OVAE Connection -- June 14, 2012
Archived Information

White House Council on Community Solutions Releases Community Solutions for Opportunity Youth

The White House Council for Community Solutions recently held its final summit at which it released its final report, Community Solutions for Opportunity Youth, The report offers recommendations and resources for helping to guide all young people onto a path toward education, employment, and economic prosperity. Created by Executive Order in December 2010, the council was asked to identify and raise awareness of effective community-led solutions to our nation’s most serious problems. After intensive fact-finding, the council chose to address putting every young person on a clear path to economic opportunity. For the 6.7 million 16- to 24-year-olds disconnected from both school and jobs—called “opportunity youth”—this critical issue could best draw attention to their promise and to actions that can tap their potential to contribute to the economy and society.

To achieve this, the final report presents four recommendations: (1) drive development of successful cross-sector community collaborative activities; (2) create shared national responsibility and accountability; (3) engage youth as leaders in the solution; and (4) build more robust on-ramps to employment.

Request for Information About Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth

The Federal Interagency Forum for Disconnected Youth has announced the release of Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth. The response period for the Request for Information (RFI) is June 4–July 5, 2012.

President Obama’s FY 2013 budget included a request for authority to implement Performance Partnership Pilots to improve outcomes for disconnected youths, those young people ages 14 to 24 who are homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, or are neither employed nor enrolled in an educational institution, To inform that initiative, this RFI seeks recommendations on effective approaches for improving outcomes for disconnected youth by working across federal, state, and local community programs and systems. For the purposes of this RFI, “to improve outcomes for disconnected youth” means to increase the rate at which they achieve success in meeting educational, employment, and other key lifelong development goals.

The input received in response to this notice will inform the Federal Interagency Forum on Disconnected Youth about the best use of the authority requested in the FY 2013 budget for the Performance Partnership Pilots, and for other actions the administration might take to improve outcomes for this population. Responses may be used to identify opportunities for flexibility within existing authorities. They will be collected via

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CTE Innovation: An Example From New York State

Recent columns in OVAE Connection have presented the four core principles for reforming CTE, as announced in Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education. Last week’s column set forth the administration’s thinking about innovation. This week we use an example from the state of New York to illustrate innovative thinking for improving CTE under the Perkins Act.

New York has experimented with permitting integrated course options that enable students to meet academic standards within a CTE context. Under existing policy, New York permits four approved integrated credits—one each in English, mathematics, science, and social studies—to count toward graduation. A proposal that would permit more integrated CTE course options to count for academic credit is currently under consideration by New York’s P–12 Education Committee. Considering such an expansion is part of an ongoing discussion of CTE’s role in potential changes to state graduation requirements.

Approval of integrated course options for academic credit in New York requires several quality assurance steps. Ultimately, to ensure high-quality experiences for students, courses identified for this option must meet a standard of rigor that best ensures college and career readiness. Specifically, courses must: (1) address and be built upon high school-level state, national, and industry standards; (2) provide relevant, sequential academic and technical content aligned to the appropriate standards; (3) be designed by academic and CTE teachers who partner in course development, implementation, and delivery; and (4) include formative and industry-accepted summative assessments of student progress.

The P–12 Education Committee has recommended that this innovation be phased in. It has done this, in part, due to other considerations, including course development in districts where approved CTE programs are not available, the need to restructure middle school programs to prepare students for fully integrated high school programs, building strengths of current CTE programs and teachers, and the need for proper documentation of approved integrated courses for transfer and credit purposes.

As teaching integrated CTE academic courses involve both CTE and academically certified teachers, program implementation must consider other issues. These include designating responsibility or accountability for the “teacher of record;” ensuring the necessary supply of well-qualified teachers to teach integrated courses; the possible need for new certification requirements for these teachers; and teacher preparation, certification, and professional development issues.

New York State is currently in the process of addressing these issues. Recent discussions project September 2013 as the date for instituting these new reforms.

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Last Modified: 06/18/2012