Baby, It’s Bold Inside
Last year, within three months after the reauthorization of Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), Advance CTE partnered with the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) to host four regional Perkins V implementation meetings across the country to unpack the new law and help states get a jumpstart on their planning.
Building on interest from our members – and support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Joyce Foundation – we decided to host another round of three Perkins V implementation meetings, joined once again by our excellent partners. Over the course of three months, we brought together about 300 leaders from across 44 states and Washington, DC, along with invited national CTE and workforce development experts from over 20 partner organizations, including National Skills Coalition, National Governors Association, ExcelinEd, Council of Chief State School Officers, New America, Education Strategy Group and others, to help states:
- Collaborate with peers from other states to share ideas and solutions on major strategies within their Perkins V state plans, with a focus on quality, equity, data, systems alignment and career advisement;
- Work with their state team to review and strengthen their Perkins V plans based on input from national experts, peers and in-state stakeholder engagement; and
- Leave with clear next steps for strengthening their Perkins V state plans to advance a statewide vision for CTE that is innovative, bold and prioritizes quality and equity.
At each meeting, states had the chance to present on their draft plans and strategies and get direct, actionable feedback from their peers and the invited partners. State leaders dug in deeply on issues including improving the quality of CTE programs/programs of study, closing equity gaps, leveraging the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment to drive local innovation and learner-focused programming, aligning CTE and workforce development, and meaningful engagement of key stakeholders, such as Tribal communities and employers.
It was truly inspiring to learn so much from states, see how BOLD they were willing to be and have the opportunity to give real-time input into states’ Perkins V plans!
Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director
*Photos courtesy of Bob Witchger