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Monday Memo 2014-05-27

Legislature provides no new funding; academic work will continue; agency staff meeting June 2; PLAN and EXPLORE changes; get a bachelor's degree for $10,000; Oklahoma CareerTech Summer Conference registration now open; Continuous School Improvement Workshop registration now open; and my schedule for the week.
“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Legislature provides no new funding

Although there was strong support from many legislators, the tight budget left CareerTech without any new money for our various initiatives. We did end up flat-funded, which is much better than many parts of Oklahoma government were able to do.

The legislature did transfer the adult basic education functions from the Oklahoma Department of Education to our system. Some funding came with this transfer, including a small sum for state leadership and the funding for the ABE sites throughout the state. Most of this funding is from federal sources.

Some initiatives will go forward with modification. The overall legislative budget request did include some coverage of a few initiatives via reallocation of resources we were already provided. The upgrade of the information management system, installation of a statewide career development platform and our digital content work will move forward in modest form. We are also evaluating some existing resources that can be repurposed to do small performance-based funding pilot work. Stay tuned on this issue.

Academic work will continue

We can anticipate no relief from our need to address academic challenges moving forward. As we know, the academic demands of the workplace are at or near those of college entrance. The demise of the Reading Sufficiency Act and the anticipated rollback of the academic standards will mean we face continued challenges from students ill-prepared to do high-level CareerTech work. This won’t be a change from our current status. Fortunately, we are increasing our support of academic quality through High Schools That Work, Tech Centers That Work, WorkKeys initiatives and our efforts to support AP coursework.

Agency staff meeting June 2

The annual agency staff meeting will be June 2 at Meridian Tech. This year’s event will focus on the importance of continuous improvement and innovation. Specific work will focus on assuring everyone understands the work before us in the coming 12 months. Many staff members have been involved in the work.

PLAN and EXPLORE changes

The coming school year (2014-15) will be the last year the PLAN and EXPLORE assessments will be offered in Oklahoma. ACT is changing its assessment offerings. To hear more about these changes, plan to attend one of the six workshops the Oklahoma EPAS team offers in early fall. The flier is attached, and registration is open at http://www.okhighered.org/epas/prof-dev.shtml. (contributed by Becki Foster)

Get a bachelor's degree for $10,000

Here is an interesting article and video about a new bachelor’s degree offered to anyone from an out-of-state university. More of these sorts of approaches to higher education are emerging every day. Increasingly, the sophistication of programs partially based on digital delivery and competency-based education are gaining the attention of mainstream students and universities. http://usat.ly/1qeRZXv

Oklahoma CareerTech Summer Conference registration now open

Summer Conference registration is now open. To register for the conference, go to
www.okcareertech.org/summer-conference/registration. If you have any questions regarding registration or need technical assistance while registering, please contact the OkACTE office at 405-525-8906 or dnewsom@okacte.org.

Continuous School Improvement Workshop registration now open

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education will host a Continuous School Improvement Workshop Aug. 6 at Tulsa Cox Convention Center. The workshop will reinforce the key requirements and major processes that support Oklahoma CareerTech’s strategic purposes.

A post-CareerTech Summer Conference activity, the CSI workshop has a separate registration with a fee of $50 per person. Space is limited, so registration for the workshop is on a first come, first served basis. Please see the website for more details. Questions may be directed to LaMecia Stidham or Gina Hubbard.

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:

Monday
Holiday

Tuesday
Senior leadership meeting
Performance-based funding review – ODCTE staff

Wednesday
Meeting with Marty Lewis
Department of Commerce taping
Operation College Promise
Meeting with OBR regarding cooperative alliance issues

Thursday
Planning meeting for state staff meeting
Meeting with Dr. Siano
Meeting on Governor’s Council on Economic and Workforce Development
Possible Commission on Educational Quality and Accountability

Friday
Non-work day

See you around!

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