ACTE Techniques October 2011 : Page 29

“The end goal of the CCTC is not to replace existing industry standards, but rather to provide a resource that builds from the specific industry expectations of the Knowledge and Skills Statements...” assumes that states will work to implement the standards once they are developed. The creation of a CCTC requires the same engagement by the states for devel -opment and adoption. Timing The development of the CCTC moves forward; this month, a toolkit of resources will be provided to states that participate in the creation of the CCTC. Of the states that commit, the work of convening state groups begins in February 2012. The final work is externally validated and will be ready for release and adoption in June 2012, along with the revalidated National Career Clusters Knowledge and Skills Statements. the development of the Common Core State Standards in math and ELA, the implementation of action steps associated with the CTE vision principles and a de-sire to connect the versions of state CTE standards, curriculum discipline stan-dards work, and industry-benchmarked standards; these were all influencers in support of creating a “Common Career Technical Core” (CCTC). The concept of the CCTC standards builds on the results and experiences that occurred in the development of the CCSS. The use of standards-setting criteria ( www.corestandards.org/ assets/criteria.pdf ) for rigor, the imple -mentation of Standards for Career-Ready Practices, and an approach that identifies “anchor standards” all influenced the approach taken to create the CCTC. The final list of CCTC standards are expected to reflect those most critical to the success of students at the career cluster and career pathway level. The CCTC framework has three primary levels. At the base are the Stan -dards for Career-Ready Practices. These practices, whose concept is modeled after the CCSS math practices, intend to reflect the 10-15 industry expectations that every student and adult will continue to practice, potentially at increasing levels of complexity, throughout the educational process. An emerging example might be ethics. Students would not necessarily take an assessment in middle school about ethics and forever demonstrate that they are ethical. The standard is something intended as a strategy for infusion in the instructional process at increasing levels www.acteonline.org of complexity. A second level is identified as the Career Cluster Anchor Standards. The use of the term “anchor standard” was derived from the work of the CCSS in ELA, in which anchor standards provide broad expectations across grades and con -tent areas. At the career cluster level these anchor standards represent eight to 15 of the critical expectations for students at the career cluster level. The third and final level is the Career Pathway Anchor Stan -dards. Driven by industry, these standards are more specific to the expectations within a career pathway area, associated with a career cluster. The potential for 10-25 unique anchor standards within a career pathway are internationally bench -marked, when possible, and reflect core expectations of industry. The end goal of the CCTC is not to replace existing industry standards, but rather to provide a resource that builds from the specific industry expectations of the Knowledge and Skills Statements, builds from the curriculum and state CTE standards, supports the industry standards preparation, and also aligns to the CCSS in math and ELA in support of ensuring all students are college-and career-ready. The Time is Now The uncertainty of many aspects of our world continues to challenge our assump -tions and approaches, but the CCTC can serve as one step forward. It is something that brings alignment among partici -pating states in the life-changing work delivered through CTE, and supports continued collaboration to support CTE: Learning that works for America. Dean R. Folkers, DM, is deputy executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and the National Career Technical Education Foundation, Silver Spring, Maryland. He can be contacted at dfolkers@careertech.org. Common Versus National or Federal Standards An important distinction to make is that the creation of common educational stan-dards is something that a state chooses to commit to and participate in, and is not something driven from a national or federal level. The participation and engagement of the states in the creation of a common core is essential, but also OCTOBER 2011 Techniques 29

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