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Monday Memo 2014-03-10

Attorney general provides opinion regarding Tech Center annexation rules; dual enrollment with CTE focus seen as strategy for college completion and workforce investment; this week on Oklahoma Horizon; Nicole Biddinger - Tri County Technology Center; President’s budget falls short on building investment in CTE; Ohio delegation visits Oklahoma - opportunities exist for collaboration; CareerTech STEM program adds another success story; the WWTC PLTW Biomedical Science Academy is in its first year; and my schedule for the week.
Monday Memo 2014-03-10

A biotech engineering course at Tri County Technology Center allowed Bartlesville High School senior Nicole Biddinger to combine her love of biology and engineering principles.

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." – Winston Churchill

Attorney general provides opinion regarding Tech Center annexation rules

The attorney general has released an opinion regarding the role of the Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education in establishing annexation and deannexation rules. The opinion was in response to a request submitted by
Rep. Mike Shelton. The following are the salient points of the opinion:

It is, therefore, the official Opinion of the Attorney General that:

  1. The State Board of Career and Technology Education has the authority to promulgate an administrative rule that establishes procedures for common school districts to annex to a technology center school district or to deannex from a technology center school district pursuant to OKLA. CONST, art. X, § 9B and 70 O.S.2011, § 14-108(11).
  2. If legislation were enacted pursuant to OKLA. CONST, art. X, § 9B(H) to specifically prescribe procedures related to annexation to and deannexation from a technology center school district, the legislation would supersede the effect of the administrative rule promulgated at OAC 780:15-3-5 by the State Board of Career and Technology Education when there is an irreconcilable conflict between the rule and the statute.
  3. If a tax levy in a technology center school district is established through an election called for that purpose, the State Board of Career Technology Education does not have the authority to promulgate a rule providing for a gradual phase-in or phase-out of the tax levy for newly annexed or deannexed territory. OKLA . CONST, art. X, § 9B.

The full opinion is available at oag.state.ok.us.

Dual enrollment with CTE focus seen as strategy for college completion and workforce investment

The following article is from a recent study showing CareerTech to be a key to increasing college completion and workforce investment. This is consistent with a steady stream of reports that show if you want to get better academic results and college completion rates and a more prepared workforce, the solution must include CareerTech. Please note: In Oklahoma, dual enrollment is what happens when students are in high-end academic coursework and attend a CareerTech program in a tech center.

DENVER -- An increasing number of students are participating in dual enrollment courses with a career and technical education focus, a trend that research shows should serve states interested in improving college completion and workforce investment.

The Education Commission of the States today released a report highlighting research that links CTE dual enrollment courses with improved outcomes for traditionally underserved students. In some cases, students in CTE dual enrollment courses outperformed those in traditional academic dual enrollment courses.

The report also outlined four policy components that state leaders should consider to ensure access to CTE dual enrollment programs and to assure the quality and transferability of the courses.

Among the highlights of the research findings:

  • More than 80 percent of high schools have students in dual enrollment programs, according to the most recent federal data, and nearly half the schools have students in CTE dual enrollment classes.
  • That translates into more than 600,000 students in CTE dual enrollment, or an annual growth rate of more than 5 percent between 2002-03 and 2010-11.
  • Studies show CTE dual enrollment students are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in a four-year college or university full-time and persist in higher education. Researchers in one study noted, “In many cases, male and low-income students benefitted more from dual enrollment participation than their more advantaged peers.”

This week on Oklahoma Horizon

  • FIRST Robotics Program: STEM education is the driving force behind the FIRST Robotics program and could very well determine our nation’s future.
  • Robotics: On the Road to OKC: Working with professional engineers and other mentors, students design, build and program robots for competition.
  • Robotics World Championship: Oklahoma students travel to St. Louis, Mo., to compete in what has been called the Super Bowl of Smarts.

Nicole Biddinger - Tri County Technology Center

CareerTech launches Nicole Biddinger into the study of health and disease research.

THEN: A biotech engineering course at Tri County Technology Center allowed Bartlesville High School senior Nicole to combine her love of biology and engineering principles. By signing up for the TCTC course, which also includes medicine and biosciences, Nicole confirmed her major in college – biology with an emphasis on health and disease research; earned an internship at Oklahoma State University in the zoology lab, where she studied the effect of climate change on the genetic evolution of water fleas; and discovered joy in serving others as chapter president of the student organization HOSA while providing a Christmas celebration at a local homeless shelter.

NOW: Nicole is continuing her education at Purdue University to study biology-health and disease. Her plans – to attend graduate school and pursue a career in research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institutes of Health – include combining her love of science and medicine with the joy she found in helping others.

President’s budget falls short on building investment in CTE

The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for FY 2015. This document, normally released in early February, outlines the administration’s spending priorities for the coming fiscal year. The budget proposal includes leveling funds for the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion in FY 2015, with no increase for CTE national programs either. ACTE is concerned that continued inadequacies in state Perkins funding, which is proposed at $5 million below pre-sequester levels and more than $140 million below FY 2010 levels, are negatively affecting high schools, CTE centers, community and technical colleges, employers and millions of CTE students nationwide.

Ohio delegation visits Oklahoma; opportunities exist for collaboration

A delegation of nine educators from Ohio visited our state March 4-7. They were specifically interested in our biotech and biomed programs, as they advance efforts in these areas. They also wanted to learn about our state’s approaches to digital learning and discuss strategies for pooling resources in these endeavors.

Oklahoma extended amazing hospitality to this group the entire week! Special thanks to our hosts at Tulsa Tech, Southern Oklahoma Tech, Moore-Norman Tech, ODCTE, Metro Tech, Summit Middle School and Francis Tuttle Tech for the tours, presentations and meals provided to this group. They were generous beyond words. The delegation left Oklahoma with an appreciation for our beautiful facilities, but more importantly for the innovative programs and special educators in our state. We look forward to many opportunities to work together to meet the needs of students in both our states. (contributed by Kimberly Sadler)

CareerTech STEM program adds another success story.

Tanner Bowen, a Wes Watkins Technology Center Project Lead The Way Biomedical Science Academy student, has been named a Fleming Scholar Intern. Tanner will spend eight weeks this summer at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation working in Dr. Courtney Griffin’s lab. The lab studies epigenetics and the effects of blood vessel development. Tanner is a senior from Weleetka High School.

The WWTC PLTW Biomedical Science Academy is in its first year. Mike Lindley is the instructor. (contributed by Becki Foster)

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:

Monday

Non-work day
Meeting with legislators
Meeting with comprehensive school superintendent group
Tribal leaders reception

Tuesday

Meeting with legislator
Presentation on Hyperion
Meeting with governor and staff
Legislator luncheon
Meeting with comprehensive school superintendent group

Wednesday

Meeting with legislator
Legislative briefing
Bowling Green State University student group
Tech Cent$ luncheon and graduation
Senior leader meeting

Thursday

America Works Summit data call
Comprehensive superintendents advisory group
Tech center superintendents
Meeting with statewide educator groups

Friday

Morning chat with staff
Train the Trainer session
Meeting with Tony Pivec
Meeting with Kimberly Osmani
Meeting with two OSU deans

See you around!

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