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This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thozi: Fight, but provide evidence

If in FY 2010 the budget for L, H, HS and E appropriations, meaning Labor, Health, Human Services and Education, was $1.27b, and it had not increased since 2002, and if funding has actually decreased for Perkins programs by $42m, then those facts alone strongly suggest that funding should be increased at least by the suggested amount of $1.4b.

Another important fact to be considered is that enrolment in CTE has increased by more than 6 million students since 1999. In the 2006-2007 school year, CTE enrolment was reportedly at 15.6 million students. In recent years there have been record increases and many programs are reported to have waitlists. The enrolment facts appear to be another huge reason why funding should be increased to the suggested level at the least.

In addition to the above, the economy itself is crying out for skilled workers to join the workplace straight out of high school. CTE programs help shorten the delays associated with long years of training after high school. As the ACTE Executive Director has said, it makes no sense to aim at increasing education funding while leaving out Perkins programs when today’s competitive workforce cries out for skilled school leavers.

What I do find lacking in our discussion of this topic is credible evidence that Carl D. Perkins programs have been evaluated, and that the evaluations unmistakably show that the programs are on target, that they are producing the results expected, and that there is no wastage of financial resources. I think more attention should be paid to the proper and judicious use of evaluation techniques so that each and every program receiving federal funding can itself provide sufficient proof that it is doing what it was supposed to be doing. Perhaps skeptical politicians will be persuaded when CTE programs provide product evaluation results showing that they are using the funds correctly. Let the programs speak for themselves.

Enrollment numbers alone do not tell the complete story. We need to continue to argue vociferously for the continuance of, and increase in, appropriations for the of the Perkins funding, but we also need performance data to buttress our position and illustrate what we already believe is true, namely, that the Carl D. Perkins programs are a crucial element in our economy, and that they are providing the skills needed by the economy. Enrolment figures are certainly not enough to convince the public and lawmakers, especially in these tough economic times.

In my view, there is not so much a need to “fight” as there is one to “produce convincing evidence” of where we stand. Let us “fight” AFTER producing the performance results.


Scott said...

I think you are dead on my friend! The proof is in the pudding. When the programs stop producing qualified students there will be no need to fight because the battle is over.

Wyndell said...

Thozi, your posts are always insightful. If I didn’t believe that the Perkins funds were not absolutely necessary for the economic future of our nation and that all I was interested in was my job, I would not be as concerned. After all, we are in a recession, if not worse.

Thozi said...

I appreciate your comments, Wyndell and Scott. Thank you. It seems to me that we should do all in our power to prevent funds from drying up because that will kill the innovations that are currently in place. And yes, the recession is another powerful reason for us to fight to make sure funds are not stopped in favor of other competing interests.