Infusing Career and Technical Education into High School Reform

Infusing Career and Technical Education into High School Reform
Infusing Career and Technical Education into High School Reform

Study Tour Material(s):

A Field Trip  — Sacramento, CA  November 12-14, 2008

Career Technical Education is receiving increased attention from policymakers, educators, and the public due to its pivotal potential to drive education reform and stimulate workforce and economic development.  Faced with high school student dropout rates, escalating competition in the global labor market, and a pressing need for skilled workers, states are re-examining the role of CTE. As high school drop-out rates hold steady at 30 percent over the past 25 years, and it becomes evident that the public school system is failing to engage and graduate large numbers of youth, the need to engage students in their classes and coursework becomes critical.

In California, the Governor, Legislature, California Department of Education, businesses, the industry sector, community colleges, University of California and California State University systems, foundations, and the public are all examining CTE with a view to preparing students for college and the global labor market.  Moving beyond traditional vocational education, the successful implementation of the new CTE relies on all of these various stakeholders working cooperatively to prepare students for lifelong education, long-term careers, and participation in the workplace.

The focus of the trip to Sacramento is to learn about California’s efforts at improving career and technical education, to witness the interaction between state initiatives and district implementation, and to examine the impact of the reform at the school level by visiting schools and hearing from principals, teachers and students.  Participants will:

  1. Meet with a variety of stakeholders, including state officials and business leaders, involved in California’s CTE reform efforts in order to gain an understanding of the state’s high school redesign initiatives.
  2. Learn about the leadership and partnerships necessary to ensure effective implementation, including partnerships between secondary and post-secondary institutions, and schools and business leaders.
  3. Learn about the state’s process for implementing the new CTE, including the creation of CTE Standards and Framework, the provision of funding to implement new curricula and refurbish facilities, and efforts to address CTE teacher preparation.
  4. See examples of two schools that are illustrative of the new strategies and programs.
  5. Learn about the role of private enterprise as a critical component in the reform work.
  6. Engage in discussion about how the information relates to their own work in their states.

Study Tour Resource:

Two New Laws Expand CTE Programs:

Speaker Biographies

Jack O’Connell State Superintendent of Public Instruction was elected to a second four-year term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction on June 6, 2006. He was the only statewide official to be elected in the June primary election, after earning more than half of all votes cast in a field of five candidates. He was first elected to serve as California’s 26th State Superintendent on November 5, 2002, earning more votes than any other contested candidate in the country. As chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, Superintendent O’Connell has focused on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for a rapidly changing global economy by holding high standards for all students. He is a strong supporter and facilitator of partnerships between schools, businesses, communities, and philanthropies in order to engage students with challenging, real-world education experiences.

He has worked to smooth the transitions between all segments of education, from preschool to college or the workplace. As a former high school teacher and author of the legislation creating the California High School Exit Exam, he has led a comprehensive effort to increase rigor and improve student achievement in California high schools. Superintendent O’Connell is a proven team builder with the ability to forge consensus on contentious issues, especially where challenges are strongest. He has worked to fortify California’s world-class academic standards, strengthen California’s school accountability and assessment systems and bolster state funding for public school classrooms. He also has been a leader among state school chiefs nationwide in an effort to increase flexibility and fairness in the federal No Child Left Behind school accountability system. He is a long-time advocate for smaller class sizes, improved teacher recruitment and retention, comprehensive testing, and up-to-date school facilities.

Superintendent O’Connell was born in 1951 in Glen Cove, New York. In 1958, his family moved to Southern California, where he attended local public schools. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from California State University (CSU), Fullerton and earned his secondary teaching credential from CSU, Long Beach in 1975. He returned to his high school alma mater to teach for several years and later served on the Santa Barbara County School Board.

He was elected to the 35th State Assembly District in 1982 and was reelected by wide margins thereafter, once garnering both the Republican and the Democratic nominations. In 1994, O’Connell was elected to the 18th State Senate District on California’s Central Coast and easily won reelection in 1998.

Throughout his career, Superintendent O’Connell has worked to improve public education in California. As the author of numerous landmark education bills in both the California Assembly and the State Senate, he made quality education his number one priority. This commitment to the children of California earned Superintendent O’Connell the praise and the respect of colleagues and educators statewide.   Superintendent O’Connell and his wife, Doree, have been married for more than 30 years and have a daughter, Jennifer, who is 22.

