OVAE Connection -- May 10, 2012
Archived Information

OVAE and National Academy of Sciences Co-Host Forum on Improving Adult Literacy Instruction

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and OVAE will hold a public forum on May 30, 2012, from 9 a.m. to noon to discuss the newly released National Research Council consensus report, Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research. Members of the authoring committee will present the report's key findings, recommendations, and messages. The discussion will establish some common understandings about the report and consider how the report may be used to shape and support activities for improving adult literacy instruction at the federal, state and local levels. Invited experts will examine strategies for acting on the recommendations to address the educational needs of adults with low literacy and improve their employment opportunities and economic outcomes. The forum speakers are: Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Brenda Dann-Messier; Special Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez; Deputy Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia Josephine Reed-Taylor; Andrés Henriquez from the Carnegie Corporation of New York; and Dean of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh Alan Lesgold, who chaired the committee.

To watch the public discussion via webcast, please register at this link. Click on the following links for information on the event, full report, and report briefs (Report Highlights, Research Highlights, and Policy Highlights).

Input Needed on Draft Common State Standards for CTE

To participate in the review of the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) initiative’s shared state standards for CTE, go to The comment period is open until May 11, 2012. Details are available at the website. For more information, contact Dean Folkers, deputy executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium at

White House Announces Nearly 300,000 Summer Jobs

The Obama administration has announced commitments from 95 companies and non-profits; the cities of Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco; two federal agencies; and the White House to provide 90,000 new paid summer jobs and over 200,000 other employment opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth this year as part of the Summer Jobs+ initiative. The administration will also launch the Summer Jobs+ Bank, an online search tool providing a single-stop resource for young job seekers to connect with jobs, internships, and other employment opportunities both this summer and year round. The Summer Jobs + initiative was first reported in OVAE Connection on March 15, 2012.

Career and Technical Education Collaboration

This is the third column in a series on the Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education. The second core principle detailed in the blueprint is collaboration, particularly among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners, designed to improve the quality of CTE programs. These partnerships are essential for creating the high-quality CTE programs necessary to prepare students for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors that will dominate the 21st century global economy.

As the Blueprint notes, “Strong collaborations between secondary and postsecondary education institutions, employers, industry, and other partners are essential to creating high-quality CTE programs, and they result in numerous benefits. Academic, career, and technical content can be made more relevant, rigorous, and better aligned with the skills demanded by the labor market. Students can obtain college credit for course work completed in high school, apprenticeships, or industry-based training. Students also can obtain a clearer understanding of the requirements for entry into college programs, positioning them for seamless transitions into postsecondary education. Strong collaborations also enable resources, such as equipment and facility space, to be purchased and used more efficiently.”

The blueprint encourages collaboration in two important ways: (1) it permits only consortia of local education agencies and postsecondary institutions and their partners to apply to states for Perkins funding, and (2) it requires states to meet a matching requirement using private-sector resources in order to receive Perkins funding.

An eligible consortium could be based on geography, an occupational or industrial sector, or other considerations. At a minimum, an eligible consortium must include local education agencies with at least one of them serving a high concentration of students from low-income families, and postsecondary institutions that offer two-year degrees. Other partners in a consortium could be research universities that play a critical role in economic development as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.

In current practice, employers, industry, and labor partners—who have the best understanding of immediate, near-term, and future labor market needs—do not have adequate opportunities to participate in designing and implementing CTE programs. The blueprint addresses this issue by establishing a matching requirement that states must meet to receive Perkins funds. That requirement could be met with cash or in-kind resources, such as equipment, training facilities, entrepreneurial start-up capital, or technical assessments, to encourage collaboration between stakeholders within a consortium.

The next issue of OVAE Connection will discuss examples of successful collaborations.

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Last Modified: 05/14/2012