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Monday Memo 2014-03-24

Interested in making a living? Try CareerTech; the importance of grit in teachers; Arizona considering performance-based funding; STEM Day at the Capitol; FIRST Robotics Game - Aerial Assist; STEM students compete in TSA state conference; opponents to Common Core also have concerns about workforce development; Baldrige conference will be key to our transition efforts; moving Oklahoma from Programs of Study to rigorous Programs of Study; and my schedule for the week.
Monday Memo 2014-03-24

STEM Day at the Capitol: Francis Tuttle Pre-Engineering students demonstrate their wheelchair lift prototype.

"Freedom lies in being bold." – Robert Frost

Interested in making a living? Try CareerTech

Here are some great examples of earnings of our CareerTech graduates. Congratulations to these and many more they represent.

Cyber Security Graduates—Tulsa Tech:

  • Student #1—CNSS 4011 Certification/$100,000 per year/Tech Evolutions
  • Student #2—MTA 349, CNSS/$35,000 per year/Tulsa Tech

Dental Hygiene Program—Tri County

  • Student #1—Dental Hygienist Certification/$62,000 per year/Dental Depot

Manufacturing Technology Program—Tulsa Tech

  • Student #1—NIMS Certification/$45,000 per year/BS&B Safety Systems
  • Student #2—NIMS Certification/$41,000/Enduro Pipeline and Supply
  • Student #3—NIMS Certification/$52,000/T.D. Williamson

Network Technology Graduates—Francis Tuttle

  • Student #1—Tia A+ Certificate/$35,000 per year/Oklahoma County Government
  • Student #2—Tia, A+, Net +/$42,000 per year/Dell Computer
  • Student #3—MCP Certification/$42,000 per year/Dell Computer
  • Student #4—MCSA Certification/$60,000 per year/Google
  • Student #5—MCSA Certification/$60,000 per year/Google
  • Student #6—Cyber Security Certification/$42,000 per year/Dell Computer

Respiratory Therapy—Autry Tech

  • Student #1—RespiratoryTherapist Certification/$50,000 per year/Integris Health System

The importance of grit in teachers

Grit is being recognized as a key to life success. Researchers are recognizing that those students who have grit and solid academic skills succeed more often than those with just academic skills. Now there is emerging evidence that grit plays a role in teacher success as well. A study ( completed by Claire Robertson-Kraft and Angela Lee Duckworth has shown that novice teachers in high-poverty school districts were more successful if they had higher levels of “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” The authors suggest grit should be one of several factors considered in hiring teachers.

Arizona considering performance-based funding

The current budget proposal from CareerTech includes a provision for performance-based funding. This proposal is unique in its approach to setting the amount to be paid, but it is not unique in education funding trends. Arizona, for example, is developing a performance-based funding approach for all Arizona schools. The state is using a unique twist to establishing the approach. It is legislating a parallel simulation process that will show schools what they would receive on a performance basis if they were actually using the system. Schools are provided a voluntary transition to the new system as well.

STEM Day at the Capitol

STEM Day at the Capitol will be March 25. Numerous technology centers, high schools and middle schools will set up booths showcasing biomedical science, biotechnology, food and nutrition, Gateway To Technology, pre-engineering and robotics. Students will participate in demonstrations to show Oklahoma legislators their knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and why they aspire to excel in the STEM field. (contributed by Becki Foster)

FIRST Robotics Game - Aerial Assist

OK FIRST Robotics Regional Competition will start preliminary matches March 27 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City and will run through March 29. More than 46 Oklahoma teams will compete in a varsity Sport for the Mind. FIRST Robotics combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design team brands, hone teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Students get to learn from professional engineers, build and compete with robots of their own design, learn and use sophisticated software and hardware, compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments, compete to earn a place in the World Championship and qualify for more than $19 million in college scholarships. More than 50 teams will compete. Our CareerTech teams are the toughest competitors. Opening ceremonies are at 8:30 a.m. daily, and admission is free. (contributed by Becki Foster)

STEM students compete in TSA state conference

The Technology Student Association state conference is right around the corner April 1-3 at the Reed Convention Center in Midwest City. We expect approximately 1,000 students will compete for a chance to move on to the national conference in June in Washington D.C. Students will compete in many STEM-related competitions, including CAD, Biotechnology, Energy Sources, Flight, Solar Sprint Cars, STEM animation and VEX Robotics. Our opening general session will kick off with Adley Stump, “The Voice” contestant, singing the national anthem. The popular American Cancer Society fundraising event will follow in the evening. If your schedule allows, please stop by. (contributed by Becki Foster)

Opponents to Common Core also have concerns about workforce development

According to information provided by those opposed to Common Core, specifically ROPE, they also have concerns regarding use of public tax dollars for workforce development programs, specifically career training in high school and customized training for companies. They consider it the responsibility of the individual and companies to do all workforce training. It is unclear what this means for CareerTech moving forward.

Baldrige conference will be key to our transition efforts

A group of CareerTech staff will attend the annual Quest for Excellence Conference in Baltimore, MD. This conference showcases national Baldrige Award recipients and is an incredible professional development opportunity. It will be especially important as the agency transitions to a Baldrige-based approach to operating. It will also inform our efforts to transition our accreditation process to a Baldrige-based approach. For more information about the conference, go to

Two past Oklahoma Baldrige winners, Jenks Public School District and Mesa Manufacturing, will be a part of this year’s program.

Moving Oklahoma from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study

Beginning in 2011, ODCTE has been involved in preparing to work with schools to move Oklahoma from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study. This move is in preparation for anticipated changes in the next Carl Perkins reauthorization and builds upon past school improvement initiatives like Tech Prep and School to Work.

ODCTE staff and field representatives have participated in the National RPOS Institute conducted by the National Research Center for CTE and have conducted both a state institute with nine institutions and a statewide summit. We have been presenting the RPOS concept at summer conference and GuidanceFest and conducted a statewide survey of RPOS capacity. For this work, we received the Innovation in Career Pathways National Award from the National Association of Career Pathways Leadership.

We have taken the lessons learned and are providing online videos to help CTE practitioners prepare to implement RPOS in their schools. A series of 12 videos on our website highlights the Rigorous Programs of Study framework. These videos cover the basic concept of RPOS that we expect Perkins recipients in high schools, technology centers and higher education institutions will be required to implement. The videos also include related information from the “Programs of Study: Local Implementation Readiness and Capacity Self-Assessment” developed by OVAE, data from the Oklahoma RPOS Assessment and real-world examples of how RPOS looks at the local level from the Oklahoma RPOS Institute participants.

The videos are available at

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:


Senate Education Committee
Perkins planning meeting
General office work


Department of Career and Technology Education Board Meeting
Governor’s Cabinet meeting
OETA interview
Northwest Oklahoma Alliance Legislative Reception


America Works – Oklahoma Extra Conference Reception


America Works Conference


America Works Conference
Oklahoma Robotics Luncheon
Perkins planning meeting

See you around!

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