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Everyone thinks it's time for career tech except Assembly Education Committee Democrats

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on June 26, 2008

Two bills (SB 672 & 681 by Sen. Tom Torlakson) that allow high schools to use future money for CTE courses failed in the State Assembly Education Committee lat last night.  California's losing 20 high school students per hour because our education system puts kids on one track and one track only.  Family after family finds little motivation and relevance in current high school course work.  Employers and manufacturers all over the State find a young workforce ill-equipped to make and produce the machines of the 21st Century.   Yet, legislation that asks for zero new money and only provides for schools to use future Prop 98 money above cost of living, existing growth allocations, etc. continues to receive meaningless rhetorical attention and very little support when it comes time to vote.  It's time for CTE.  If not now, or in the near future, when?


The SB 672 vote was almost strictly partisan:

Abstain -- Chairman Gene Mullin (D)
Yes -- Vice Chairman Martin Garrick (R)
Abstain -- Julia Brownley (D)
Yes -- Joe Coto (D)
Abstain -- Mike Eng (D)
Abstain -- Loni Hancock (D)
Yes -- Bob Huff(R)
Abstain -- Betty Karnette (D)
Yes -- Alan Nakanishi (R)
Abstain -- Jose Solorio (D)



Get REAL Press Release -- Assembly Education Committee Democrats Fail California Students

Some data on dropouts and CTE decline:

Statewide enrollment chart (since 1997)

Los Angeles County enrollment chart (since 2000)

San Diego County enrollment chart (since 2000)




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2008 Career Tech Summit Findings

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on May 7, 2008

A Career Technical Education Summit was held earlier this year to discover some of the real problems with California's public high schools.  The Summit was hosted by Get REAL -- a large statewide coalition working toward CTE courses for all high school students.  Get REAL recently released their Summit findings and an incredible resource of materials and information here:  http://www.getrealca.com/summit2008/



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California's new economy: Running on empty

Posted by Jack Stewart, on April 27, 2008

California is at a crossroads.  For twenty years we have neglected career technical education (CTE) in our public schools.  Each year the number of CTE courses offered to our students declines and, as a result, the number of CTE teachers and CTE student enrollments are at historic lows.

At the same time, the demand for skilled workers is growing and in many industries the demand has already outpaced the number of available workers.  Add to that dilemma the oncoming flood of baby boom retirements and the job demands of an emerging green economy and California’s economic engine could quickly run out of gas.

In his Sunday column, Dan Weintraub reports the upcoming flood of baby boom retirements will number between 2.4 and 2.7 million over the next ten years.  Weintraub puts those numbers into perspective: "250,000 to 300,000 job openings a year from retirements would just about equal the number of new jobs created annually in California between 1996 and 2006."

Add to those numbers the 89,000 new green jobs California’s global warming mandate is projected to create (view report) and the magnitude of the problem is quite clear.

Assembly candidate Dominic Caserta writes in the San Jose Mercury News that "At a January new-energy summit in San Francisco, corporate and government leaders bemoaned the shortage of qualified workers." and that "Our vocational and career-tech system should spearhead such training, but it's not known or stigmatizing for many students. And while community colleges can help fill gaps, many young people never set foot on another campus after high school."

A large majority of the new and replacement jobs will not require a four-year degree.  Most can be filled by new workers who receive 21st century technical training in their high schools and/or skills training in local community colleges.  Yet California’s education establishment increasingly insists that that every high school student be prepared for admission to a four-year university.

California needs to rethink our educational priorities and match our high school curriculum to real world job opportunities.  And, we need more clear thinkers like Dominic Caserta participating in the education reform debate.




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Earth Day today, CTE tomorrow

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 22, 2008

Yesterday was an Earth Day celebration, but the other 364 days of the year are when the work really gets done.  It's when we invest in the workforce and technologies needed to innovate, manufacture, research, install and maintain the products that will keep the forthcoming Earth Days .... well, green.

Accentuating this point at a press conference in the State Capitol yesterday was the Get REAL coalition, Lieutenant Gov. John Garamendi, Senator Tom Torlakson, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock and Assemblyman Martin Garrick.   The overall plea was for the State to stop bleeding career technical education courses out of our high schools.   Almost 90,000 "green jobs" will be created in California by 2020, CTE enrollment has decreased from 74 percent to 30 percent over the last twenty years, and, all the while, 40 percent of our students are dropping out of high schools before they even get exposed to the contextualized training that could lead to high paying careers in the emerging green sectors and others.

One prime example of what's to come:  For every one megawatt of photovoltaics installed, 20 manufacturing jobs and 13 maintenance jobs are created for one year.  For the 20 percent of our high school students who go on to get four-year degrees before they are 25, this might not matter.  For the 80 percent that don't, it  could represent one of the many promising futures if we just gave them the fundamental training and inspiration they need.

As the State navigates difficult budget times, contemplates revenue enhancements and priorities, seeks to establish itself as the greenest in the Union, and covets new investments, it is crucial that existing and any new resources for schools be considered for career technical education.

Earth Day reminds us of our environmental priorities and accomplishments.   We will have a hard time accomplishing anything if our education system tells students and future workforce that CTE exposure is unavailable, unrequired, unfunded, unvalued and unmeasured.



View press conference video
View press release
View chart showing California's CTE decline



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Summit: CTE commitment from future gubernatorial candidates and policymakers

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Jan. 18, 2008

Career Technical Education scored a major success this week at the Get REAL CTE Summit in Sacramento on Tuesday.  Attorney General Jerry Brown stunned the hands-on education community and others by indicating that the University of California system is a "behemoth" that drives the State's K-12 curriculum.  He politely said that CTE's biggest challenge will be the UC system, and it appeared, even though he is a proud UC graduate, that he would join the most committed CTE proponents in that fight.  Watch the second half of his remarks HERE.  (technical difficulties prohibited us from showing the first half where he explained his "lack of skill" and his very helpful Greek and Latin high school focus).  Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell addressed the Summit crowd as well.

Legislators, Gloria Romero (stay tuned for her video, she came in costume), Tom Torlakson, Mark Desaulnier, Loni Hancock and Martin Garrick also spoke resoundingly on behalf of the CTE struggle.  They joined more than 50 other Legislators in signing an ongoing Resolution of Support for California Career Technical Education.

Here's the press release with the many other highlights.  The Summit showed that the Love Lost  on CTE from the Schwarzenegger administration will not be lost on the growing statewide coalition that wants to prepare our students for careers and future success in California's economy.



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