Webcast Date: October 26, 2006
Title: Aligning Career and Technical Education Programs to
Real-World Technical Skills
Moderator: N. L. McCaslin, National Dissemination Center for
Career and Technical Education
– Bryan Butz, White Knoll High School, Lexington, SC
– Wende Dallain, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
– John Davidson, Arkansas Department of Workforce Education
Transcription by Professional Reporters, Inc. (800) 229-0675
The following text is an edited version of the comments made by the
participants in the webcast.
>> McCASLIN: Welcome to our webcast on aligning career and
technical education programs to real-world technical skills. Today’s
webcast is delivered by the National Dissemination Center for
Career and Technical Education, and is offered under the auspices of
the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult
Preparing workers for the 21st century is a major concern of our
nation. The individuals that are being prepared are going to require
highly developed academic, technical, and employability skills.
Today our webcast will address the importance of developing
technical skills so that these students will be able to effectively
compete in the global workplace.
My name is N. L. McCaslin, and I serve as the director of our
webcasts here at the National Dissemination Center. It is my
pleasure to serve as moderator for this discussion among three career
and technical education leaders. Our panelists today include Bryan
Butz, the health science teacher at White Knoll High School in
Lexington, South Carolina; Wende Dallain, career coach, Chicago
High School for Agricultural Sciences; and John Davidson, Deputy
Director for the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education. I’d
like to begin our webcast today by having each one of our panelists
give you a brief description of their programs to give you a better
context for understanding what they’re talking about later on in our
program. I’d like to begin with Bryan Butz.
>> BUTZ: Mac, I’d like to thank you for having me on the panel.
It’s a great honor to be here and I feel quite privileged to do this. A
little bit about White Knoll High School … We are a relatively new
school. We started in 2000 and currently we have a total enrollment
of about 1,750 students. As a new school in our district about six
years ago, we got the unique opportunity to be the pilot program for
a lot of the new initiatives that come through the pipeline. One of
those things that we’ve done is the career clusters. We were the pilot
program for that in our district.
At While Knoll High School, we have a comprehensive curriculum
framework that includes some of the following things. We have a
freshman academy, and our freshmen spend the first half of their day
with their team (all other freshmen) and the same teachers they have
every day, going through their [technical] classes. They spend the
rest of their day with the regular student population [freshmen
through seniors]. We also have the schools of studies that I just
We have five schools within the White Knoll High School and each
school is divided into one to five different clusters of study, or career
clusters, as we know them. We have broken down each cluster of
study into different majors. Also, we have what we call an individual
graduation plan at White Knoll High School. Every student at White
Knoll High school has their own individual graduation plan. It is
basically just an outline of the courses that they want to take based
on the major that they have chosen within their particular cluster of
study. It’s a recommended curriculum and there is a template for
each major so each major has an individual graduation plan (IGP).
You can look at it once you’ve decided what you’re interested in and
see exactly what classes you need to take, what some recommended
electives might be, as well as some career choices that you might be
able to make once you’re through at White Knoll High School.
One of the schools of study that we have [developed] is the school of
health science and human services. I’ve been fortunate enough to
serve as the chairman of the school for the last two years. We have
broken down that school into two different clusters: the health
science cluster as well as the human services cluster. The health
diagnostic specialties, health treatment specialties, and medical
science and research are the three majors within the health science
cluster of the school of health sciences and human services. The
human services cluster includes early childhood development
services as well as personal care services.
The sports medicine program, I’ll talk with you about today falls
under the health treatment specialties major of the school. There are
a wide variety of potential career paths in that cluster and in that
major. One unique thing about this is that all of our instructors are
currently working in the field as well as teaching, so it’s not just
teachers teaching, but these are people who are actually practicing
what they’re teaching daily in the field.
John, can you tell us a little bit about the Arkansas Career Academy?
>> DAVIDSON: Sure. Thank you, Bryan. As we look at the
Arkansas Career Academy model, this is one of many opportunities
that our state chose to align with industry skills. This program has
been very effective for us. The career academy model was chosen
because we saw a value in the small learning community [model].
We saw value that students would draw from being able to stay with
the same group of teachers, typically in a theme-based activity.
We organized our career clusters around the 16 national clusters, and
that has been very successful for us. Our academies are staffed by a
team of teachers, usually from various disciplines. The teachers
normally have common planning time. The [academies] are created
and operated primarily by community and business leaders. The
Arkansas Career Academy approach also ensures personalization.
Each student develops and uses a career plan that is very personal. It
promotes high academics. We recommend, in the academy
approach, that students align their academics with those industry
needs that they are going to be required to have.
One of the areas in which the career academy approach has been
very successful to us is the career awareness and work-based
opportunities for students. The academies have aligned with industry
and allowed those work-based opportunities to be very successful for
us. [We have] established ongoing partnerships with business and
community. In one of our academies, the industry actually pays the
salary of the instructor … the instructor is fully paid by that industry
… so the alignment is close and monitored. Some of the key
elements that we require for our academy approach and for the
programs that we fund are ... First, as we said, it’s based on the
career clusters. The academy also must show us that [their program]
is based on [the] economic development needs of the area. We
require that they research those needs to see that the students will be
in jobs, that there will be opportunities for them to participate.
We require that the academies be managed by peer leadership teams
or advisory boards, that there be curriculum integration, that there be
small learning communities, and that there be equal access for all
students. We also require that high academic standards (normally
aligned with Arkansas Smart Core or ACT-type curriculum) include
a structured, work-based opportunity. We also require
comprehensive career planning. We provide all of our schools in the
state with the Cuder (wireless security) system free of charge, and
every student in Arkansas has an opportunity to do career planning
through the [secure and confidential] Arkansas Cuder System. In
most of our academies, keystone and capstone courses (transition
courses that transition students from the junior high into the high
school, and from the high school into the world of work for
postsecondary education) are required as a part of the academy
process. Any opportunities to use industry-based skills are requested
to be a part of that academy experience. As I said, one of the vital
parts of the academy’s success is that the academic and career and
technical teachers have common planning time to develop lesson
plans that are based around the career theme, and the team teaching
[should] be a part of the articulation in the technical areas.
The Arkansas Career Academy objectives are to establish content
needed in the workplace. That is determined by aligning the
instructional content with technical skills … examining how student
performance is evaluated in a technical content area.
At this time, Wende is going to tell us a little bit about Chicago High
School of Agriculture Sciences.
>> DALLAIN: Thanks, John. Hi, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here
and to share with you what’s happening in Chicago in education-to-
careers, and more specifically at the Chicago High School for
Agricultural Sciences. This is a unique school in that, from its
inception, the career classes were on a par with the academic classes.
Teachers were not only encouraged to integrate agriculture into their
academic classes, but they were mandated to do so, and also the
academics into the agricultural courses.
The school opened in 1985 as a response to the great need for the
agricultural industry to diversify. It is a Chicago public school, open
to all students in the Chicago area. The method of instructional
delivery for the agriculture curriculum is threefold. Of course, you
have your traditional classroom-based instruction, which is very
hands-on, but incorporated into that is the national FFA career
development events, where students have an opportunity to practice
what they preach, or to compete with other students who are trying
to learn the same skills … as well as the SAE program, which stand
for Supervised Agricultural Education, where students will actually
keep records in a more entrepreneurial-type situation of exactly what
they’re doing to forward their progress in their career. Let’s take a
look at a video clip, and this will show you more about our school.