Paul Navarro was appointed Deputy Legislative Secretary by Governor Schwarzenegger in November 2003. In this capacity, Paul represents the Governor’s legislative and budgetary priorities on all issues regarding K-12 and higher education, as well as state and consumer services, and makes recommendations directly to the Governor to sign or veto proposed legislation. Paul works closely with the Department of Finance and Cabinet secretaries to ensure the development and strategic implementation of these policy issues. He was principally responsible for the negotiation and solution in the landmark lawsuit settlement, Williams v. State of California, the higher education funding compact, the K-University school bond, and the California high School Exit Exam litigation. Paul provides policy direction in the development of external communications and relations to the press, legislature, interest groups, and the general public, and represents the Governor through speeches and panel discussions in public and private forums.  Prior to joining the Schwarzenegger Administration, Paul worked in various roles in the state legislature including Chief Fiscal & Budget Adviser for the Office of the Assembly Republican Leader from 2000 to 2003, Chief Consultant for the Assembly Republican Budget & Appropriations Committees from 1997 to 2000, and Principal Consultant for the Assembly Education Committee from 1996 to 1997.   Paul earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and received his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

Dr. Patrick Ainsworth joined the California Department of Education (CDE) in November 1996. Currently, he serves as Assistant Superintendent and Director of the Secondary, Postsecondary, and Adult Leadership Division. He oversees secondary education, alternative education, adult education, college preparation and postsecondary relations, career and technical education, and workforce preparation programs. A few examples of responsibilities include middle and high school reform, smaller learning communities, continuation high schools, court and community schools, independent study, Partnership Academies, Regional Occupational Centers and Programs, gender equity compliance, business and industry partnerships, and oversight of state and federal programs totaling over $1 billion in annual revenues. Patrick also works at the federal level designated as the State Director of Career Technical Education and State Director of Adult Education.

Prior to joining the CDE, Patrick worked for the Riverside County Office of Education, where he served as the Administrator of a countywide consortium consisting of nineteen school districts devoted to educating and career training for disadvantaged and at-risk high school aged youth. He also served as Principal-Coordinator, Instructional Specialist, and Counselor while at the county office. Patrick began his career in education as a substitute teacher, transitioned into teaching of severely handicapped youth and adults, and served as a high school counselor for nine years at Lake Elsinore and La Sierra High Schools.

Dr. Ainsworth earned his Doctorate in Educational Management and Leadership from University of La Verne (July 2000). His dissertation was titled, Policy Alternatives for Increasing the Number of California’s Graduating High School Students Having the Essential Employability Skills Necessary to Compete in the New Economy. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science (1975), Master’s Degree in Education-Counseling (1977) at California State University San Bernardino, and holds credentials in Pupil Personnel Services and Professional Administrative Services. He has supervised the development of the award winning high school reform book titled, Aiming High, High Schools for the 21st Century (May 2002), which is in wide use throughout California and the nation. He led the development of the state board approved Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards publication (May 2005) and the CTE Framework (January 2007). His division released the on-line document for middle schools, Taking Center Stage Act II (April 08). He co-authored the February 2000 report, California Workforce Development: A Policy Framework for Economic Growth. He was also the principal author for the California Department of Education’s widely cited policy document, Workforce Investment Act, Policy Issues and Options for Education (January 1999).

Professionally, Patrick is the Superintendent’s Designee on the California Workforce Investment Board, Joint Boards Advisory Committee, Community College Economic Development Policy Advisory Council, and numerous other key groups. He served as President of the California Career Resource Network, as a member of the One-Stop Career Center Task Force, and was principal staff to the Joint Board Task Force on Adult Education of the California Community College Board of Governors and State Board of Education. He has also served as President of the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs, Chair of the ACSA Region 3 Secondary Education Council, and on the Board of LEED Sacramento, Linking Education and Economic Development. During 1995, Dr. Ainsworth was President of the American Lung Association (ALA) of the Inland Counties and participated in developing the ALA Strategic Plans at the State and National levels. He has also served on the Boards of Directors for both the San Bernardino YMCA and the Tri-Valley YMCA.

In addition to these experiences Patrick has worked for the YMCA, was a musician and recording engineer, and for seven years hosted a weekly television show for the King Video Cable System. Pat is married to his wonderful wife and partner of 33 years, Karen. They have three fabulous children – Amanda (29) and twins Randy and Ryan (24). In his spare time Pat enjoys gardening, woodworking, snow skiing, water sports, fishing, and camping.

