Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Wed04222015

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Back Opinion A community act

A community act

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LAST year, Feb. 22, 2011 to be exact, I wrote an article about a topic I’ve been advocating for many years – a better way to prepare students for the world beyond high school. I am talking about the New Career and Technical Education (CTE), a phrase coined by the U.S. Secretary of Education after the release of the report from Harvard Graduate School of Education Pathways to Prosperity Project (2/11/11).

A year later, President Obama continues to recognize the value of CTE projected in his State of the Union address.  He calls for our teachers to combine instruction in academic subjects and industry skills, as well as more partnerships between high schools and industry. In his Blueprint for an America Built to Last (1/24/12), the President outlines his goals to build a stronger economy through a workforce developed by an improved education system that works.

Locally, Gov. Calvo shared similar views and ambition to stimulate and sustain our economy – with public education “now at a turning point.” He called for the adoption of best practices (i.e. CTE), and the adoption of new “Common Core State Standards” to ensure our students are competitive locally and globally. So, our national and local leaders, as well as credible research findings, are clearly pointing to the positive impact of CTE.

On Guam, we have exciting developments wherein local and national goals intersect. First, in addition to the President’s and governor’s economic goals tied to education reform, there is the Guam Community College CTE five-year State Plan. Second, there is also the recent passage of the CCaRe Act (College and Career Readiness Act, P.L. 31-156).  Lastly, in the development stage is the new GDOE five-year District Action Plan, as well as the Guam five-year Workforce State Plan. It is becoming clear that our leading strategic plans share one critical denominator – Career and Technical Education.

Moving forward with CTE on Guam means change from the status quo. Yes, it will be a lot of work, but it is a task we must face if we want to see our youth, workforce and economy flourish. I want to take this opportunity to thank the hard-working members of the Guam CTE Task Force, our public leaders, educators, businesses and parents.  They all are helping to create a new force to improve how we prepare our students and workforce for a more vibrant economy.

As a result of the work of these key stakeholders, the first Guam CTE Summit will be held next week (Feb. 16 to 18).  I invite teachers, parents, students and especially our businesses to participate in this event. The Summit sets the stage for the beginning of a new era in how our community works together to alter and improve our education system.

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