Career Education in the Spotlight

Maryland’s Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center in Baltimore was recently the site of a grant announcement and a call to Congress by the US Department of Education. Maryland counties seek to support career and technical education that provide opportunities to students and help build local economies.

As reported by the US Department of Education’s Ed Week,

Last week, at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center in Baltimore, Secretary King called on Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides some $1.1 billion for career and technical education (CTE) programs in seventh- through twelfth-grade and postsecondary institutions (remarks and blog post).

The Administration’s priorities for Perkins reauthorization include:

  • effective alignment with today’s labor market, including clear expectations for high-quality programs;
  • stronger collaboration among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners;
  • meaningful accountability to improve academic and employment outcomes for students; and
  • local and state innovation in CTE, particularly the development and replication of innovative models (blueprint).

The Secretary also launched the Career Technical Education Makeover Challenge, a Department-sponsored competition offering a total of $200,000 divided equally among as many as 10 award recipients to transform classrooms or available spaces in high schools into places where students have access to tools to design, build, and innovate.

Specifically, the CTE Makeover Challenge calls upon secondary schools to design models of “makerspaces” — formalized spaces for making things.  These facilities may be classrooms, libraries, and mobile spaces, all of which will provide resources for students to create and learn through making.  Such locations are ideal spaces for students to gain essential 21st century career skills, such as critical thinking, planning, and communication.

Additionally, the Secretary announced the White House, federal agencies, and the broader community will celebrate a National Week of Making (June 17-23), coinciding with the National Maker Faire (June 18-19) in Washington, D.C.

For more information on this topic, see our previous posts, Education Elements of President’s FY 2017 Budget, and Frederick STEM Connects Students to Careers.