From CTE Policy Watch – This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on state innovations in education as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The passage of ESSA in 2015 marked a major step toward ensuring that all students are prepared to graduate from high school ready for college and a career. The new law includes critical measures to strengthen the role of CTE in our nation’s K-12 education system. States have submitted their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education for review—14 states and the District of Columbia have already been approved. As states and school districts look to fully implement the law this school year, the hearing focused on important role of innovative practices in education, including those that incorporate high-quality CTE.
Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) discussed his state’s new “ready graduate” student performance indicator, which measures postsecondary education and career readiness as part of the Tennessee state accountability system. Senator Todd Young (R-IN), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, noted the role of CTE in the Indiana’s state ESSA plan. Sen. Young discussed the importance of highlight the academic rigor of high-quality CTE with Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White, who testified alongside other state school leaders. The two also opined on the value of industry-recognized credential attainment at the secondary level, as well as the need for educators and the business community to work together in identifying relevant and appropriate credentials that are valued by employers. Follow ESSA implementation news on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.