OVAE Connection - Issue 159 - July 18, 2013

OVAE Connection

                                                              July 18, 2013 - Issue 159

skills usa

                                                   2013 SkillsUSA Team in Leipzig, Germany

                                 Photograph by Craig Moore. Used with permission of SkillsUSA


WorldSkills Competition 2013 - Germany

During their recent trips to Germany on departmental business, Brenda Dann-Messier, OVAE assistant secretary and Sharon Miller, director of OVAE’s Division of Academic and Technical Education, attended the WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany. There, they witnessed the high-quality preparation and determination of students up to 21 years old demonstrating their skills in various career and technical education competitions. During the four-day competition, participants from SkillsUSA, an organization working to ensure that the U.S. has a skilled workforce, received four international honors. America’s welding competitor, Alexander Pazkowski, received a silver medal and was also named “Best of Nation.” The U.S. competitors in IT network administration, Marcus Cain, and automobile service technology, Kieron Kohlmann, each received a Medallion for Excellence. In addition, Patrick Klarecki, from Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., one of the U.S. adult technical experts in print media technology, received the World Skills Sustainability Award for managing the most green competition process during the event.


PIRLS and TIMSS Results Released for 2011

Results of the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have recently been released. They provide periodic comparative data on the academic standing of fourth-graders’ reading literacy (PIRLS) and fourth- and eighth-graders’ mathematics and science knowledge and skills (TIMSS).

U.S. fourth-graders improved in reading literacy since the 2006 administration of PIRLS and in mathematics since the last administration of TIMSS in 2007. Their average score in science held steady. U.S. eighth-graders showed no significant change in their average scores in mathematics or science since 2007. Having large enough samples of their own, nine states participated in TIMSS or in both TIMSS and PIRLS in 2011 as separate samples, as well as being part of the U.S. national sample. In both PIRLS and TIMSS some states had top-ranking average scores.

The PIRLS database comprises 10 years of data, having been first administered in 2001, and then again in 2006 and 2011. The TIMSS database contains 16 years of data. The fourth-grade assessment was conducted in 1995, 2003, 2007, and, most recently, in 2011. The assessment of eighth-graders was administered in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and, most recently, in 2011.

The knowledge and skills tested in both PIRLS and TIMSS are generally aligned with the school curricula in the participating jurisdictions. According to National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Jack Buckley, The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned concepts and skills they are likely to have been taught in school.

PIRLS and TIMSS participating jurisdictions include both countries and large subnational education systems in both the U.S. and other nations. Both the U.S. as a whole and nine states participated as individual jurisdictions. State samples included public schools and public school students only. This fact was emphasized by Buckley: When comparing state results with those of the United States as a whole, as well as of the other participating education systems, it is important to keep in mind that the state samples include only public schools and therefore are representative only of the performance of public schools in those states. The U.S. national samples, as well as the samples in most other participating education systems, include both public and private schools.

The results for the U.S. are based on randomly selected and weighted samples representative of the U.S. The PIRLS and TIMSS assessments were administered between April and June 2011 in the United States. The two cross-national comparative studies are coordinated by the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College, under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an international organization of national research institutions and governmental research agencies.

Future columns in OVAE Connection will discuss the reporting of PIRLS and TIMSS results, as well as the specific results for U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders on these assessments.

Webinar on Building a System of High Quality Career Pathways

The National Center for Innovation and Career and Technical Education (NCICTE) will continue its four-part webinar series Building a System of High-Quality Career Pathways High School Transformation and District Supports.

  •  On July 24, attendees will learn about career pathways.

  •  On July 26, the topic will be developing a district-wide system of pathways.

  •  On July 31, leadership development and communications strategies will be discussed.

All three pre-recorded modules, in addition to the first module from July 10, will be under “Training” at http://ctecenter.ed.gov/.

Apply for Seat on CTE Standards Committee

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is accepting applications for membership on the committee responsible for reviewing and revising the Career and Technical Education Standards. To access the online application go to http://www.nbpts.org/standards-revision. The application will be available through Aug. 9, 2013. Visit the National Board website for information about the duties and responsibilities of standards committee members. For assistance or additional information contact the National Board at nominations@nbpts.org.