>>>>: There is a public high school in Chicago that’s unlike any
other school in the Midwest. It is Chicago’s High School for
Agricultural Sciences, and it’s on the far southwest side. In addition
to students who spend their days there, it’s also home to farm
animals who are there around the clock. Though the Midwestern
family farm is increasingly a relic of the past, this high school has its
eyes on the agribusiness of the future. Rich Samuels takes us to
>>>>: There are 600 students here at the campus at 111th and
Pulaski, and should they start to nod off during the day’s last period,
there is a resident mechanism to get them back on task. ‘Bet you
didn’t have one of these [a crowing rooster] at your high school. You
probably didn’t have the beef and dairy cattle, the sheep and swine
and the horses either, and you probably never learned how and why
to wash a freshly laid egg.
>>>>[student washing eggs]: You take all the stuff that … the poop
and everything that comes out of the … when the egg comes out, it
all comes out with the egg, because there is only one hole per
>>>>[an instructor]: I need you to bring the animals in. I also need
you to do some egg washing out here. I need you to feed and water.
>>>>: Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences has been
around since 1985. Its curriculum focuses on both the science and
the economics of 21st-century agribusiness.
>>>>: Many people still think of agriculture as just farming, but
agriculture really is … farming is only two percent of the industry
these days. Most of the industry is in the horticulture/food science …
all of the companies that process the foods (because we’re eating our
foods more and more processed), animal science, and there is a huge
… how many people do you know that own a pet? And they have to
have a veterinarian to help them take care of it. That’s agriculture.
>> McCASLIN: Thank you very much for that overview. I believe
that will help the viewers understand your programs in greater detail.
I’d like to point out that, as you look at the presenters today, we have
two that represent local schools, and that’s Wende and Bryan. John
is a representative of a state agency, so the combining of these two
levels will be very instructive. The objectives for our webcast today
are, first of all, to determine how technical skill content is
determined, and then to indicate how they go about aligning those
technical skills with their curriculum, and then, thirdly, to examine
how they evaluate or assess the student performance in each of the
technical skill areas. In doing this, I’m going to turn now to John and
ask him if he would like to begin by describing your process for
determining the skill content.
>> DAVIDSON: Our skill content is very dependent on what the
industry needs. Number one, as we begin to determine what is to be
taught, we bring industry representatives in and they review not only
what we are teaching to students and whether that instruction is of
the rigor and the relevance required in the workplace, but we also
ask them to review our assessment. So it’s very important that they
align the state programs with the industry needs. Also, we utilize
work-based learning. It’s another program that’s been very
successful for us to align industry standards, and our work-based
learning programs allow students to work at actual work sites. These
are three-year programs that span both the secondary level into the
postsecondary level, and also go from postsecondary education into
the adult apprenticeship programs.
We utilize national certifications at every opportunity that is
available, and we also require industry materials. Through Dr.
Daggett’s program, we have reviewed reading levels of all of our
industry programs and have asked our industry and our schools to
submit materials that we’ve [measured using The Lexile
Framework® for Reading system] to determine the reading levels of
our students. Our students need to be successful not only as entry-
level students, but as they progress through that career field. Those
things have been very successful for us, as we have worked to align
our programs with industry standards.
The second thing that has been probably a key to what we do in our
state is the partnerships that we have been able to develop. The
number one partnership has been with the Arkansas Hospitality
Association. The Hospitality Association worked in close
cooperation with us to fund an educational representative who
actually visits our schools and talks to our superintendents about
programs that should be offered in the schools. However, the success
comes from a representative from the Hospitality Association first
going to local businesses and getting people who might be board
members or other people who are very influential in the community
to go visit that superintendent and discuss with him the need for the
hospitality programs. The Arkansas hospitality program has also
worked with us in lodging management, and it has been very
successful in that program.
We also have worked in cooperation with the automotive industry in
Arkansas, to fund a representative from the automotive industry that
works with our local programs to help them receive their NATF
certification and to assure that all of the standards are [met] for
students going through the automotive programs.
We have worked with the Arkansas Wood Manufacturing
Association to develop a national curriculum. As we looked at the
national curriculum for wood manufacturing, we couldn’t find
anything that would provide the industry training that was needed.
So, we funded programs with the Wood Manufacturing Association
to bring people in who were very familiar with the German model
for apprenticeship. They developed a curriculum that is now used in
Arkansas high schools.
And now, Wende will tell us about the alignment.
>> DALLAIN: Thanks. Thanks, John. In Illinois, we’re lucky to
have great support for agricultural programs from three
organizations: FCAE (which stands for Facilitating Coordination in
Agricultural Education); ILCAE (which stands for Illinois
Committee for Agricultural Education); and the Illinois Association
of Vocational Agricultural Teachers. Curriculum has been designed
and is continuously updated that has been aligned with the Illinois
state standards as well as the SCANS skills. And these are some of
the curriculum areas or agricultural clusters that you see on the
screen. The teachers at the Chicago High School for Agricultural
Sciences are all highly qualified, and they do attend yearly courses
upgrading them in their field. The teachers who teach our career
clusters are highly trained in their field. For instance, our animal
science teacher is a veterinarian. Our food science teacher has a
doctorate in food science. Our agriculture finance teacher has owned
his own business. So, these people are all, like Bryan was saying,
highly qualified to do what they’re doing.
We also have a very active advisory board, made up of about 30
people representing different business areas in Chicago, as well as
educational institutions, and higher education. They meet two times
a year. The subcommittees of that advisory board meet two or three
times a year with each cluster to make sure that the curriculum is
aligned to the industry standards. Furthermore, our curriculum is
driven by many articulation agreements with colleges and
universities. And this has really raised the bar of our instruction.
Most of our courses are taught using college-level textbooks right
now … and students, upon completion of these courses, often can
receive college credit if they successfully pass the exam given at the
end of the course. Sometimes they have to go to the university to
take it, sometimes we give it right at school … and a lot of
universities use this as a carrot, so the kids don’t necessarily get the
credit unless they go to the university. It can be a good situation for
the students, and it certainly has gotten us to increase the level of our
instruction at school. Again, I’m going to let you see a bit of a DVD
of some students talking about how they think their experiences at
the school are going to help them in their future lives.
>>>>: Students fortunate enough to be accepted here often have a
leg up when it’s time to apply for college. Senior Skyler Darenbourg
has a scholarship to the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
>>>>: I’m going to be leaving home, going to college, and I’m
going to the college of my choice. [My parents] are going to help me
out with school and stuff; they want me to go there, too.
>>>>: The diverse nature of the students here makes them especially
attractive to college admissions officers.
>>>>: The traditional farmer in Illinois is a white male, so the
agriculture industry really needs to diversify. We have the kids ... we
planted agriculture in their heads ... that can help diversify the
agriculture industry, so we generally get really good support from
the agricultural industry. The agricultural colleges within universities
support us because they also want to diversify.
>>>>: And we have partnerships with some universities—University
of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Southern Illinois University (SIU),
and Illinois State. We’re doing more and more things with these
>>>>: So, it’s a perfect match and, in fact, you will find agriculture
programs in a lot of major cities these days. There are programs in
New York City, there are programs in Kansas City, and in California
and Pennsylvania cities.
