Career Technical Education (CTE) continues to garner attention this week in the nation’s capitol. President Trump announced his intent to nominate new leaders at the U.S. Department of Education, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the U.S. Department of Education released an updated College Scorecard.
President Trump Announces Intent to Nominate New U.S. Department of Education Leaders
On October 3, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Mitchell Zais, previously the State Superintendent of Education for South Carolina, to be Deputy Secretary of Education. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.
On September 30, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Michigan state Representative Timothy Kelly (R-MI) to be the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). This nomination will require Senate confirmation. In addition, last week the U.S. Department of Education announced that Dr. Michael Wooten will be the Deputy Assistant Secretary for OCTAE (which does not require Senate confirmation) and the Acting Assistant Secretary for OCTAE (and will remain the Acting Assistant Secretary until Timothy Kelly is confirmed by the Senate).
Every Student Succeeds Act Hearing Features States’ CTE Efforts
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on October 3 entitled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation” to hear from states that have included innovative ideas in their ESSA plans. The witnesses who spoke during the hearing were Candice McQueen, Commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Education, John White, State Superintendent Of Education at the Louisiana Department of Education, Christopher Ruszkowski, Secretary Of Education at the New Mexico Public Education Department and David Steiner, Executive Director at Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy. In his opening statement, Chairman Alexander (R-TN) highlighted Tennessee’s “Ready Graduate” indicator and Louisiana’s career education initiative. McQueen also discussed the indicator in her opening remarks, which puts an emphasis on “opportunities that students have to prepare for their next step after high school.”
Questions from HELP committee members ranged from those about the role of the federal government in education to state implementation of the law, including school ratings, teacher preparation, assessments and more. Senator Young (R-IN), one of the co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, asked how CTE prepares students for success and how to increase momentum around industry credentials. White answered citing the many benefits of CTE and emphasized the need for education and industry to collaborate on a comprehensive credential system that ensures that students are learning relevant skills.
Updated College Scorecard Released by U.S. Department of Education
On September 27, the U.S. Department of Education updated the College Scorecard with refreshed data and a new feature that allows uses to compare up to 10 institutions at the same time. The College Scorecard includes data from postsecondary institutions about graduation rates, cost, the average earnings of graduates and repayment rates for loans.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy