Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wisconsin: "Vocational Diploma" under debate

There has been a lot of discussion in the press and the blogosphere about Wisconsin's Sept. 2011 Special Session S.B. 18, a proposal that would allow a high school student to substitute vocational courses for the 13 credits specified in statute. As indicated on the legislative Web site, the bill is supported by certain business interests, and opposed by Disability Rights Wisconsin and various membership groups representing educators.

I'll throw my hat in the ring and note that while many states are making efforts to engage CTE students in their high school experience, some states have been much more specific in what those approaches look like. A few examples:
  • Virginia legislation calls for the state standards to be incorporated into CTE courses, as appropriate. Students may substitute a traditional academic end-of-course exam required for graduation with an industry certification or state licensure exam, again where appropriate. The legislation also directs the state board to "develop a plan for increasing the number of students receiving industry certification and state licensure as part of their career and technical education. The plan shall include an annual goal for school divisions. Where there is an accepted national industry certification for career and technical education instructional personnel and programs for automotive technology, such certification shall be mandatory. " The legislation also creates a division within the department of education to help districts incorporate these standards into local CTE curricula, provide professional development for CTE teachers, and elicit business and industry representatives' input on the "content and direction of career and technical education programs in the public schools".
  • Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia have all created a diploma or endorsement (in the case of Alabama, two diplomas) that are designed specifically for CTE students who want to strut their stuff. These diploma options generally allow a student to substitute only a small number of specified credits with CTE credits; some states also require students to earn an industry credential.
  • Numerous states allow students to substitute a CTE credit for traditional academic credit for completion of graduation requirements, provided the credit meets state-specified criteria. There are also various efforts afoot (Math in CTE, teacher certification provisions as two examples) to help ensure the rigor and quality of CTE programs.

No comments:

Post a Comment