>> DALLAIN: Bryan, how do you align the curriculum content with
>> BUTZ: Well, Wende, we start at the state level. And about every
three to five … usually about every five years … we put together a
committee that will come together and study the standards that we
have set for the classes that we’re talking about. Usually these
committees will consist of … first of all, we’ll have current teachers
who are in the classroom teaching these courses. We also like to use
practicing professionals. Now, in our situation, a lot of our teachers
are practicing professionals in the form of athletic trainers or
physical therapists, so that captures a whole different level of current
knowledge in the field into these standards. We also bring directors
at colleges and universities, simply because we would like to know
what these directors want their students to be capable of when they
come from our high schools. So we put these committees together,
meet several times over the course of three or four months, and
revise these standards. And we do that about every five years.
As I mentioned earlier, our teachers are professionally credentialed
in their fields and actively working. The teachers that are teaching
sports medicine … a lot of them are certified athletic trainers and, as
a result, they have to keep, by law, their credentials current by
earning continuing education units. And, as I mentioned, a lot of
them are actively working.
Our sports medicine teachers typically go out in the afternoon to
football practice, basketball practice, whatever, and cover our
athletic events. All of our teachers attend professional development
seminars and symposiums throughout the year. We like to have them
attend within their content area, if they can, so they can stay current
in the latest research, technologies, and all the kinds of things that
change very quickly in the health science fields [for instance]. But
we also like them to occasionally attend educational summits, so
they can learn how to become better teachers, as well.
Our advisory boards meet often. We probably speak to members of
our advisory boards more often out of the context of the board
meetings than we do within the meetings. A lot of our advisory
board members may be team physicians, may be people that we deal
with on a regular basis, and it’s not uncommon for one of our
athletic trainers to be speaking to an advisory board member even on
a daily basis during competitive seasons, such as football season.
And so, in that way, it helps us keep current; and if any new research
comes out between meetings or [formal contact situations], we’re
able to know of that [sooner].
Just as Wende mentioned earlier, we have articulation agreements
with some four-year schools, as well as technical schools, in the
area. For example, with our medical terminology course: If you pass
the course at White Knoll High School, you can go to the technical
school in the area, take and pass your test; and if you [later] enroll in
that school, you now have credit for that course. And we do use …
we’re required to use … the [same textbooks that the technical
school uses]. Another way we determine our technical skill content
is by following the competitive events of Health Occupations
Students of America, or what we call HOSA. That’s a student
organization that deals not only in skills in the medical community,
but also in leadership. And we have students compete in all kinds of
events … sports medicine, medical terminology, all kinds of things
… that help determine some of our technical skill [requirements]. In
fact, the last time we met as a committee to review our standards, we
were able to change one of [our teaching tasks] … the ankle taping
… that we felt wasn’t really how things were done in the real world.
Through some [HOSA] contacts, we were able to change that a little
bit to make it more like the real world. So, that goes a bit both ways.
It’s a very good situation.
>> McCASLIN: Thanks to each one of you for sharing with us how
you determine the technical content in your areas of instruction. I’m
impressed with the wide variety of techniques that you’re using …
not relying upon just one or two, but using three and four different
ways of making sure that [your] technical content is what is needed
in the field. Now, let’s change our discussion a little bit and say:
Okay, now that you have this technical content determined, how do
you align that with the content in your courses? Wende, would you
like to begin with that?
>> DALLAIN: Sure, Mac. Our instruction is very project-based. In
this video clip, you are going to see one of our biggest projects—our
exhibit for the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. You’re going to
hear two students talking about how their participation in this project
affected their career choices.
>>>>: If you visit the annual flower and garden show at Navy Pier,
you’re already familiar with the award-winning displays students
from the agricultural sciences high school design and implement.
And you may also know that many of the students already have
career goals inspired by these exercises.
>>>>: I want to go into landscape architecture, and I’m sure by
going to this school, I will take the fundamentals of going into that
>>>>: The fundamentals, of course, also include the traditional high
>>>>: We’re not trying to teach kids to become farmers. We’re
trying to teach them to find their place in that whole big, wide, array
that we call agricultural business. Like I said, it could be working at
Quaker Oats, or Keebler, or Eli’s Cheesecake, it could be working at
the Board of Trade, trading soybeans or something like that. So a lot
of different careers in agriculture are right here in the city. Look at
the landscaping of Lincoln Park, Garfield Park, Grant Park,
Millennium Park; somebody has to understand how those plants
work and how we need to prune them and trim them and keep the
>>>>: What does it take to become a student here?
>>>>: It’s relatively difficult. We normally have about ten times the
[number of] students applying as get in.
>>>>: We take only 150 students every year. This year, we had
>>>>: We don’t select our kids the way they do at Lane Tech or
Kenwood. The kids do have to be on-grade-level.
>>>>: We use the 7th-grade test scores from … that they take in the
>>>>: Their parents apply, then they go into the lottery. The lottery
is [performed] downtown.
>> DALLAIN: Okay. I’m going to back up a little bit and take you
through some of the process that the kids went through in designing
this exhibit, and show you how their classroom instruction relates to
this final project at the Flower and Garden Show. In this first slide,
you see horticulture and … right now, mech–tech … students.
They’re given instruction on creating landscape designs and creating
building plans, and then they’re given the project of designing this
garden. All the students compete. The [best] designs win, and then
are reproduced at the school. As you can see, these students work
with drafting equipment; they’re using their knowledge of geometry,
physics. When we get to the horticulture side, here are the landscape
designs. You can see that they have to think about water
requirements of the plants, the size of the plants they’re going to use
in relation to other things. The mech–tech kids will be thinking of
the building materials that would be [most] appropriate.
This picture you’re looking at is the winning design for the project
last year. The blank areas here represent a water wheel, which was a
working water wheel. So they had to put their mechanics
information into that. There is a small stream and a pond … and then
you see four circles, and those circles had agricultural implements in
Next, obviously, the students have to grow the plants that are going
to be in this exhibit. This exhibit is in March, so obviously we’re in a
greenhouse here … so they’re learning some greenhouse
management skills. They have to get these plants to flower at just the
right time. They have to watch and make sure there is no
infestations, and treat if there are because an infestation could ruin
their crop, and we wouldn’t have anything to put in the show. They
have to prune and shape the plants so they are perfect … just at the
right blooming time for the show.
Here you see some more pictures of the process. In the lower-right
corner, you see the students building a portion of the water wheel in
the shop at school. Above that, you see the students starting to put
the … the rest of the pictures are the students putting the exhibit
back together at the Navy Pier, where the show is, so we dissemble
it, and reassemble it. We have one week to do it. That, in and of
itself, is a great experience because the kids have to use a lot of
teamwork skills. When they have a problem, they have to think on
their feet and solve it … like, this year, we had a leaking liner for the
water portion of the exhibit, and they had to think about what they
could do quickly to solve that problem because they don’t have a lot
of time. The culmination, I’m proud to say, was a gold-medal award
this year. We are the only high school that is invited to this show in
Chicago, and they gave out six gold-medal awards this year, out of
about 23 exhibits; and we beat out all the universities that were there
and several professional designers, obviously. Six out of 23. So
we’re quite proud of that. And I think that there really is no better
way to align technical and instructional content with technical skills
than to have the kids actually do that … as you can see in this
Bryan, how do you align your instructional content with technical
skills in the workplace?
