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Governors' Meeting Includes CTE Dialogue with Duncan, Spellings


July 17, 2012

By: Steve

On July 13, the National Governors Association held its annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA. During the event, the topic of career and technical education came up during a Q & A session as part of the Education and Workforce Committee meeting.

Kudos to Governor Matt Mead (R-WY) who asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings how CTE could be better integrated into the U.S. education system. The question came during a session titled “The Road to Reauthorize ESEA” which included broad discussion about the ESEA reauthorization, Common Core State Standards and the future of ESEA. Gov. Mead referenced the great career opportunities for students in professions such as welding, and said that we have to stop equating CTE pathways as “lesser than” options.

Secretary Duncan agreed that CTE options should be promoted and that CTE is too often undervalued and underappreciated, but he also said there are too many outdated CTE programs in the nation and that more focus is needed on connecting programs to real jobs. Sec. Duncan noted a few of the Obama Administration’s actions to illustrate support for CTE such as the appointment of Dr. Martha Kanter as Under Secretary of Education, the first individual from a community college to hold that position. Duncan closed by asking Gov. Mead and other governors for reaction to the CTE Blueprint to reauthorize Perkins.

Former Secretary Spellings noted the high math and reading levels that many CTE students possess, echoed Sec. Duncan’s sentiments and noted that as much attention needs to be paid to CTE students as other students.

A video of the Education and Workforce Committee meeting can be found on NGA’s Web site. Click on the “Q & A” link under the "Education & Workforce Session" heading to hear the comments which are made about 13 minutes into the video.

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