OVAE Connection -- February 3, 2012
Archived Information

Join OVAE to Help Lead Adult Education Innovation

Are you committed to fostering innovation and quality improvement in adult education? Would you like to expand your reach nationwide? OVAE is hiring a Supervisory Education Program Specialist to lead the Innovation and Improvement Team. This position provides national leadership to help states identify innovations that improve basic and secondary education programs for adults as well as programs for adults with limited English proficiency and in other special populations. The incumbent will guide the team to support projects and initiatives, such as the improvement of instructional programs and services, workplace initiatives, demonstration projects and other innovative strategies that are being implemented and evaluated for wider basic skills instruction. Applicants must submit their application online by Feb. 9.This vacancy was created by the recent promotion of Chris Coro to deputy director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy.

OVAE Launches Online ELL-U

OVAE has launched the English Language Learning University (ELL-U) website, a free interactive professional development network for ELL practitioners. ELL-U combines face-to-face events and online learning activities with collaborative social networking for a virtual university experience. Users working with English language learners may register at no cost for 24-hour access to self-paced online courses, study circles, and training events that use evidence-based instruction. These include opportunities for individual exploration, individual or small group reflection, and large group discussions. Forums and discussions will be moderated by ELL-U’s experts and offer opportunities to collaborate with ELL professionals building a nationwide community of practice. Online office hours will be held by the following faculty members: Martha Bigelow, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota; Susan Finn Miller, teacher and teacher educator, Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13; and Kathy Harris and Steve Reder, both professors of applied linguistics, Portland State University. ELL-U will launch its full catalog of learning activities this spring. For more information, please contact

New Report on CTE

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has just released Postsecondary and Labor Force Transitions Among Public High School Career and Technical Education Participants. This is an Issue Tables report, which provides a short narrative and a larger set of data tables. This particular report provides information on post-high school transitions to college or to the workplace for students who have concentrated coursetaking in CTE. The report is based on data drawn from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS 2002) and examines the outcomes of students in 2004, two years after graduation. This report is largely focused on occupational courses, meaning those that usually provide students with the technical knowledge and skills needed to gain employment. It also singles out those who concentrated in an occupational area—“students who earned at least 2.0 credits in any one of the 12 occupational areas [studied], and students who earned at least 3.0 credits in any one of the 12 occupational areas.”

Secretary Duncan Speaks at Release of New Report by Harvard on CTE Options for Youth Employability

On Feb. 2, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Pathways to Prosperity Project released a report examining the failure of U.S. education to prepare many of its young people for college and careers and describing a vision of how the United States could regain world leadership in educational attainment. According to the HGSE news release, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century “…contends that our national strategy for education and youth development has been too narrowly focused on an academic…approach… [which] has produced only incremental gains in achievement and attainment, even as many other nations are leapfrogging the United States. In response, the report advocates development of a comprehensive pathways network to serve youth in high school and beyond …”

In response to the report, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered remarks including the following:

  • The Pathways to Prosperity study envisions a new system of career and technical education that constitutes a radical departure from the vocational education of the past.
  • I am not here today to endorse the specifics of your policy recommendations. I want instead to suggest two takeaway messages from your study and the Department's reform efforts.
  • First, for far too long, CTE has been the neglected stepchild of education reform. That neglect has to stop. And second, the need to re-imagine and remake career and technical education is urgent. CTE has an enormous, if often overlooked impact on students, school systems, and our ability to prosper as a nation.
  • I am admittedly impatient for reform. But patience is not called for in the face of opportunity gaps. Children get only one chance at an education. They cannot wait on reform. It is time to finish the transformation of the old vocational education system into the new CTE.

New Initiative Provides Education Opportunities to Military Families

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that as part of the Obama administration initiative to support military families, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will focus on providing educational opportunities for children of military families, especially when a parent is deployed and during times of transition between schools. The ED website provides information on scholarships and grants specifically for veterans and members of the armed forces and their families who meet the applicable eligibility criteria related to education. See:

ED press release:
ED’s Web page for veterans:

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Last Modified: 08/15/2013