>> BUTZ: Wende, like your program, our program is a very hands-
on approach to learning. Here you see a picture of one of our
student-trainers who is using a modality (in this case, ice) on an
injury of one of our football players. This goes on every day in our
program. You know, basically, the students run our athletic training
room under the supervision of the certified athletic trainers (the
ATCs). In these pictures, you see our head athletic trainer doing an
evaluation on an ankle or a foot, with two of our students watching
and learning … watching to see how that evaluation is done,
learning the questions that are asked when you’re taking the medical
history, and that sort of thing. In the other picture, you see one of our
student-trainers actually taping one of our athletes … and the great
thing about our situation here is that this is a real-life, real-world
work environment. That athlete will get up off of that table and go
out to volleyball practice, or softball practice, or whichever sport
she’s involved in, with that ankle-tape job … and the [student-
trainers] get immediate feedback from a lot of people in respect to
the quality of the job and that sort of thing.
Our program goes pretty much like this. The first-year students
spend most of their time in the classroom. We do a lot of career
exploration. And after about the first week or two of each semester,
we do a lot of projects, and the projects all relate back to the career
that they have decided to explore. For example, someone might
choose orthopedic surgery to explore, so the first project they’re
going to do might be a presentation or paper on orthopedic surgery
… but after that, we do a lot of projects throughout the course of the
semester, and this person who has chosen orthopedic surgery to
explore is going to relate each project back to orthopedic surgery.
For example, one of my favorite projects is to design a sports
medicine facility. So we might take … and they usually work in
groups on this … we might take two or three or four people in a
group, and they’re probably all going to be related to orthopedics
(maybe an orthopedic surgeon, a radiologist), and they’re going to
design a facility. We incorporate some math into that because
they’re going to have to draw this to-scale. And I’ve even had some
groups create a model of it. We incorporate some psychology into it
because we talk about the color schemes that need to be used in the
building, in which parts of the building you would want certain
colors; for example, you might want a different color in a rehab area
than in a treatment area. So, we integrate a lot of different
curriculum areas into this.
Again, it’s very project-based, and they do learn some basic
technical skills in that first year. We’ll take them into the athletic
training room, typically on Fridays, and they’ll learn how to tape
ankles and wrists, and maybe do some evaluations, and strap on an
ice bag, and things like that. And it’s a great opportunity for them to
learn. Our second-year students are not in the classroom much at all.
These students, when they come into the program, have to apply for
a job within the sports medicine program. We set up a sports
medicine facility similar to what you would have in a physical
therapy clinic or something similar, and our second-year students
apply for a job. We have a job board that looks at [the applicants].
Each student determines which position they want to apply for, and
they have to do a resume with the cover letter; they submit that as an
application; and they have to get references, only one of which can
be a teacher. They also go through an interview process, and we hire
them just like we would if we were in the real world. Then, after this
is all done, the students, under the supervision of the certified
athletic trainers, basically run our athletic training room.
Some of the potential jobs we’ve had in the past … and it kind of
depends on the number of students we have in any particular
semester … but we use some of them as athletic trainer aides or
therapist types. They might be helping us with rehabs, taping ankles,
and that sort of thing.
Marketing: One of the things we did this year was a brochure that’s
going to go home to the parents of all of our athletes explaining what
our sports medicine program can do for them and how our insurance
works. Education: Our students … we take our standards and the
ones that can be divided up among our students, we divide them up
… and the students teach those standards to the rest of the class. So a
peer-led instruction goes on. Public relations: The students are out in
the school community, talking about what they’re doing and
promoting our program. They handle some the medical records, the
paperwork that’s involved, inputting treatments and notes into the
computer sometimes. We talk to them a lot about patient
confidentiality, and the need for that, and the legal reasons for that.
Another way we incorporate math: When it comes time to order our
supplies for the next year, they do the inventory, they go through the
bid process with us (again, supervised by the certified athletic
trainer, but they basically send our bids out), and we purchase what
they bid out; and they’re with us every step of the way. Some of the
benefits, in my opinion, of this type of instruction: One, the content
is always relevant. It may change from year to year, but it changes
because something’s going on. It also creates many great teachable
moments. We have had times where we have had in the football
game, or some [other sport] a rather severe or significant injury …
and we’re able to come back into the classroom the next day or the
next Monday and talk about it, critique what we did, how we
handled it, did we do it wrong, can we do it better … they can go
through that process with us, and it’s a great teachable moment.
Probably the most important thing to me is that the students really
take ownership in the program. They enjoy being there. It is their
program. And it’s been a wonderful experience for us at White
Knoll. John, would you tell us how you align your content with the
>> DAVIDSON: Sure, Bryan. This is one of the areas that we feel
very proud of in Arkansas. This is an area that is a state agency.
When we look at activities and programs that will help align what
happens in the classroom, the learning that goes on in the classroom,
with the work skills that are required when students go to work,
work-based learning … internship-type programs come to the top as
what’s needed. We’ve been fortunate in our state because our
legislature has provided grant funding for work-based learning
internship-type programs. These program requirements include
having a funded program; they have a strong employer commitment.
In fact, many of our grants actually go out to industry groups that
operate work-based learning programs for us; hospitality, as we
mentioned earlier, is one; wood manufacturing is another.
Students enroll for at least a three-year period. In some areas, that’s a
four-year period (two years in high school, two years in
postsecondary), or it could be three years (spanning across the high
school and postsecondary experience). We do require that the
learning be high quality. And by that, we mean that students have the
academic rigor within those programs (either on the ACT level or
Smart Core in Arkansas), and that those programs be integrated, so
that academic and vocational teachers work together. Other
requirements for our work-based learning programs include team-
based learning. Industry tells us that students need to learn to work
together, to develop as a team. These are solutions that they will be
working on in the future. If academic or occupational credentials are
provided, students need to be aware of those and have access to
Also, we’re very interested in nontraditional groups having
opportunities to do our work-based learning programs … and that
issues of diversity are addressed in our work-based programs. We’re
very fortunate also that not only did our legislature recognize the fact
that our schools needed funding to operate these programs, but
industries who participated also needed funding, and therefore
passed … our legislature passed a tax credit for industries who hire
work-based learning students. And those industries receive a $2,000
credit, or ten percent of the wages that are earned by our work-based
students. And there is a set of information required, but that’s issued
from our office. We utilize student certification programs; if there
are opportunities for student certification, we provide the pilot
funding for schools to get into any of the certification areas.
As I mentioned earlier, we also are very proud of [using] The Lexile
Framework® for Reading. (You can find more information on the
tabid=1). An analysis of all of our work-based materials (and that’s
not only at the entry level, but also for workers who are in the
industry) was submitted from local schools. We also have evaluated
the instructional materials that we use on the high school level, to
ensure that if we’re teaching one reading level [in the classroom] and
a different one is required on the work site, that we bring those two
together … into congruence. We look at not only our materials, but
also the textbooks that we use and our assessments. The alignment of
content in Arkansas technical skills is required by our frameworks;
and as I mentioned earlier, we require that industry review those
frameworks and that they also review our assessments.
Local programs are monitored to ensure that these frameworks are
followed, and as we develop industry frameworks and standards,
those are monitored by end-of-course tests. We have worked very
closely with industry on our curriculum, which was developed by
our industry groups; and we also align content, using Vocational
Technical Education Consortium of the States (VTECS) to connect
and direct [the programs]. The programs assure that the individual
work-based plan of each student is aligned, so that all students have
a personalized work-based learning plan.
At this time, Bryan, would you tell us a little bit more about your
>> BUTZ: Sure. Thanks. I’d like to talk a little bit about how we
evaluate our student progress. To me, that’s where the rubber meets
the road. We need to know if our kids are getting it. One way we do
this is just through daily evaluations in the athletic training room.
