Tag Archive | "Career and Technical Education"

Breckinridge County ATC joins NASA Hunch project

Breckinridge County ATC Computerized Manufacturing and Machining teacher Dean Monarch discussed some of the roles students will be involved in as part of the school’s partnership with the NASA HUNCH program.

Breckinridge County ATC Computerized Manufacturing and Machining teacher Dean Monarch discussed some of the roles students will be involved in as part of the school’s partnership with the NASA HUNCH program.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, Sept. 18, 2014

By Tim Thornberry
tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

When Dean Monarch’s students got the opportunity to work on a project with NASA, he wanted to make sure they didn’t take the easy way out.

Machine tool technology students at the Breckinridge County Area Technology Center are helping to create training hardware as part of High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH).

Monarch, their instructor, said he wanted to make sure his students were challenged.

“I try and push the students every day to learn as much as they can,” Monarch said. “I told the students when we started I picked the hardest project NASA had because I knew they could handle it. They fussed at me when they saw some of the other things we could be building. But if we can do something to showcase our talents, we’re going to do it to the fullest extent we can.”

They are building hardware that will be integrated into NASA’s mockups of the International Space Station (ISS) and used by crews every day in their hands-on environment to train those people who support the ISS. Read the full story

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New policy seeks to boost dual credit program

Class monitor Kelli Cash helps senior Laney Coplen with her computer science dual credit class, offered through Murray State University, at Mayfield/Graves County ATC. Coplen expects to graduate high school with 12 college credits due to being able to take dual credit classes. Photo by Amy Wallot, Dec. 10, 2014

Class monitor Kelli Cash helps senior Laney Coplen with her computer science dual credit class, offered through Murray State University, at Mayfield/Graves County ATC. Coplen expects to graduate high school with 12 college credits because of dual credit classes.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Dec. 10, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

They may look like high school students, but many of the students at Mayfield-Graves Area Technology Center are already in college. They have college transcripts, ID cards and credit hours.

The students are enrolled in dual credit courses, classes for which they will earn both high school and college credit through West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah.

“What we stress to them is, when we enroll you in this, even though you are taking the class here, you are now a college student,” said Mike Miller, principal of Mayfield-Graves ATC. “We do have good success with the students who sign up; very seldom do we have a kid who does not perform well.”

The school, which serves students from Mayfield, Graves County and Carlisle County high schools, offers dual credit in five subjects. Students pay $50 a semester for up to two of the college-credit classes.

Read the full story

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Education and the State of the Commonwealth

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

It was my honor to attend the State of the Commonwealth speech last week when Gov. Steve Beshear made his eighth and final such address. A written copy of the full speech is available online, as is a video and audio recording courtesy of KET.

It was very exciting to have the governor list the amazing accomplishments in Kentucky that have taken place over the last seven years. He emphasized health care, workforce development and business climate accomplishments in the speech. And when citing progress, he often mentioned education, which has been realized with the vision and hard work of many – from the Capitol to the classroom. Some of the education highlights can be found below.

Read the full story

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Deadline extended for CTE Excellence in Action award

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has extended the deadline to apply for its Excellence in Action award, through which superior career technical education programs of study from around the nation are recognized and honored. Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of career cluster-based programs of study and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success.

Winning programs will be featured in NASDCTEc communications, marketing and advocacy materials and used during congressional visits and with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE.

The application deadline is Dec. 18. Find the award application here, or get more information about the application process here.

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Red Zone success helps high school bounce back

Mandy Lawson talks with the language arts PLC members Willie Stepp, Tamelia Webb, Natalie Wheeler and Kathryn McClain at Sheldon Clark High School (Martin County). Extra time in the school day allows for PLC meetings during the day. Photo by Amy Wallot Nov. 20, 2014

Mandy Lawson talks with language arts PLC members Willie Stepp, Tamelia Webb, Natalie Wheeler and Kathryn McClain at Sheldon Clark High School (Martin County). Extra time in the school day allows for PLC meetings during the day.
Photo by Amy Wallot Nov. 20, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.Kelly@education.ky.gov

A social studies teacher at Sheldon Clark High School (Martin County) might teach 30 minutes of reading. A science teacher might teach 30 minutes of mathematics. And that’s okay with them.

The time is called the Red Zone.

It’s an extra 30-minute period each day in which students are placed in groups to receive intensive instruction targeted to their needs. The goal is to help more students reach proficiency and benchmarks for college/career readiness.

The program uses the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework, which calls for using data to group students, providing intense interventions, then continually monitoring students’ progress.

Most teachers already know which of their students need the most help, but in a typical class they might not have the time to work with them, said Mandy Lawson, who teaches English.

“Now we get this bonus time to take the kids we’ve already targeted,” she said, “and we get to work with them on what they specifically need.”

Read the full story

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Creating a world-class system of career and technical education

Associate Commissioner Dale Winkler and Vice President of the Southern Regional Education Board Gene Bottoms present "From Two Systems to One World-Class System of Technical Centers" to the interim joint committee on education. Photo by Amy Wallot, June 9, 2014

Associate Commissioner Dale Winkler and Vice President of the Southern Regional Education Board Gene Bottoms present “From Two Systems to One World-Class System of Technical Centers” to the interim joint committee on education.
Photo by Amy Wallot, June 9, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

If Kentucky wants a world-class system of career and technical centers producing students who are ready for college and careers, the state is on the right track but has a lot of work to do, according to a report by the Southern Regional Education Board.

