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CTE Policy Watch

Literacy Report Promotes Collaborative Teaching for 21st Century Learning


April 5, 2013

By: Steve

On April 3, the National Center for Literacy Education held a briefing on Capitol Hill to promote its latest report "Remodeling Literacy Learning: Making Room for What Works." The report was based on the responses of 2,400 educators of all roles, grade levels and subject areas to find out where we stand regarding literacy support, the kinds of training and resources available, professional collaboration and supports needed. ACTE has participated in the coalition and CTE educators were included in the survey.

Key findings from the survey include the following:

  1. Literacy is not just the English teacher's job anymore
  2. Working together is working smarter
  3. But schools aren't structured to facilitate educators working together
  4. Many of the building blocks for remodeling literacy learning and are in place
  5. Effective collaboration needs systemic support

A panel of teachers, administrators and policy experts discussed. Sarah Brown Wessling, a former Council of Chief State School Officers National Teacher of the Year said literacy teaching shouldn't be just a "check off" on a list but that it needs to include real work and collaboration. Her school worked for two years on a rubric which involved all teachers in the school which resulted in a culture of urgency as opposed to a culture of accountability. Other presenters discussed how their schools and districts had been transformed by similar efforts.

A significant issue is determining how to build into the school day the collaboration and other professional development needed to transform teaching and learning. Panelists indicated this is key and that we cannot expect teachers to add on the time to their already busy days. Deborah Delisle, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education discussed the RESPECT initiative as one way to support teachers in their work on literacy.

The NCLE report includes a set of policy recommendations for educators, principals and policymakers. Among the recommendations for policymakers included are:

  • Support of conditions that enable educators and principals to stay current in the literacy learning development general by such influences as technology, brain research and emergent areas of integrated study and practice
  • Through legislation, guidelines and rulemaking, affirm the conditions necessary for educator collaboration such as school factors to improve student learning over time rather than focusing on teachers evaluation tied to short-term changes based on test scores
  • Invest in professional learning that builds on what educators learn on a daily basis from observing, analyzing and formatively assessing student learning

View ACTE's Issue Brief: CTE's Role in Adolescent Literacy.

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Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need

Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.

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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