position statement on the CCTE during its December Board meeting. The full NASDCTEc report can be found at http://www.careertech.org/cctc.

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