We see our students working daily with our athletes, and it gives us a
great opportunity to just stand back and watch, make sure things are
going as they should, and evaluate them.
What you see here is a conference with our head athletic trainer and
our head student-trainer talking about a performance evaluation.
Also, there are not a lot of certifications that you can earn in sports
medicine at the high school level, but one certification we can offer
is the Red Cross certifications. Our first-year students, for example,
get certified in first aid, and adult CPR (cardiopulmonary
resuscitation), as well as use of the AED (automated external
defibrillator). In the second year, our students get certified in sports
safety training, which is just a different take on first aid, I guess,
geared more towards athletics, as well as recertifying in CPR and the
AED. At that level, we usually try to offer the professional rescuers
two different CPR and AED certifications in their two years.
The American Red Cross or American Heart Association, for that
matter, has their own evaluative tools that are used in achieving the
certifications. That is another thing we do to evaluate the students’
progress and performance.
Another real fun thing that we do as the semester starts to draw to an
end and our sports start to slow down a little bit … we have kind of
an Olympics competition within the class. We divide up into teams
and we have competitions … maybe ankle taping, just different
kinds of competitions where the two or three teams compete, earn
points, and the winning team gets some sort of special little gift at
the end. One of the favorite competitions we have, for example (I
don’t know if the students think this is their favorite) … but they fill
up a seven-gallon cooler with ice and water and walk it around the
gym and back, and see who can do it the fastest. They really love
that. That’s another way we can gauge their progress [in team-
There are a host of competitions at the leadership conference. We
compete at both the state and national levels. We’ve been fortunate
enough to have a different student the last two years win the state
sports medicine competition and then go on to the national level. We
haven’t done as well as we’d like at the national level yet, but we
keep working on that. Our students are evaluated during their
internships by their mentors. In our program, they have the
opportunity to do two different internships. The first year they do an
internship in the athletic training room at White Knoll High School
(on-campus), working with our athletes. They are required during
that time to do a five-day rotation at a doctor’s office or physical
therapy clinic. They are evaluated not only by their supervisor in our
training room, but also by the doctor that they go to work with. And
that’s a formal evaluation process, with forms to fill out and the
works. Their second internship, if they decide to go that route, has to
be completely off-campus. And they’re evaluated again by their
supervisor. It could be a physical therapist or it could be an
orthopedic surgeon evaluating the students, depending on where they
want to go to work. So those are the means by which we evaluate the
students in our program.
John, how do you evaluate your students?
>> DAVIDSON: In Arkansas, it’s very important that we keep
score. And by saying we keep score, we want to know where we’re
going as we look at those programs … we want to know what we’re
doing, how we’re doing, how effective our programs are; and
probably the number one thing that’s been most helpful to us is our
electronic end-of-course assessments. These assessments are done on
all of our career and technical programs on selected courses
annually, and those end-of-course tests are done electronically so
students can go in, take the assessment, and find out what their score
is immediately. Teachers receive reports that allow them to know
how closely they’re following the frameworks and how their
students are doing; and it goes into a school report card.
We developed the state report card, which is posted on our Web site.
Different groups of teachers can compare themselves with other,
similar, groups of teachers across the state. Local schools can
compare themselves with other schools, so this gives some type of
standard or benchmark that we can utilize. We keep score on how
many of our students complete national certifications. Also very
important to us are the completers of a program of study. We believe
that following a sequence of courses is something that students need
to see as important. The school needs to see an importance in
following a sequence of courses, so we track that too. We follow our
completers through their sophomore year of college. We track their
remediation rate. We take their persistence into their sophomore
year. We track also how many hours the students collect and what
they enroll in once they have completed the programs of study.
We have some outstanding skill contests run by our student
organizations, through our FFA, our DECA, Future Business
Leaders of America (FBLA), and our skills activities; but we also
have activities that are run by industry groups. For instance, the
hospitality industry has the Prostart Student Invitationals
(http://www.nraef.org/prostart/npsi/) [in culinary and management
skills]. Or, the culinary arts program has a cook-off that’s actually a
culinary arts contest held at the governor’s mansion, and something
that’s very important to the students and very important to their
sponsors. We also use Oracle® Technology Network
(http://www.oracle.com/index.html). This past year, Oracle®
sponsored a competition and gave awards; it was very well-received.
Many of our hotel-industry [partners] put on a lodging contest, and
these are outside our normal student organization groups. Our
standards of accreditation in Arkansas require that schools teach
three programs of study that are within three different clusters. And
that has been very successful for us. All of our communities
encourage our parents to get involved and to determine how many
programs of study their high school offers. This is just an example of
a school offering 21 programs of study in 20 different pathways, and
that’s quite an offering for a local high school. Parents can also look
at the achievement level to determine how closely their schools are
following the industry frameworks. We also keep score on the
number of students completing the sequences of courses.
We’ve had some outstanding activities that our high schools have
offered to students who have completed their sequence of courses,
such as banquets hosted by industry at graduation and also
recognitions at graduation. Our goal is to have 50 percent of our
seniors complete a sequence of courses. We’re not quite there yet.
We are working towards getting there.
Dallain, would you tell us how your school evaluates students’
>> DALLAIN: Thanks, John. First of all, I want to say that every
education-to-career student in Chicago is required to complete a
capstone project by the end of their senior year that shows a picture
of what they’ve done, of what they’ve learned, and what technical
skills they have. The capstone projects vary from program to
program. But a perfect example for our school would be the one that
you’ve seen already, at the Chicago (Navy Pier) Flower and Garden
Show. The students who are in the horticulture and mechanical–
technical career pathway might use that as their capstone project.
They record all of the things they designed and developed for the
Here is Chastity. She is in the food science program at the Chicago
High School for Agriculture Sciences, and in this picture she’s
explaining to one of our advisory board members who works for
Kraft Foods how they came up with the product for their student
company. Now, the food science students often create a business
during their senior year that reflects the skills they learned across the
curriculum. They’re responsible for product development, quality
control, marketing, purchasing, storage, and sales of the product that
Last year, their company was called Twisted Delights. It was a hot
pretzel company. The pretzel was two pieces of dough, and they put
a filling inside each piece and twisted it together. For example, you
might get a pepperoni-and-cheese twisty or an apple-and-cinnamon
twisty. It was really a very clever idea. The students start with a
business plan. They sell stock. They run the company for three
months and then they have to liquidate the company. They paid
stockholders more than $8 dividend per share, and they won third
place at the young entrepreneurs’ business competition—a national
competition in Milwaukee. It is through these types of experiences
that students can show the types of things they’ve learned.
Obviously, we also have the regular evaluation instruments within
the classroom. We’re fortunate in agriculture, also, that we have an
excellent student organization—the national FFA organization. All
of our students are members, and we have the largest chapter in
Illinois. Since 1928, the FFA has worked to create career
development events, or what we call CDEs, that demonstrate
meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life
situations. The events are designed to help prepare students for
careers in agriculture. Through the [process] of having our students
compete, the classroom instruction comes alive as the students
demonstrate their skills. These CDEs test the abilities of individuals
and, in some cases, teams, and in some cases a combination of both.
The students can earn individual awards, as well as team awards, in
23 major areas of agricultural instruction. And like Bryan was
saying, this organization also has stayed up with the times and
[aligned] these CDEs to what’s going on within the agricultural
industry. For instance, there was never a food science CDE until
about five years ago, when food science became an integral part of
I’ll turn this back over to Mac.
