Personalized Learning Embraced in New Federal Career and Technical Education Law

Topics: Education Policy

On July 31, 2018, President Trump signed legislation to renew the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act – a bill that passed the House and the Senate unanimously.

This marks a major win for workforce training advocates, but more importantly, for the students who will benefit from continued federal investment in high quality career readiness programs. The law’s many improvements will ensure that more students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to attain good paying and in demand jobs.

We are especially thrilled at KnowledgeWorks to see so many of these improvements align with the growing shift to create more personalized and competency-based learning environments. Specifically, these improvements include:

  • Definition of Career and Technical Education (CTE): Adds competency-based education and college in high school programs (such as early college high schools and dual enrollment) to the definition of CTE.
  • Accountability – Enables states to include the percentage of students graduating high school with postsecondary credits earned through dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and early college high schools as an indicator for their state CTE plans.
  • National Activities – Authorizes research grants for innovative methods of delivering high-quality CTE programs of study, including college in high school programs, and includes the expansion of dual enrollment and early college as an allowable use of funds under the new Innovation and Modernization grant program.
  • State Plan – Requires states to discuss in their state plans how they will make opportunities available for students to engage in college in high school programs and make information about those programs available to students.
  • State Leadership Activities – Allows states to use funds to support the creation and evaluation of competency-based curricula and to establish, expand and integrate opportunities for students to participate in college in high school programs at no cost to them or their families.
  • Local Application –  Requires local applicants to describe to their state how they will use funds to develop and implement programs to acquire college credit while in high school, including through dual enrollment and early college high school.
  • Local Use of Funds: Enables local grant recipients to dedicate funding toward the development of competency education and college in high school programs, including using funds to reduce out of pocket costs for special populations (low income students, students with disabilities, English language learners etc.)

Advance CTE’s extensive resource room includes more information on the new CTE law.