The board studied the state’s current system of state-operated technical centers and centers operated by the school district and made several recommendations on how Kentucky can move career and technical education into the 21st Century.

In 2012, the 53 state-operated centers and 42 locally-operated centers came under the guidance of the newly-created Office of Career and Technical Education within the Kentucky Department of Education. However, there are still differences in funding, teacher professional learning and how the centers operate, the report stated.

The two systems also had separate standards for their curriculum so the departments developed a uniform curriculum framework, said Dale Winkler, associate commissioner for the Office of Career and Technical Education.

“Aligning of the standards was the first thing we did after the office was created, the second was getting this report done, then we’ll look at governance, Read the full story

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Upcoming school year shaping up to be a busy one with educator effectiveness, new science standards and more

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

The 2014-15 school year is upon us, and it’s going to be an exciting and busy school year for Kentucky public school students, educators and parents.

Many new and continuing initiatives will require the time and attention of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), school districts, schools and educators. All of these efforts support our ultimate goal in Kentucky: college and career readiness for ALL students.

Here is a quick look at some of the major initiatives and undertakings this coming school year.

Professional Growth and Effectiveness System

We have elevated the expectations of our students with the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and corresponding assessments, and we have high expectations of our teachers, principals and superintendents as well. The Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) is designed to provide all Kentucky educators with fair and meaningful feedback grounded in evidence and based on a set of consistent professional standards. The feedback is intended to empower the individual educator to improve his or her practice through personalized professional growth planning and professional learning opportunities. The goal is that every child will be taught by an effective teacher, every school led by an effective principal and every district led by an effective superintendent.

The teacher, leader and superintendent growth and effectiveness blueprint has taken Kentucky educators more than four years of careful planning, negotiation, testing and tweaking. Full implementation of the Read the full story

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Pulaski County ATC adds Natural Gas Pipeline Technician Program to its offerings

David Hargis, left, Somerset Fuel Center Manager, explains natural gas fueling processes to Maci New, the first student to sign up for Pulaski County Area Technology Center's natural gas pipeline technician program. Photo by Tim Thornberry, May 23, 2013

David Hargis, left, Somerset Fuel Center Manager, explains natural gas fueling processes to Maci New, the first student to sign up for Pulaski County Area Technology Center’s natural gas pipeline technician program.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, May 23, 2013

By Tim Thornberry
tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

Beth Hargis knows how important partnerships are to the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. It is the foundation on which the programs are built, she said.

As principal of the Pulaski County Area Technology Center (ATC), Hargis has enjoyed partnerships between local business and industry, local government and the local community college.

Those relationships have gotten the ATC’s newest project off the ground. A Natural Gas Pipeline Technician Program began this year at the school, signaling the development of a program to fill not only a local need but a growing demand for technicians across the country.

“I believe this program will provide a meaningful and lasting occupation for those students who become involved,” she said.

Hargis added that with the introduction of this program at the ATC comes the recognition of it being the first of its kind in the state’s secondary education sector, and the most comprehensive program at the high school level in the country.

“We have researched this for months to make sure we have all the proper components in place to ensure success and have not found anything like it anywhere, from a secondary education standpoint,” said Hargis.

The program began as an initiative from Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, who was frustrated trying to hire qualified gas pipeline technicians, explained Hargis.

Somerset owns a natural gas pipeline that spans seven counties, and the city recently opened a natural gas fueling center and is moving toward a natural gas fleet of city vehicles. Read the full story

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Creating a world-class system of technical centers

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

What do you envision when someone says career and technical education?  Unfortunately too many people harken back to days gone by of a “shop” with kids who couldn’t cut it in regular academic classes and were destined for low-paying jobs.  While that may or may not have been an accurate account in the past, today it could not be further from the truth.

Not only does career and technical education (CTE) demand a strong foundation in academics, but often leads to higher paying jobs that are in greater demand than those held by college graduates with a bachelor’s degree. And CTE isn’t just for one group of students. In 2012-13, almost 70 percent of Kentucky high school students participated in career and technical education.

The goal of Kentucky K-12 public education is to prepare students for life after high school which means readying students for college and/or career.  To achieve that goal, there must be viable alternative pathways.

In 2010, Gov. Steve Beshear created the Transforming Education in Kentucky Task Force. This group worked to develop Read the full story

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Board of Education approves educator effectiveness system

Floyd County Superintendent Henry Webb, Kenton County Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey and Chief of Staff Tommy Floyd update the Kentucky Board of Education on the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Photo by Amy Wallot, April 9, 2014

Floyd County Superintendent Henry Webb, Kenton County Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey and Chief of Staff Tommy Floyd update the Kentucky Board of Education on the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 9, 2014

At its meeting yesterday the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously approved a new statewide evaluation system for teachers and principals and received an update on a new evaluation system for superintendents.

The goal of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System model is that every student is taught by an effective teacher; every school is led by an effective principal; and every district is run by an effective superintendent. Currently, multiple systems are being used across the state with no consistency or meaningful difference in performance levels or support.

Over the past four years, two steering committees and Kentucky Department of Education staff have developed a model for teachers and one for principals that focuses on professional growth and continuous improvement. It includes elements of both formative and summative evaluation. Feedback from participants in a field test, statewide pilot and other stakeholders have helped shape the system.

“It’s scary, it’s change, but I have seen the benefit of it,” Stephanie Harris, principal at Mapleton Elementary (Montgomery Read the full story

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