>> McCASLIN: Thanks, Wende. This concludes our formal
presentation. We have tried to share with you ideas in three different
areas. One is: How do they go about determining the technical
content? Secondly: How do they align that content with their
curriculum? And, thirdly: How do they go about evaluating the
process and the student performance?
So, now it’s time for us to turn to questions that have been submitted
to our panel from people here in the studio, as well as those who
have been watching online.
I’m going to begin with a question that comes in from one of our
viewers asking: What are the major challenges involved in
identifying industry experts to review your curriculum? And,
Wende, I think I’m going to turn to you to begin, and then anyone
else who wants to chime in on that [question].
>> DALLAIN: Okay. Well, I think one of the major challenges is to
get the commitment from business. And because it is quite time-
intensive, they have to be dedicated to the school. We’re really lucky
in Chicago, because the head of our advisory board has always been
someone who is a real leader. In the beginning, it was the president
of the Chicago Board of Trade. Now we have cochairs: Mark
Schulman, the president of Eli’s Cheesecake, is on our advisory
board, along with John Vogt from the John Vogt Corporation, and
John Shelby from the park district. These people are able to bring in
people that sometimes you can’t get with a call from your office or
by being a teacher, so I would say utilize … develop firm
relationships with people who can help you. They will help you
branch out to other people.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. That’s a good idea. Other ideas that you’ve
used on identifying people to help?
>> DAVIDSON: I think one of the things that we, as secondary and
postsecondary education people, need to understand is that we have
an obligation to provide … not only as we ask for assistance … but
to provide professional development to the industry people. They’re
coming in brand-new … not necessarily knowing our education
system, not necessarily knowing what we require, what our
frameworks actually are [for our programs]. I think, as we invite
people, we need to plan for these people to come in, and we need to
plan professional development so they will understand our system.
They’re going to be the most helpful if we give them the most
information. And expecting them to come in knowing everything
before they get there … that’s not going to happen. So we have to
develop a plan, develop an alignment that will allow them to
understand what we’re doing and to be able to better evaluate it.
>> McCASLIN: Collaboration really is more effective when it’s a
>> DAVIDSON: Absolutely. So many times, we have the
expectation that industry is just going to come in and give us the
answer. And they need some answers from us first, before they can
give us the quality answers we need.
>> McCASLIN: Okay.
>> BUTZ: Our experts are kind of given to us in the medical field.
So I don’t know that we’ve had a problem in the health science
technology field. Again, like John was saying, it goes back to what
we can give back to them as well, and I think that’s important. We
do a lot of things with work-based credit. I can’t think of one of our
students who’s gone to some place to help out and to work as an
internship and not been asked to stay on after their internship was
over, so I think it goes back to a lot of what John was saying.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. The next question is: Are there plans to add
additional clusters or industry areas at any of your schools? We’ll
turn to you to start that one, Bryan.
>> BUTZ: Thanks. Yeah, we are always looking for new clusters or,
in fact, recently we’ve just added more majors to a cluster. We’re
always looking for new ways we can get our students more involved
in our education process, so that’s something that we’re open to.
You know, I think we’re just always looking, and it’s kind of a long
process, sometimes, to get that done once you decide you want to do
it. But, yes, absolutely; we are looking along those lines.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. Anyone else want to add anything? John?
>> DAVIDSON: We are based on the 16 national clusters, and in
moving to that as a state agency and as local schools, it has allowed
us to look at career and technical education differently than ever
before. We now oversee and supervise programs such as career
dance, also all the ROTC programs … so many of the things that
were never traditionally thought of as career and technical education
become a part of that career preparation for students, and so we’re
very solidly behind the 16 national clusters.
>> McCASLIN: So that expands the student base, also.
>> DAVIDSON: It has expanded so that students actually look at
everything they do as preparation for a career. And it’s allowed us to
work with other agencies, with parents, and help them see that career
and technical education is beyond the shop, beyond those things that
in the past have been very good-quality activities. But it’s just a
much broader look at what we do.
>> McCASLIN: I would think, in addition to looking at it from the
career standpoint, it also looks at it from the standpoint of further
education in higher education … for example, postsecondary.
>> DAVIDSON: Absolutely. In some areas, especially in the stem
(science, engineering, technology, and math) cluster! Career and
technical education has a very relevant part in the stem cluster, and
many states have initiatives that support the engineering and the
science and the mathematics, and I think career and technical
education is on the forefront now … as long as we look at those
clusters and plan for students to have preparation in those areas.
>> McCASLIN: Anything else from Chicago, Wende?
>> DALLAIN: Well, as you know, our school is focused on
agriculture … actually on a very specific type [of agriculture], which
we call urban agriculture. So what we call career pathways are pretty
much set into the following pathways. We offer animal science, food
science, horticulture science, mechanics and technology, and
>> McCASLIN: Okay. Another question that’s coming in, and I
think this one, John, is sort of directed more to you from the
standpoint of your mentioning your association with GM and the
YES program in automotive areas. Can you elaborate a little bit
about what they bring to the table?
>> DAVIDSON: We have moved from that into online curriculum
for automotive programs; but in working with those programs, the
primary thing they brought is that industry connection that we
needed desperately to have in every community where automotive
programs were being offered. And those programs allowed us to talk
to industry, to talk to local automobile dealers, to ask them to look at
our programs, look at our students, and to help us develop better
products for them. The initiation of those programs have expanded
now beyond what we originally looked at, as the early automotive
associations, I think, will continue to grow for us. Presently, we’re
looking at funding that will come from the Arkansas Automobile
Dealers Association that will be supportive, based on these early
programs that we started.
>> McCASLIN: Okay; thank you. I think this next question is really
more directed at Bryan, about your program at White Knoll. One of
our viewers is wondering: Do you offer summer programs, as well?
You mentioned quite a bit about the regular school year, but do you
do anything during the summer?
>> BUTZ: We do nothing formally; I will say that. White Knoll
High School has some things during summer school, and we also
have a virtual school where you can take a course online. Our
program does nothing formally over the summer, but we do a lot
informally: [For instance,] we occasionally provide Red Cross
training and other training over the summer. We usually bring the
[trainers] in at a time that coincides with the beginning of our sports
seasons, which start before our school year does. So nothing formal,
but we do some things over the summer … get together for team
building, that sort of stuff.
>> McCASLIN: Okay.
>> DALLAIN: Mac, maybe I could mention that we have a very
extensive summer program at the agriculture school. All of our
students are required, even if they passed all their classes, to attend
at least one summer program at the school because, as you know, a
big, big portion of what’s going on out in agriculture in terms of
production on the farm is happening during the summer. So, we use
the summer. We have two programs. One is students going for credit
where they’re learning aspects of agriculture … could be many
courses on those career clusters that I was talking about that we have
at the school … or, we also have what’s called KidStart Summer
Jobs Program, where the students are paid to come and work on the
farm during the summer. It’s a Chicago citywide program; but in our
school, it results in the students getting some real-life experiences on
>> McCASLIN: Okay. Another question that’s coming in from one
of our viewers has to do with the new Perkins IV. And John, I know
you’ve been very active with your state in developing your plans for
Perkins IV implementation. Is it going to change your program that
>> DAVIDSON: I think it is especially relevant. As we look at the
new Perkins IV, the essence is everything we’ve been talking about
today. Work-based learning, industry alignment, certification … all
of those things are in Perkins IV, and I think Congress has given us
the greatest opportunity, as states, to develop high school reform,
reform in the postsecondary level, and really get down to business
and make some great improvements through Perkins IV. Everything
that we have been wanting to do we’ve actually been given in
Perkins IV, and we have a great opportunity before us. I think the
things that we look at in Arkansas are going to be enhanced and
stronger and almost developed and legislated, and I’m looking
forward to some great opportunities as we move into that.
