Posted by: Tom Ross | January 9, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions for CTE 2013


It’s easy to make New Year’s Resolutions. I will go to the gym four times a week at least. I will not eat sugar for at least a month. I will buy nothing I can’t pay cash for. Starting now.

It’s even easier to make them for others.

All of us who are involved in career technical education, career paths, higher education and community colleges, and workforce development could or have made resolutions for 2013. Others have put them out there for all to see.

I did a search for such wish lists just to see what the CTE community is hoping for this year. The best comes from The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW). The ICW annually creates resolutions for Congress. It’s a fun read. Check it out.

For higher education, they say they are just asking for ‘socks and underwear, gifts that may not be flashy, but are essential to everyday life.’

“The socks [would] be a greater investment in data, research, and transparency. We know so little about how efficiently our institutions are performing, how effective they are at teaching students, and what can make them function more smoothly.”

The ‘underwear’ is a focus on outcomes. “Whether it’s changing student aid to place incentives for degree or certificate completion, implementing performance-based funding models for institutions, or simply measuring student learning gains while in college, there is no shortage for things we can do to ensure students and taxpayers alike are getting the most bang for their buck.”

For CTE, they suggest more of what they got last year:staying on the current track and doing more of what works.”

“But where Congress dipped their toe into the water last time, it should dive head first this time around. Strengthening industry partnerships is a great way to help bridge existing gaps; incentivizing core subject teachers to work in tandem with technical educators could finish the job.”

“And perhaps no education program could benefit more from having longitudinal data systems in place that can track students from K–-12 to higher education and into the workforce. Once students get into the workforce, we should be able to tie them back to their schools to find out just how beneficial these programs were in helping young people achieve prosperity.”

For workforce development, they are succinct: “Just pass a bill already.”

“Let’s make sure the program retains a majority business representation on state and local workforce investment boards. Put simply, you can’t train people for jobs that aren’t available, and the only way you’re going to get it right is by supporting an employer-guided system. “

For more insight into what people are wishing for, here is a sampling of resolutions from various sources:

Resolutions for high school students thinking about their future, from the Mercury

An interesting list for “Millennials” from PolyMic, an online news platform for millennials created by a Harvard and a Stanford grad. (Millennials are also known as Generation Y, born between 1980 and 2000.)

A quick list from The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE), Washington State: New year, new legislative session, new chance for CTE to shine.

And finally from Forbes, advice for entrepreneurs to add a ‘personal brand’ to what they are doing: “Be Unforgettable!”

Happy New Year!

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