Education Week - May 10, 2017 - 1
VOL. 36, NO. 30 * MAY 10, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION
AT A CROSSROADS
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Joe Buglewicz for Education Week
By Daarel Burnette II
Spurred on by new flexibility under the
Every Student Succeeds Act and revenue
shortfalls, and amid one-party control in most
states, legislators this year tackled longstanding questions over who should be in charge of
education policy, how to better spend K-12 dollars, and what school success should look like.
In state after state, lawmakers sought to
overhaul school funding formulas, rearrange
accountability systems, and expand school
choice options like vouchers, education savings accounts, and the charter school sector.
All 50 states held legislative sessions this
year, and 15 of those states already had
wrapped up business as of late last week,
with more expected to adjourn by mid-May.
Republicans sought to turn their political dominance-they control both legislative
chambers in 32 states, as well as 31 governors'
seats-into policy action, with varied results.
After a historic sweep last year that gave
Warren County High School seniors Alex Yates, left, and David Romero work on an assembly line machine in a mechatronics class in
McMinnville, Tenn. The technology skills they learn in the class help prepare them for jobs in the area's booming automotive industry.
Pruning Dead-End Pathways in Career Tech. Ed.
By Catherine Gewertz
Warren County High School leaders knew
they had a problem on their hands. Too many
of their graduates were fixing lawnmower engines, a dead-end job in a declining industry,
while right down the road, manufacturers were
clamoring for workers with sophisticated technology skills to support the area's booming automotive industry.
This small-town high school decided to right
that imbalance. School officials phased out their
program in two- and four-cycle engines and introduced a course of study in mechatronics, a
blend of electronics and engineering that's the
brains of the automation in many advanced
With only a high school diploma and an
entry-level mechatronics certification, teenagers can earn more than $45,000 a year here in
rural Tennessee. Additional certifications and
experience can boost earnings to $60,000.
Students can go further, too: They can earn
associate degrees at local community colleges
in mechanical pre-engineering or advanced
integrated technology, or head to Middle Tennessee State University for bachelor's degrees
Because Warren County High School designed its mechatronics program to dovetail
with the one at nearby Motlow Community
College, students' courses count for dual credit,
so they'll have a potential jump-start on any college degrees they decide to pursue.
What's happening here in rural Tennessee
reflects a growing focus nationally on building high-quality career and technical educaPAGE 12>
Teachers Lace Academics
With Relationship Skills
By Evie Blad
Leah Nash for Education Week
GEARING UP FOR COLLEGE: Teachers, principals, and school counselors from rural middle and high
schools in Oregon tour Linfield College, a small, private liberal arts college in McMinnville, Ore.,
last month. The event is part of a push by Oregon GEAR UP to help rural, low-income, and
first-generation students find the colleges that are the best fit for them. PAGE 8>
In Susannah Young's 2nd grade classroom, the first
step in a student's writing process isn't a rough
draft; it's a conversation with a peer.
Students explain their ideas to a partner, respond to
questions, and push each other to more fully explore
their thoughts before they put them down on paper.
Young, who teaches at Oakland's Lincoln Elementary School, developed the approach through a unusual professional development experience designed
to help a cohort of Oakland teachers integrate socialemotional learning strategies into their teaching of traditional academic subjects, like reading and math. In
sessions led by faculty from Mills College, a liberal arts
school in Oakland, the Mills teacher scholars each select
Hazy Under Trump
By Benjamin Herold
From his seat in the East Room of the White
House, Joseph South had a clear view of
Barack Obama's teleprompter, and he watched
as the president veered off script during a
2014 speech about the power of educational
technology to more than 100 school superintendents.
"It was spot-on, and it aligned perfectly with
all of our priorities," recalled South, a former
director of the U.S. Department of Education's
office of educational technology.
Two and a half years later, Obama is out
of office. His successor, Donald Trump, has
focused his K-12 education agenda on school
choice and local control. While new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she
believes in the importance of educational
technology, she has so far declined to say
whether she intends to continue support for
Obama administration initiatives. The office
South once headed is now in its fourth month
At Day 100: How Trump,
Obama, Bush Stack Up
SNAPSHOT, PAGE 18>