>> McCASLIN: I think, right now, the state directors are sponsoring
some meetings, getting ready for Perkins IV. I think you mentioned
to me over lunch that you have a team of people from your agency
going to Indianapolis next week to begin that planning.
>> DAVIDSON: We actually had a series of five full-day meetings
in our state already to discuss that, and with each meeting, we grow
a little bit more in appreciation of the potential that we have and the
flexibility that is out there. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity
for all of us in the career–tech world.
>> McCASLIN: Thank you very much. We have some questions
that are more in-line with the evaluation and the assessment process.
Let’s turn a little bit of our time now to those. One of them from a
viewer says: Could you elaborate on the development of the end-of-
course assessments and how they are used? Wende, I think you
mentioned some of that. Maybe you could begin that answer.
>> DALLAIN: Right. Each one of our students is required to
develop what’s called a capstone project, and a capstone project can
vary from career cluster to career cluster. For instance, as I said, the
food science students, most likely for their capstone project, would
use their food company and their role within that. Like I said, they
all have to develop business plans, and they all take on a certain role.
Maybe one is working in quality control, one’s in product
development … so they would journal what they’re doing, document
their skills, show them in the form of a PowerPoint … you know,
how their business succeeded or failed … and that would be an
example of a capstone project at our school. And capstone projects
can be judged by the teacher, or they can be judged by people from
We’ve been experimenting with people [judging the capstone
projects]. We started with that last year … trying to get some people
from our advisory board in that specific area to come and judge the
capstone projects. In Chicago, with some the larger career clusters,
they will have a big fair for that whole career cluster, located at the
Museum of Science and Industry or something like that … but with
agriculture, we’re a relatively small school, so we kind of do our
own thing. We don’t have a lot of competition within the Chicago
school system for that, so we do our own; but it’s basically
something that’s project-based that shows the students’
understanding of what they’ve been working on in the class.
>> McCASLIN: Bryan, what about in your school?
>> BUTZ: Well, you know, sports medicine as a part of current
technology is relatively new and, as a result of that, there is no
national end-of-course testing or anything like that. What we do,
though: Under district policy, we’re required to give final exams, so
we do have a final exam; but we also do a lot of skills testing.
Usually, we use the Health Occupations Students of America
(HOSA) standards for that. So, we’re able to take our students and
the technical skills they’ve learned in the classroom … and we don’t
have them do all of the technical skills, but we test certain ones …
and we try to keep that consistent throughout each semester. We get
feedback, as far as what’s working and not working; but as far as a
national end-of-course test or anything like that, there is not really
anything in sports medicine yet. I understand there has been some
[exploration] into that, but nothing, to my knowledge, has been
developed just yet.
>> McCASLIN: John, from a state level, what kind of things are you
recommending that schools consider?
>> DAVIDSON: We require end-of-course assessments from our
state frameworks, and we select 65 objectives from our state
frameworks, and do an electronic assessment of those. All students
enrolled in those classes are required to take the test. The students
receive immediate feedback. And those are normally used as their
semester test score. So, those are then ranked, and teachers receive a
report on which objective(s) students were unable to complete. It has
been quite an extensive system for us, but very helpful in
determining how well students are learning the frameworks and how
closely teachers are following those frameworks.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. This is a more specific question about the
outcomes: How many students go directly into the workforce from
>> DALLAIN: Well, I can say at our high school, most of our
students go on to college: about 80 to 85 percent! We are, like I said
at the beginning, kind of a unique school that was founded totally
academically, totally career preparation. So our curriculum is
completely college preparatory: four years of English, four years of
math, four years of science, three years of foreign language, AP
courses … in addition to the career–technical education. And in
agriculture, most of the careers that we’re preparing the kids for, an
advanced degree is required. There aren’t that many [urban
agriculture] careers you could go directly into after high school, so
most of our kids are going to college.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. Bryan.
>> BUTZ: That would be the same with ours. In the field of sports
medicine or medical fields in general, there is not a lot you can do
with just a high school diploma, so most of our kids go on to college
… into medical school or premed, physical therapy. But I would say
the great majority … and probably I think (Wende said 85 percent)
ours is probably higher than that … probably closer to 95 percent of
them … are going to go into college because there is not a lot they
can do with a high school diploma.
>> McCASLIN: John, I know you have quite an elaborate system of
follow-up and evaluation of your students in Arkansas. What about
the students in Arkansas?
>> DAVIDSON: We track those students. Each completer is tracked
for two years after high school; so, presently about 58 percent of our
students go directly into postsecondary education. Thirty-seven or 38
percent go into the work site, and about 3 percent of our students go
into the military … so it’s nearly 60 percent into postsecondary
education, but we have 40 percent go directly to work … and we feel
a strong obligation to prepare those students who are going directly
to work with those skills required following high school.
>> McCASLIN: We have a couple of viewers asking basically the
same question here: Some of you mentioned the articulated credit
that you have with postsecondary institutions. Do you have a
maximum number of articulated credits that a student can obtain and
earn in those areas? Do you have a cap on them?
>> DALLAIN: No. We don’t have a cap, but there is kind of a
natural cap that exists ... because most colleges and universities
don’t want to give credit past the introductory level of a course …
which I think is acceptable. So, I would say the maximum number of
hours anybody would be getting is five hours, in our case.
>> McCASLIN: Bryan?
>> BUTZ: I would agree with Wende on that. I think the cap is not
so much set by the [secondary] schools. I think it’s just a natural cap
in the courses that we offer at White Knoll High School. We also
have a technology center in our district that some students attend, but
the courses we offer at White Knoll High School … there is only one
that we have an articulation agreement with, so you get credit for
one three-hour class.
>> McCASLIN: Any experience in Arkansas?
>> DAVIDSON: We’re fairly deep into articulated credit. A number
of our students come out with eight-to-ten hours of articulated credit,
but the area that we go into … 16 of our community colleges operate
high-school centers for us. We contract with our community colleges
for our high school programs, so we have students who will average
somewhere around 30 hours of [articulated] credit. We’ve had some
students … and this is not an everyday thing … but we had a student
last year who received their associate’s degree before they received
their high school diploma. That’s the full two-years’
[postesecondary] completion, because they received approximately
30 college hours in the technical area, concurrent with their high-
school credit hours. So, for us, this program has been very
successful, and the average student going to a community college
center will receive approximately 30 hours. It’s been a good thing
>> DALLAIN: I know we have one program like that in Chicago
also … but a very small, select program where the students actually
receive their high school diploma and their associate’s degree at the
>> McCASLIN: That’s really unique. We used to think we had to go
through these things lock-step, so that’s very encouraging. And,
[from a parent’s or grandparent’s perspective], I think that families
appreciate that kind of an opportunity.
>> DAVIDSON: The career cluster thing for our students is that
those students are receiving those 30 hours tuition-free. Those hours
are received at no cost, at all, to the student.
