OVAE Connection - Issue 165 - August 29, 2013

OVAE Connection

                                                             August 29, 2013 - Issue 165

High Quality CTE Programming, Employability Standards and Career Guidance

OVAE at the National Career Pathways Network Conference in San Antonio in October

Join OVAE in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 1415, 2013, at the National Career Pathways Network Conference. The event, hosted by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), will feature speakers and sessions to help educators, workforce development professionals, business and industry experts, and economic development partners build and enhance career pathways in their communities. OVAE will be leading or participating in three sessions during the conference:

  • Implementing Rigorous Programs of Study: Strategies for High-Quality CTE Programs (Monday, October 14 Crockett C/D 2:153:15 p.m.) This session will explore how six states are evaluating and assessing their Rigorous Programs of Study (RPOS) and the contributions they made to students’ education attainments and post-program successes. Strategies for implementing OVAE’s Division of Academic and Technical Education’s Design Framework for RPOS will be provided.
  • Supporting Employability Standards in Career and Technical Education and Adult Education (Tuesday, October 15 Crockett C/D 9:3010:30 a.m.) This session will focus on the importance of employability skills. Participants will learn about the OVAE-supported States’ Employability Standards in Career and Technical Education and Adult Education project. The session will be presented by RTI Associates and facilitated by OVAE.
  • Transforming Career and Technical Education: A Federal-level Perspective (Tuesday, October 15 Texas Ballroom D 10:4511:45 a.m.) This session will discuss how transforming CTE is essential if America is to retain its preeminence as the world’s economic superpower. CTE provides students with the academic and technical knowledge and work-related skills necessary to be successful in postsecondary education and employment. This session will provide an update on OVAE’s priorities and national activities that ensure all youths and adults are ready for, have access to, and complete high-quality CTE programs.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.ncpn.info/.

Child Well-Being

The 2012 edition of the National Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI)–an analysis produced by the Foundation for Child Development (FCD), a national, private philanthropy and by the Child and Youth Well-Being Index Project at Duke University—is the annual report on a comprehensive measure of how children are faring in the U.S. The 2012 report is based on a composite of 28 key indicators of well-being that are grouped into seven quality-of-life/well-being domains: (1) family economic well-being, (2) safe/risky behavior, (3) social relationships, (4) emotional/spiritual well-being, (5) community engagement, (6) educational attainment, and (7) health. On these various indices and on the overall index, the CWI tracks changes against the 1975 base-year values.

For the first time ever with this 2012 report, the CWI emphasizes changes over the past 10 years, providing its analysis of how American children fared during the first decade of the 21st century. This analysis is incorporated into the context of the broader CWI, which provides an analysis of how children’s quality of life in the U.S. has changed over the past 36 years.

The 2012 report includes estimates of trends in child well-being over the past decade “including percentage changes in the CWI, its seven Domain Indices, and individual Key Indicators from 2001–2011”; a calculation of values of the CWI for every year from the base year of the index, 19752009; a revised estimate of the CWI for 2010 based on “observed values of Key Indicators” that became available since last year’s report; and an initial estimate of the CWI for 2011 based on “the observed values of Key Indicators available at the time of publication plus projected values of the remaining Indicators.”

Major Findings: Trends in the CWI, 20012011:

  • Family economic well-being has deteriorated.
  • Poverty is up.
  • Median family income is down.
  • Secure employment is down.
  • Pre-K enrollment progress has stalled.
  • Educational attainment progress is slow.
  • Health insurance coverage has increased only slightly.
  • Health and emotional/spiritual well-being declined.
  • Risky behaviors are down.
  • Violent crime is down.
  • Bachelor’s degrees are up.

The overall CWI did not show any statistically significant improvement from the last report, but it ceased to deteriorate in 2010 and 2011. Improvements in safety from violent crime and an increase in the social and emotional well-being domain are a bright spot in the face of decline in the family economic well-being domain. As a result, based on the report’s initial estimate of the CWI for 2011 and its revised estimate for 2010, “the overall composite index increased from its recent low of 101.93 in 2009 to 102.50 in 2010 and 103.33 in 2011.”

Improving State Education and Workforce Training to Ensure a More Secure Future for America’s Workers

In a recent meeting, the National Governors’ Association (NGA) announced a new year-long initiative, detailed in the brief America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs. The initiative will concentrate on improvement of the education and workforce training systems, as well as alignment of those systems with the needs of individual state economies. 

America Works reaffirms a known socio-economic insufficiency—today, a high school diploma alone will not afford an individual a life-sustaining wage, access to the middle class, or relevance in a competitive marketplace. Therefore, the role of education must be elevated; it cannot be to merely prepare individuals for a job. Current economic demands mean that a postsecondary degree or relevant workforce certificate is the new minimum requirement for America’s competitive workforce. Adult learners, including English language learners, would certainly stand to be beneficiaries of the initiative’s intended areas of focus across states. Those responsible for serving these populations may wish to keep abreast of America Works activities in their states, as the initiative moves forward with its goals. 

To that end, the new initiative centers on the NGA’s imperatives for improving the nation’s workforce and ensuring its global competitiveness. These are to institute significant improvements to the nation’s education system and workforce training programs, by forging closer relationships among high schools, colleges, workforce training providers, and employers. Important areas of focus as cited in the report include: 

  • Gathering more data and analyzing it better to establish state-specific industry priorities focusing policy and resources on enhancing effectiveness and alignment of the human capital pipeline.
  • Improving the quality of education and workforce training institutions, improving the capacity and effectiveness of states’ education and workforce training systems, and aligning those systems with the needs of the state economies;
  • Requiring more innovative business, education and government partnerships to increase the number of degrees and credentials granted, and to better match the supply of new workers with the future demands of business.
  • Identifying leading policies, practices and partnerships for meeting emerging knowledge and skill needs in the states.
  • Prioritizing changes in the education and workforce training systems to meet demands and achieve desired results.