New Procurement Opportunity
OVAE intends to award a fixed price contract to an institution of higher education, a public or private nonprofit organization or agency, or a consortium of such institutions, organizations or agencies to establish a new national research center for career and technical education. Section 114(d) (4)(5) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) authorizes the secretary of education to establish a center to carry out scientifically based research and evaluation, and to conduct dissemination and training activities consistent with the purpose of the act. The first research center for vocational education, now known as Career and Technical Education (CTE) was authorized and reauthorized by the Perkins acts of 1984, 1990, 1998, and 2006 and administered by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. This center serves as the hub of the nation's research, development, and dissemination in CTE. The work of the new center will build upon that of the previous Department-funded CTE research and dissemination centers, focusing on projects that answer critical questions about the effectiveness of CTE policies and program strategies. OVAE is conducting market research to identify potential offerors, clarify requirements, and remove barriers to maximize competition. Interested parties are invited to participate in a webinar on Dec. 1, 2011, at 1 p.m. ET, when OVAE will share its vision and goals for the procurement. A draft Performance-Work Statement, Invitation to Submit Capability, and instructions for viewing the webinar are available on the Federal Business Opportunities website, www.fbo.gov. To view the materials, click on the word “Opportunities” on the top navigation bar and then search for solicitation ED-VAE-12-R-0003. Please RSVP for the webinar to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico Appoints New Director for Adult Basic Education
Frances Bannowsky is the new director for the adult basic education (ABE) division at the New Mexico Higher Education Department. During the past decade and a half, Bannowsky has designed, implemented, supervised, and assessed developmental and ABE education programs in New Mexico. She previously led similar work in Washington state. She also has worked in postsecondary education, primarily at tribal colleges. Bannowsky holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Puget Sound (Washington), and a juris doctor from the Seattle University School of Law.
National Governors Association Announces Policy Academy to Improve States' Postsecondary Education Systems
The National Governors Association (NGA), with funding from the Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has recently announced the six states—Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada and Utah—selected to participate in a policy academy on strengthening postsecondary accountability systems. Participating states will receive guidance and technical assistance from NGA staff and from faculty experts, as well as consultants from the private sector, research organizations, academia and the federal government.
The current economic climate has placed both a high demand on more skilled workers and an increased focus on performance and outcomes. States are also facing both short- and long-term limits on spending for education, leaving governors to confront critical policy decisions. Across states, low-income students, working adults, and students of color continue to face the greatest hurdles in first getting into and then completing college. States, therefore, must have a strategy for getting more career-ready graduates using their resources.
By helping states improve their postsecondary education systems, the policy academy promises to expand the current knowledge base around college completion. The academy will do this by focusing states on efficiency and effectiveness metrics, and on incorporating those metrics into their decision-making processes. The strategies and policies developed by the selected states are intended to serve as ideas and best practices for all states. The lessons learned from this project will be added to the evidence-base emerging from other initiatives such as OVAE's Policy to Performance and the Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears. Please visit the NGA Center for Best Practices, Education Division, for updates from the policy academy project.