FY 2015 budget provides inadequate support to CTE educators, administrators, and students;
under serves needs of American workforce to fill the skills gap

Alexandria, VA – The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) expressed concerns today regarding the Obama administration’s budget for fiscal year 2015, which provides inadequate funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs.

“The Obama Administration’s budget request does nothing to build the federal investment in CTE. Current Perkins funding levels are inadequate to prepare the nearly 12 million students enrolled in CTE programs for 21st century careers,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “It is concerning that the President continues to express his commitment to equitably providing opportunity for future generations by building a strong American workforce, but has not yet fulfilled that commitment by allocating adequate resources to CTE programs with a proven record of success, including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”

The Perkins Act is the primary source of federal support for CTE, delivered at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, and is a critical investment in developing a highly qualified, globally competitive American workforce. CTE programs utilize Perkins funding to provide students with the knowledge and skills that are essential for success in high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers. Continued inadequacies in state Perkins funding, which is proposed at $5 million below pre-sequester levels and over $140 million below FY 2010 levels, negatively impact high schools, CTE centers, community and technical colleges, employers and millions of CTE students nationwide.

Though the Administration’s budget does create several new programs that could provide students with education opportunities, including high school redesign grants, Skills Challenge Grants and the First in the World Fund, the scarce resources provided to education would be better directed toward proven programs that have already demonstrated success, rather than untested and unproven alternatives.

CTE is working with business and industry partners to help fill positions that are available today while preparing a qualified workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Without the necessary resources, many effective education and employment training opportunities will disappear. In order to meet the needs of students, educators and employers, Congress must make investing in CTE a top priority.

About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.


New Book from Responsive Classroom, The Language of Learning,

Provides Practical Strategies for Teaching Students

Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills

Turners Falls, MA—Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC), developer of the Responsive Classroom® approach to elementary teaching, has just published The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills by veteran educator Margaret Berry Wilson. The book focuses on proven, practical strategies for teaching children the communication skills critical to high-level learning and success at school. The skills addressed in the book are explicitly named as keys to college and career readiness in the Common Core State Standards at every grade level.

Achieving fluency in the language of learning does not automatically happen for most children. This book gives educators the practical tools and resources needed to move students toward fluency in five core competencies:

1.    Listening Essentials (focusing attention, showing interest, sustaining attention, developing comprehension)

2.    Speaking Essentials (taking turns, speaking confidently, staying on topic, speaking with clarity)

3.    Asking and Answering Questions (distinguishing between a statement and a question, formulating purposeful questions, asking questions respectfully, giving high-quality answers)

4.    Crafting an Argument (speaking in an organized way, distinguishing facts from opinions, presenting evidence, persuading others)

5.    The Art of Agreeing and Disagreeing (agreeing thoughtfully, disagreeing respectfully, agreeing partially, responding to disagreements)

Lynn McKay, Teacher Effectiveness Coach for the Denver Public schools, says “Helping children learn to use purposeful talk in communication is the unifying theme of this valuable resource. It is an excellent resource for moving children into thoughtful, robust discussions.”

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Professor at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia says of The Language of Learning, “Here’s the guidebook for educators . . . to help students develop and hone those foundational skills that are precursors to accessing virtually all learning opportunities in school—and in life.”

Among the features that make The Language of Learning highly practical for teachers:

  • Teaching techniques integrate seamlessly into any existing curriculum as part of daily teaching; no need for separate lessons on listening, speaking, etc.
  • Abundant sample language shows teachers speaking to students and students speaking to one another as they’re learning the skills and when they reach mastery.
  • Common Core correlation tables connect each chapter to specific speaking and listening standards.

NEFC executive director Lora Hodges says, “Children have always needed these competencies in order to be highly engaged, self-motivated thinkers, doers, creators, and learners. The content, strategies, and resources presented in this book are just what teachers need to help them teach, coach, and encourage students in developing and demonstrating these competencies.”

Bibliographic information

The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills

Margaret Berry Wilson, with Foreword by Lora M. Hodges, EdD

Grades covered: K–6

Paperback, 216 pages, $24

Copyright 2014, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-892989-61-1

About Margaret Berry Wilson

Margaret Berry Wilson began presenting Responsive Classroom workshops and coaching educators throughout the country in 2004. She is the author of Teasing, Tattling, Defiance and More and several other books published by Northeast Foundation for Children. Margaret currently serves as an assistant head of school in Riverside, California.

About Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., and the Responsive Classroom® Approach

Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, is the developer of Responsive Classroom, a research-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. Responsive Classroom practices help educators develop competencies in three interrelated domains: engaging academics, positive community, and effective management. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has recognized the Responsive Classroom approach as one of a select group of “well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs with potential for broad dissemination to schools across the United States.”

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