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Secretary Duncan, AFT President Weingarten Praise CTE on Diane Rehm Show


October 9, 2012

By: Ashley

This morning, the Diane Rehm Show on NPR hosted U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, followed by a panel of education experts including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to discuss the current challenges facing the U.S. education system and what steps are being taken by the federal government to improve education across the country. Secretary Duncan emphasized several times during the program that the “best investment” the U.S. can make is in education. Duncan also underlined the importance of all students participating in some form of postsecondary education, which he described as necessary to be competitive in today’s global economy. In response to one caller’s question about individuals with high-level degrees having difficulty finding work, Duncan brought up the issue of the skills gap, citing the need for schools to prepare students with the necessary skills for the “great paying jobs” that currently exist in the economy and are expected to grow, such as careers in STEM, green energy, IT, health services and advance manufacturing. Duncan also said he felt community colleges are a “huge part of the answer” to encouraging more students to pursue postsecondary education, applauding the “real public-private partnerships” he has seen in community colleges across the country “that lead directly to good paying jobs.”

The panel included Kevin Carey of the New America Foundation, Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT and Maria Ferguson, executive director of the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University. All three panelists pointed to career and technical education during the conversation as a means to engage students and prevent dropouts by providing relevance to students’ studies. AFT President Randi Weingarten commented that “far more students would stay in school if they could see the connection between their learning and future life” and said she “strongly believes in multiple pathways to graduation.”  Weingarten also felt that the project-based learning that is integral to CTE was one of the best ways to create real relevance for students and encourage them to persist in their studies. You can listen to the full radio segment on the Diane Rehm Show website here.

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CTE Policy Watch Blog

Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!

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In a press release today, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) announced a bill designed to improve school counseling resources across the country. The Counseling for Career Choice Act of 2013 provides increased support and professional development for school counselors to have the resources and materials to help students make educated decisions about their future, whether it is a four-year university, career and technical education program in high school or other option.


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