Forty-Six States and DC Advance Policies to Support Career Technical Education in 2014

Second Annual Report on State Career and Technical Education Policy Trends Released by National CTE Associations

Alexandria, VA – The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released the second annual report, “State Policies Impacting CTE: 2014 Year in Review.” This paper – the singular source of information on this crucial topic – captures the full range of state policy changes that impact career and technical education (CTE) across the country.

2014 Year in Review provides both an overview and a state-by-state analysis of CTE-related policies that were adopted in 2014. This year-in-review report indicates that 46 states and the District of Columbia took action to boost their CTE programs in 2014, approving roughly 150 policies. Last year, states passed laws to strengthen programs of study through dual/concurrent enrollment programs, create incentive or competitive funds for high-quality CTE programs of study, and expand innovative business and community partnerships to involve all stakeholders in the evolution of the CTE enterprise.

“The ‘State Policies Impacting CTE’ publication is required reading for policymakers and thought leaders alike who want to make a meaningful impact on the state of education in this country,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “By sharing information about the variety of states’ approaches to CTE policy, this report can guide education policy discussions to ensure that every student graduates ready for college and career success.”

“Once again, we are seeing an overwhelming interest in CTE across the nation, in the form of state policies and regulations seeking to expand access to and the quality of CTE programs,” added NASDCTEc’s Executive Director Kimberly Green. “It is our hope that policymakers and other key leaders will use this paper as a resource when crafting new policies or looking for innovation from the field.”

About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy.




International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

iNACOL is pleased to announce the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium 2015 Program Committee’s Request for Presentation Proposals (RFP) is now open and can be accessed through the conference website.This is the formal call for speakers and presentation proposals for the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium on November 811, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. The theme is: Connecting Powerful Innovators.Each year, the iNACOL Symposium brings together more than 2,500 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of next generation learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world. iNACOL’s annual conference is the leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning and gathers leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field.Based on feedback from last year’s conference, priority will be given to sessions that provide an interactive format for attendees to engage in deeper learning on best practices, draw in participant experiences, and promote meaningful dialogue. iNACOL is also seeking breakout sessions and design workshops that model creative, innovative, personalized, blended, online, and competency-based approaches to meet the needs of the education innovators attending the event. A special webinar to offer guidance from top-rated Symposium 2014 presenters was produced and can be accessed on the conference website as well as on the RFP site.

The 2015 Symposium will feature focused tracks for attendees, including Online Learning, Blended Learning, Competency Education, Empowering Educators, Career Pathways/Human Capital, Policy & Advocacy, Digital Content, and Emerging Technologies, to name a few.

The deadline for submitting presentation and workshop proposals is Thursday, March 26, 2015.

If you have questions regarding the RFP, please contact Ally Swensen, Chair of the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium Program Committee,

About iNACOL
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more, please visit

Triumph Learning to Award Districts $5 Million in Blended Learning Grants

Company also launches new edition of Waggle Smart Practice for Texas.

New York (PRWEB) February 04, 2015

To recognize outstanding blended learning models,Triumph Learning, producer of critically acclaimed K-12 curriculum and interactive digital tools, introduces a grant program to award up to $5 million to school districts across the country. Announced at the 2015 TCEA Convention & Exposition, the grant coincides with the launch of Texas Waggle, the first state-specific smart practice solution from Triumph Learning.

With the awarded grant, districts will receive funds to support Waggle, Triumph Learning’s personalized, smart practice solution, professional development, and hands-on implementation. The grant payouts can vary between $10,000 and $50,000 depending on the size of the district and implementation. Multi-year grants may be awarded as well.

“Waggle creates a safe, positive atmosphere that fits perfectly with our Coach curriculum,” said Aoife Dempsey, chief technology officer of Triumph Learning. “We want to recognize outstanding blended learning implementation that achieves success with elementary and middle schools students in skills building and assessments.”

The criteria for a compelling submission includes an overview of the student population, district goals, and implementation models for blended learning such as how Waggle will be integrated into the curriculum with other resources. District-level applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through September 2015 and will be reviewed by an internal committee.

Texas Waggle aligns with Texas standards and assessments for Math and English Language Arts. It also integrates a differentiated instructional toolset for teachers that include Triumph Learning’s Beyond the TEKS, Texas Coach TEKS Edition for Math, and Texas Support Coach.

“Our students and teachers are excited to see ‘pigs fly’ as they conquer goals and skills in Waggle. We are excited about the new Texas Waggle and the resources that will help to accelerate learning,” stated Karen Blaine, chief academic officer at El Paso Leadership Academy. The Academy has been using Waggle since October of 2014. As students practice and achieve their goals in Waggle, they earn “feet traveled” for Waggle, the flying pig with wings.

For more information about the Waggle Blended Learning Grant and Texas Waggle, visit Triumph Learning at TCEA, February 2-6 at booth #2052, or go to

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs. Its state-customized products increased student achievement and raise scores on high-stakes exams for more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach and Waggle.


