Improving Technical Competence: How the CTE Community Is Responding

Publication John FosterNovember 2009

In the summer of 2006, Congress approved the renewal of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Provisions within that act caused a refocusing within the career and technical education (CTE) community due to changes in articulation, testing, rigor, programs of study and general philosophy. More specifically, there was a renewed focus on assessment and the data that assessment results provide. The accountability section (113) emphasizes that assessments must be “valid and reliable and include, at a minimum, challenging academic standards and attainment of skill proficiencies, including achievement on technical assessments that are aligned with industry recognized standards.”

This language was supported and reinforced in subsequent meetings at which the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) provided non-regulatory guidance. States were informed that they would need to establish baselines of technical competence, determine how to identify completers, increase the number of completers reported annually, and establish a target for annually improving overall technical competence.

Foster, J. (2009). Improving technical competence: How the CTE community is responding. Techniques, 84(8), 28-32.

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