Jack Scott was born in Sweetwater, Texas, and graduated from high school there. He then received his Bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University, his Master of Divinity from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in American history from Claremont Graduate University.  Jack and his wife, Lacreta, moved to Los Angeles in 1962.  He was a faculty member and administrator at Pepperdine University (1962-73).  He began his career at community colleges as Dean of Instruction at Orange Coast College (1973-78).  He then was President of Cypress College (1978-87) and President of Pasadena City College (1987-1995).  At Pasadena City College he instituted a $100 million master plan that led to the construction of four new buildings and the modernization of the campus. He was also active in statewide organizations, serving as President of the Association of California Community College Administrators (1990-92 ) and Chair of Western Association Accrediting Commission of College and Universities (1992-94) In 1996, Jack Scott was elected to the California State Assembly.  He was re-elected in 1998, and then was elected to the State Senate in 2000, and re-elected in 2004.  He has authored 158 bills that have become law.  He is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee.  He has been named Legislator of the Year by 15 different organizations including California State University, California Federation of Teachers, University of California Alumni Association, California School Boards Association, and California Community College Trustees.  He also was the first person to receive the California Community College Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was named Alumnus of the Year by Claremont Graduate University in 2000 and Abilene Christian University in 2003.   Jack’s wife, Lacreta, is a retired professor of English at Cerritos College and writes a monthly column appearing in five southern California newspapers.

Susan Wilbur is the Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California system (9 undergraduate campuses). In this role she works with UC faculty who determine the University’s undergraduate admissions policies and with campus admissions directors in implementing admissions policies.  She provides administrative leadership and oversight for the University’s Undergraduate Admissions Application system, UC’s statewide high school and community college articulation programs, admissions research activities and a broad variety of topics related to enrollment planning and management.   Prior to arriving at the UC Office of the President (UCOP) in 2003, she spent 23 years at UC’s Irvine campus.  At UCI, her positions ranged from school relations officer, to articulation officer, to Assistant/Associate and Director of the Office of Relations with Schools and Colleges, to the Director of Admissions and Relations with Schools (1993 through 2002). While serving as the Director of Admissions, she oversaw an exemplary admissions program during a time of substantial growth and increasing selectivity.  In the wake of Proposition 209 in 1996, she implemented a new race-blind admissions process for the Irvine campus (see: Testing a New Approach to Admissions: The Irvine Experience, co-authored with M. Bonous-Hammarth in Orfield et al, Chilling Admissions: The Affirmative Action Crisis and the Search for Alternatives, Harvard Education Publishing Group, 1998).   She received her A.B. and M.A. in History from the University of Southern California, and her Ph.D. in Higher Education from UCLA. She also has served on various professional association committees and has presented on a variety of admissions and enrollment topics at state, regional and national professional conferences.  Approximately 220,000 students were enrolled at the University of California for the fall 2008 term, including 165,000 undergraduate students.  The University uses a comprehensive application review process in which student applications are considered based upon a broad range of contextual factors, including course work, grades earned, standardized test scores, community service, leadership, individual talents and personal and educational experiences.  UC received over 121,000 freshman and transfer applications for the fall 2008 term.

Steven M. Ladd, Ed.D was named superintendent of the Elk Grove Unified School District in December 2004. He is the fifth superintendent since the district formed in 1959.

He brings years of experience and a commitment to educational leadership that includes administrative positions in Florida, Oregon and California. At Elk Grove Unified, Ladd continues his legacy of academic success and community involvement matched with fiscal responsibility.

Ladd is respected among peers for his communication skills and ability to collaborate with educators and community members. His areas of interest include leadership development and improved academic achievement. In addition, Ladd has made closing the achievement gap a key component of his agenda at Elk Grove Unified.

Prior to heading EGUSD, Ladd served as superintendent of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, from 2000 to 2004.  Before coming to California, Ladd worked at two diverse school districts – Dade County, Florida, which had an enrollment of 300,000 students and is the fourth largest district in the nation; and Beaverton, Oregon, which has more than 35,000 students.

As an assistant superintendent for school support in Oregon, Ladd oversaw business, human resources, and community involvement divisions. He also helped plan the construction of many new schools and worked closely with local colleges.

Ladd began his educational career in 1972 as a teacher’s aide in Dade County, Florida. He eventually became a regional director for 42 Dade schools.  He earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a master’s degree in administration and supervision of vocational education, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education from Florida International University. He has served as a consultant with the Panasonic Foundation on school reform and has spoken to school districts and businesses throughout the country.

Dr. Ladd is a member of several professional and civic organizations.  In January 2007, Ladd was named to the National Superintendents Roundtable, a select group of 50 U.S. school superintendents supported by the College Board and Johnson and Kellogg foundations.  He serves on the California School Boards Association and the Superintendents’ Council Advisory.  In addition, he is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, the Association of California School Administrators, the Suburban Superintendents Symposium and the Horace Mann League.  He is also a member of ConnectEd’s Career Pathway Committee, a board member of LEED (Linking Education with Economic Development) and a member of CANDEL (Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership).  As a member of Rotary and the Foundation Board for the Cosumnes River College, he contributes his energy and leadership to the community.