Apperson Logo blue

New Social Emotional Learning Assessment Rounds Out Apperson’s Offerings for Assessing the Whole Child


Studies show that focusing on social emotional learning can help improve academic achievement test scores


Charlotte, N.C. – February 5, 2015 – According to a 2008 report by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) that included results from 317 studies of 324,303 K-8 students, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programming “improved students’ achievement test scores by 11 to 17 percentile points, indicating that they offer students a practical educational benefit.” In response to this research and others, Apperson introduced Evo Social-Emotional, a Social and Emotional Learning assessment system allowing educators and parents to rate the frequency of student behavior over time to screen and monitor the progress of students’ SEL skill development. With the addition of this offering, the company now empowers educators to assess their students’ strengths in all areas of development.


“Our products support and encourage a holistic learning approach by helping teachers turn assessment data into actionable information,” said Bill Apperson, chairman of the board of Apperson. “Evo Social-Emotional rounds out our mission to assess the ‘whole student’.”


By combining academic assessment results with Apperson’s unique social-emotional learning platform, educators develop a complete view of a student that includes both strengths and areas of opportunity. This can truly facilitate the individualization of instruction, meeting students where they are both academically and socially.

Evo Social-Emotional was developed through a partnership with Devereux to allow educators to conduct the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) on Apperson’s web platform. The company offers both the DESSA mini which can be used with all students to get a view of overall social emotional competencies.The DESSA can then be used with students who exhibit delays to measure eight key social-emotional competencies that have been identified as essential to a child’s success in school and in life.


Pricing and Availability


The Evo Social-Emotional is currently available. Beginning licenses start at $299 per site. Educators may also sign up for a free 60 day trial of Evo Social-Emotional. For more information about purchasing Apperson’s products contact Nick Bartnikowski at 800-827-9219 and/or attend a free webinar on promoting resilience in school-age children through the use of screen and assessment tools.


About Apperson

Apperson’s K-12 assessment solutions help educators develop a 360° panorama of the student and their strengths, as well as areas of opportunities, that can inform curriculum decision-making and create positive learning outcomes. Whether it’s DataLink scanners, or the Evo assessment platform, Apperson’s products support and encourage a holistic learning and development approach by helping teachers turn assessment data into actionable information. Visit us on the web at




Knovation Announces Major Advancements to icurio at TCEA 2015

New version of learning engagement solution supports transformation from print to digital by delivering curated Open Educational Resources and instructional tools that promote personalized, engaged learning

CINCINNATI (PRWEB) February 05, 2015

School districts across the country are replacing costly, static textbooks with free Open Educational Resources (OER); however, many are finding it difficult to evaluate the quality and relevancy of these unlimited online resources. To support the growing number of districts shifting from print to digital content as they implement 1:1 or blended learning environments, Knovation, the leader in advanced personalized learning solutions, announces the newest version of its learning engagement solution, icurio, at the 2015 TCEA Convention & Exposition.

The latest advancement to Knovation’s suite of personalized learning solutions, icurio combines the right content, organization, instruction and engagement to support K-12 schools during their digital transformation. icurio empowers educators to discover and organize digital resources while designing and delivering personalized instruction in blended learning environments. As an all-in-one solution that streamlines access to quality digital content, the latest version of icurio enables educators to:

  •     Find content from more than 360,000 digital learning resources that are standards-aligned and vetted by experts, providing dynamic and engaging learning opportunities for all students.
  •     Collect and organize digital resources through visual mapping tools, leverage rich topic-based collections curated by a team of curriculum experts and share resources at multiple levels within their own school organization.
  •     Build lessons that easily blend powerful digital learning resources with their own instructional design when managing lesson details, lesson content and student activities.
  •     Engage students through self-directed learning and personalized feedback at the point of learning.

“We are very excited about the new version of icurio and think it will really benefit our teachers and students,” said Scott Smith, chief technology officer at Mooresville Graded School District. “Our teachers are already infusing icurio into their classrooms and are really embracing how it enables them to find high-quality digital content and build and deliver more engaging, more personalized lessons. While we have been 1:1 for many years, the new version of icurio is helping us continue to push even farther toward our goal of reaching every child, every day.”

Knovation built its solutions, including icurio, on the foundation of delivering curated quality OER in a usable and meaningful way for teachers and students, helping educators save time and better personalize instruction. Each of the more than 360,000 resources in Knovation’s resource library is curated, contextualized and certified to be learning-ready after passing through the 127-point certification process used by Knovation’s curriculum content experts.

“We understand that digital transformation is a process, and the approach to this process looks different in every district,” said Randy Wilhelm, CEO of Knovation. “The new icurio is just one of the many ways in which Knovation provides quality resources to answer the question, ‘what goes on the device and how will I teach with it?’ from educators in the midst of a 1:1 or blended learning initiative.”

To learn more about icurio visit or stop by the Knovation booth (#2236) at TCEA 2015.

