Techniques Magazine Techniques April 2011 : Page 28

REVAMPING CTE’S IMAGE By JOHN FOSTER, PATRICIA kELLEy, SANDy PRITz AND CAROL HODES ust one of the ways career and technical education (CTE) is revamping its image is through increased attention to data-driven instructional techniques as a means of im-proving and focusing instruction on what matters most. Accountability and data have increasingly become a core focus of research, news and commentary about education in recent years. Though some of the attention to accountability and data use may be tied to regulatory require-ments, there is also recognition among educators that metrics matter. ContInuous Improvement J Throughout its existence, CTE has focused on performance and on measur-ing that performance. For example, being able to write about how to fix an auto-mobile’s brakes is important, but actu-ally fixing them is critical. NOCTI, a partner in the National Research Center for Career and Technical Educa-tion (NRCCTE), has shown throughout its 44-year history that technical data can be used to improve technical pro-grams. Another NRCCTE partner, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), has been proving over its 23-year existence that integrating academic and technical content further improves students’ competencies and skills. As part of their commitment to the NRCCTE, both NOCTI and SREB are currently conducting research projects on the applicability of profes-sional development. NOCTI’s focus, described in this article, has been to research, design, refine and launch a program to help CTE educators understand and use technical data to create real and sustainable pro-gram improvements. Techniques April 2011 CTE’S FoCuS on 28

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