David (Dave) Butler currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for LEED – Linking Education and Economic Development.  As CEO for LEED, Butler oversees a staff of seven and is responsible for all operational, financial and organizational activities.  LEED is a non-profit economic development organization serving the six-county Sacramento region.  An affiliate of the Sacramento Metro Chamber, LEED’s scope of work is defined as “aligning education to meet regional workforce needs.”  LEED is governed by a 30 member board of directors comprised of top leadership from public and private sector employers, educators from K-12, community college, CSUS and UC Davis, and civic partners, including representatives of business, labor and economic development organizations.  Butler has helped shepherd LEED from a focus on educational reform with one major district, to a broader economic development focus, positioning education as a principal contributor to meeting regional workforce development needs and achieving regional economic objectives.

Prior to his hiring at LEED in November, 2007, Butler served as Sr. Vice President of Public Policy for the Sacramento Metro Chamber where he oversaw public policy and economic development activities, business advocacy efforts, staffed the chamber’s political action committee and a variety of programs and events, including the annual Cap-to-Cap Trip and the Study Mission program.

While at the Metro Chamber, Butler helped lead business community’s efforts in support of Measure A, Sacramento county’s half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation projects, that included additional expenditures for transit and additional roadway construction; led the Metro Chamber’s successful efforts in three recent ballot measures: Measures G and H, which retained utility existing $16 million in tax revenues to fund police, fire and parks programs in Sacramento County; and the defeat of Measure T, a measure that would have reduced the city of Sacramento’s general fund by up to $30 million over five years, forcing cuts in police, fire and other local programs.

Butler was born in Sacramento and grew up in the Meadowview area, attending Freeport Elementary, John Still Jr. High and John F. Kennedy High School in south Sacramento.  Active in student affairs, Butler was student body president at Kennedy in 1979.

Upon high school graduation, Butler attended UCLA, received BA in Political Science with an emphasis in State and Local Government in 1983.

After graduating from UCLA, Butler worked for Jon Douglas Company Realtors a multi-office residential and commercial real estate brokerage based in Beverly Hills with offices throughout West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.  Butler performed marketing and public relations duties, including serving as Regional Marketing Manager, overseeing marketing and public relations activities of five offices.

From 1988 to 1995, Butler worked for the Los Angeles Times as an advertising sales representative, working with real estate, employment and automotive clients.

After serving in volunteer capacities in political campaigns and with the UCLA Alumni Association, in 1995, Butler decided to pursue a career in politics and government, landing a job as District Representative with state Senator Sen. Cathie Wright, (R-Simi Valley).  While there, Butler worked with community leaders to save several successful sports programs when university officials threatened to eliminate the sports due to budget constraints. In 1997, Butler and his family relocated to the Sacramento area after accepting a position with state Senator Sen. Tim Leslie.  Butler ultimately served as Leslie’s district director, representing 13 counties, including Placer and El Dorado.  On behalf of Sen. Leslie, Butler worked with local elected officials to reinstate the Capitol Corridor Rail Service after state officials announced elimination of the service due to, budget constraints.

Gary Hoachlander is president of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career. Beginning his career in 1966 as a brakeman for the Western Maryland Railroad, he has devoted most of his professional life to helping young people learn by doing—connecting education to the opportunities, challenges, and many different rewards to be found through work. Widely known for his expertise in career and technical education and many other aspects of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, Gary has consulted extensively for the U.S. Department of Education, state departments of education, local school districts, foundations, and a variety of other clients. Gary earned his B.A. degree at Princeton University and holds a Master’s and Ph.D. degree from the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley.

Gary is also Chairman of MPR Associates, Inc., an educational research and development organization closely affiliated with ConnectEd, and also one of the country’s leading policy analysts for the U.S. Department of Education, including the National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. Both MPR Associates and ConnectEd are headquartered in Berkeley, California.

Recently established by the James Irvine Foundation, ConnectEd is dedicated to advancing practice, policy, and research designed to help young people prepare for college and career—both goals and not one or the other. The Center has as its primary mission supporting the development of multiple pathways by which young people can complete high school, enroll in postsecondary education, attain a formal credential, and embark on lasting success in work, community, and civic affairs. The Center promotes comprehensive, demanding programs of study that connect academics with professional and technical education and that are organized around such fields as business and finance, biomedical and health sciences, building and environmental design, information technology, and other major industries.


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