About Knovation
Knovation designs and implements advanced personalized learning solutions that reduce barriers to learning and allow districts to realize meaningful outcomes from their technology investment. The company’s portfolio includesnetTrekker, the trusted solution for delivering hundreds of thousands of educator-curated, state and Common Core standards aligned learning-ready digital resources; and icurio, the learning engagement solution for 21st century blended learning that helps districts implement their digital conversions. These two solutions are backed by a fully curated learning resource library built from tens of millions of online resources that pass a rigorous 127-point process. Knovation provides professional learning and consulting services, resource management and delivery services, and a curriculum service solution that aligns digital content to each district’s curriculum. Since 1999, the company has impacted more than 32 million students and over 1.2 million teachers in schools nationwide. For more information, visit



Filament Games Unveils Backyard Engineers at TCEA 2015

Standards-aligned learning game promotes problem solving, teaches engineering concepts

MADISON, Wis. (PRWEB) February 05, 2015

The education gaming landscape continues to take shape, and more teachers are looking to implement learning games that teach core subject areas.Filament Games, award-winning developer of educational games and curriculum, will announce the launch of Backyard Engineers at the 2015 TCEA Convention & Exposition in Austin, Texas. Designed to teach engineering concepts and problem solving skills, Backyard Engineers helps students from middle school to high school understand the principles of engineering design through experimentation.

In Backyard Engineers, players lead the charge into a water balloon battle with the kids next door. By designing and adjusting catapults to launch water balloons, students learn how manipulating mechanical components affects their catapult’s range and accuracy. Each level of the game is a unique puzzle that challenges players to find the fastest and most efficient way to soak their neighbors.

“Backyard Engineers is designed to break down difficult mechanical design concepts into simple, easy-to-learn game mechanics,” said Dan White, Filament Games’ co-founder and Chief Product Officer. “This makes a complex subject like engineering much more approachable and enjoyable to learn.”

Like all games designed by Filament Games, Backyard Engineers is aligned with state standards and requirements, including Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.

Backyard Engineers will be available for purchase on February 18 through the Filament Learning Store. To learn more about Backyard Engineers and gaming in education, visit the Filament Games booth (#226) at TCEA.

About Filament Games
Filament Games is a production studio that develops engaging teaching and learning games. The company’s games combine best practices in commercial game development with key concepts from the learning sciences, sparking inspiration through exploration and discovery. Filament Games works with teachers, parents and students to engineer authentic gameplay mechanics that assist educators with meeting Common Core requirements and specific learning objectives. For more information, visit


Califone Launches AV Equipment for Testing at TCEA

Latest devices feature multipurpose design and affordability ideal for Common Core and TEKS assessments

San Fernando, Calif. (PRWEB) February 04, 2015

Califone International LLC, the premier manufacturer of quality audio technology and sound presentation solutions for schools, industry, institutions and professional use, unveils three new earbud designs, a wireless keyboard and personal voice amplifier to fit the needs of any classroom at the 2015 TCEA Convention & Exposition. The E1, E3T and E3USB earbuds, PA283 VoiceSaver and KB3 wireless keyboard contain unique components to support preparation and testing requirements in any state.

The E3T and E3USB are earbud headsets with microphones on the cords. Supporting speech intelligibility and the development of speaking and listening skills defined in the English language arts Common Core section, the headsets feature inline volume control and single button operation with iOS, Windows and Android devices. Specifically, the E3T includes a single 3.5 mm “T-style plug” to connect with smartphones and tablets, while the E3USB has a USB plug to meet PARCC & Smarter Balanced recommendations. The E3T and E3USB models each include an extra pair of smaller earpads for younger students. Along with the E3 model announced earlier, the E3 series are the first models to offer a one-year warranty for use in schools. Designed for single use, the E1 earbud is the most affordable option of the three new offerings.

“Califone strives to deliver products that create a positive experience for teachers using audio equipment in the classroom,” said Tim Ridgway, vice president for Califone. “Since the upcoming spring assessments require headphones and headsets, it’s more important than ever to have product choices that support every classroom preparing for testing.”

The PA283 VoiceSaver can be heard by up to 20 people, and is equipped with a Bluetooth mic for cord-free mobility. The KB3 wireless oversized keyboard offers Bluetooth connectivity and features fewer keys with a footprint 90 percent larger than standard keyboards, making it ideal for beginning keyboarders. The plug-and-play keyboard readily connects to tablets, replacing the on-screen keyboard and meeting specifications for all major assessments.

To learn more about these and other new technology offerings for Common Core and TEKS testing from Califone, visit booth #422 at TCEA.

About Califone
Califone was founded in 1947 and continues to be a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of audiovisual and supplemental curriculum products for use in education. The company’s products enable educators to incorporate rich audiovisual resources into lessons that help students build speaking and listening skills, critical to the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core State Standards. Califone offers a complete line of audio solutions, wireless systems and multimedia products for small, medium and large presentation needs, and serves millions of educators and students in the PreK through higher education school environments.