>> McCASLIN: Okay. A related question from the standpoint of ...
all of this costs money. How much funding has been allotted to these
initiatives? John, maybe we could start with you, from the standpoint
of your allocation at the state office … first of all, in Arkansas.
>> DAVIDSON: Our programs are funded on a local basis because
our programs are funded on a per-student basis from general
education. We have incentive funds [as the funding source]. Each
year, we put approximately a million dollars into work-based
learning programs. We have placed an average on schools that want
to begin career academies. The average probably was somewhere
around $50,000, and that was primarily for professional
development. One of the things that we realized: If a school was
operating a career academy, the most important thing they needed
was the teachers in those schools and the community to understand
career academy concepts … so approximately $50,000. Primarily,
our funding has been start-up funding, and once those programs are
going, the schools have an obligation to operate/fund those
>> McCASLIN: You’re mentioning professional development. What
do you do in those local schools for professional development for
your teachers for your programs?
>> BUTZ: Like I mentioned earlier, we try to have our teachers get
their continuing education units to stay credentialed. They are
required to get 80 contact hours at seminar(s) or symposia every
three years, so we try as best we can to fund that for our teachers. Of
course, we like to send them to educational seminars and leadership
development conferences. Our health science technology program in
South Carolina has a professional development conference every
year, and we try to attend that as well … and we try as much as we
can … I can’t think of a year where we haven’t been able to fund
100 percent of our people going [to the development conference].
They cannot go to everything they want to go to, but at least they get
to go to something and get some professional development.
>> DALLAIN: All of our teachers attend the Illinois Association of
Vocational Agriculture Teachers’ summer conference; and at the
summer conference there are seminars in the various areas of
agriculture. So, that’s probably the biggest professional development
event that they attend. And then, obviously, during the school year,
we have a lot of professional development that’s offered from the
city at the school level. One such program is incorporating reading
strategies into the classroom. We also participate at Education to
Careers in Chicago. We offer our teachers the opportunity to come to
what we call Toolbox, which offers teachers who are coming in from
the industry, who don’t have as many of the classroom management
skills, to work on classroom management things. We have a lot of
different programs that they can get involved in.
>> McCASLIN: This is not really a question, it’s a comment we got
from one of our viewers: ‘This is impressive attention to the
alignment.’ This person said this is ‘really the key in the whole
thing. And I think you’ve really given us some good ideas on that
Another question from a viewer: What are some of the obstacles you
face in creating a quality CTE program? Wende, why don’t we begin
with you on that one?
>> DALLAIN: I can think of two … the two biggest obstacles. I
think number one is money. As everyone knows, you have to be
constantly updating your program in order to have a quality career
and tech program, because what’s happening out in industry is
changing like this! [She snaps fingers to illustrate.] So that’s number
And number two, I think, is philosophy. I think that’s something
we’ve made big progress on … understanding that this type of
education is not just for kids who are not going to go to college. This
type of education has been shown to benefit all students. We need to
stop separating career education and the kids who are going to go to
college, because in the advanced world that we live in … more and
more, you’re going to need some higher education to make sure that
you can get a job out there in the workplace. So, I think that the
philosophy of having ‘career and technical education for all’ is really
important, and it’s for that reason that we also belong to a
consortium of schools called High Schools That Work. This is a
consortium that very strongly pushes the idea that all students should
have all of their academic courses, as well as a career and technical
>> McCASLIN: Okay. Are there any other obstacles that you have
run into? John?
>> DAVIDSON: I think we talk a lot in career and technical
education about rigor, relevance, and relationships … and when we
look at those, they’re not only obstacles … they’re our salvation.
When you look at rigor … it’s not easy to bring rigor into the
classroom, it’s not easy to assure that the academics that we’re
teaching in our career and technical programs are of strong rigor. It’s
not always easy to develop those relationships, because that takes
time and a lot of work. So while they’re obstacles, they’re also
probably our salvation to programs. And so it’s kind of a mixed
thing there. The things that are our obstacles are also the ways that
we will be able to use and develop career and technical education in
>> McCASLIN: Talk about rigor … we often associate our ‘rigor’
comments with the academic courses, but you folks have clearly
demonstrated today that rigor isn’t solely owned by academics. You
have rigor in your leadership training; you have rigor in your
technical skills. I know that if I had to do some of these skills that
the students you’ve talked about today have … even taping ankles
… I don’t think I would be successful. I would need some rigorous
work if I were to start taping people’s ankles, I think. I’m sure I’d
either get them too tight, or have them done incorrectly and cause
>> DALLAIN: I can relate a funny story. Our mechanics–technical
teacher will laugh when the principal will say we’ve got to integrate.
He says I can’t teach my class without teaching math ... I can’t teach
my class without teaching English … and that’s the truth. If you
really are doing the job that you should be doing in career and tech
education, you can’t leave the academics out.
>> McCASLIN: I think we have time for one final question: In any
of these programs, a great deal of the responsibility for quality lies
with the teacher. Not the teacher alone, but the teacher certainly has
a major amount of responsibility. How do we go about recruiting
qualified teachers for our programs? Do you want to start with that
>> BUTZ: In South Carolina, in the health sciences … in all of
career technology … they have tried to make it as easy to get your
teacher credentials as possible, without taking away some of the
important stuff that you need from an education program. We have a
couple of programs that allow teachers to come out of the workplace
… and, as in my case, at a higher payscale than a starting teacher
would, because of the experience that I had in the field. You might
come in at the master’s level instead of at the bachelor’s with no
experience level. We have a couple of programs … one of them
deals with career technology, it’s called our Direct program … that
gives the new teachers the classroom management skills that Wende
talked about, and the curriculum development skills, and learning all
the acronyms. We talked about that earlier today. Teachers now go
to a meeting and we talk about IEPs and IVPs and AEDs and CPR;
and what is all that? So we have a wonderful program in South
Carolina. It takes place over two years of going to classes on
Saturdays, plus maybe a week over the summer, to educate and to
help those teachers give them the skills that they need in the
classroom. And then, I know it’s been a wonderful experience, and
it’s a five-year process for somebody going through that program to
get your actual professional certificate to teach. That is one way that
we try to do it. A little bit of financial incentive, but we try to make
it as easy as possible to get the skills needed to be successful in the
>> McCASLIN: John?
>> DAVIDSON: To build on what Bryan said, I think it’s important
that we recruit … but more important than recruiting, I think we
have to bring our new teachers into a professional fellowship that
recognizes and fosters high expectations. We, as fellow teachers,
have to bring the new teachers in and help them develop high
expectations. We have to recognize high achievement. And we have
to support those new teachers. So many times we look back … we
were thrown into new situations … we were almost out there by
ourselves. And I think it’s very important that we form professional
fellowships that will support our new teachers coming in, and that
we will hold each other accountable in those fellowships.
>> McCASLIN: Thank you very much. I really want to express my
appreciation to each one of you as a member of this panel. I think
your experiences have certainly been helpful to a number of our
viewers who are and will be watching. Today, we’ve tried to discuss
this from the standpoint of how we align our career and technical
education programs to real-world skills. And this alignment will help
our students develop the technical skills that they need for the 21st-
century workplace. It also will assist our nation in remaining more
competitive in the global market.
These webcasts are archived on http://www.nccte.org, and are
available 24/7 for use in your professional development with
teachers and administrators. The next webcast will be on November
the 6th, and the topic is “Broadening Skills Gap Threatens
Manufacturing Competitiveness.” Thanks for joining us, and have a