Executive Director’s Report: August 15, 2014

Meeting of the Student Organizations
On July 17, the student organization executive directors who are members of the National Coordinating Council of the Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) met in Arlington, Virginia at the headquarters of Phi Delta Kappa. Council meetings are always a good opportunity to share best practices and news and to work together as a group representing the CTSOs. An example of the last is the introduction drafts of new 20-page four-color booklets summarizing the value of career and technical education, student organizations and industry partnerships for every state. Prepared principally as advocacy tools, the booklets contain state profiles similar to the one-pagers here: www.ctsos.org/advocate/state-ctso-reports/, and logos of sponsors and supporters in the state. The back pages show spreadsheets of the individual schools in each congressional district, the number of CTSO members and the organizations represented in the school. If advocates speak not only of the number of members but family members and friends as well, the numbers can be impressive.

There was also a presentation on National Board Teaching Standards–National Board Certification. It’s a voluntary certification. Teachers have to have been in the profession at least three years. It’s a performance-based assessment developed by subject matter experts who are themselves National Board Certified. The group is in the process of developing standards for instruction in career and technical education, and CTSOs will be included as part of what it takes to be an accomplished CTE instructor. The certification process will specify that CTSOs should be part of the instructional program to guide all students – including nontraditional students – to be college and career-ready.

Highlights

  • For your viewing pleasure, we have some new video clips from conference prepared by Tom Kercheval and posted on the SkillsUSA YouTube site. One is the speech given by Cameron Ferguson of Caterpillar during the Opening Ceremony. Another is Mike Rowe’s acceptance of the Torch Carrier Award during the Awards Ceremony.
  • Assessment revenues are up again this year. Patty Duncan has run the numbers, and Skill Connect Assessment revenue is up 16 percent over last year and ASE assessment revenues to SkillsUSA are up nine percent.
  • Dave Worden was in California from July 31 to August 3 working with Clay Mitchell, state association director, on the SkillsUSA California Championships. Dave reports that California is mimicking nearly every aspect of the national competition in both its regional and state contests. That includes getting industry heavily involved, education teams, aligning all contests with the national standards and running contests a full day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sounds exciting and promising for all concerned.
  • In the category of more improvements around here, the new donated Carrier air conditioning units for the national office were delivered last week and will be installed during the first week of September. Also, we’ll soon be able to check off one of the items in our energy audit, new lighter-weight and wind-resistant light poles were put up around the parking lot this week and they burn LED bulbs so they’re more energy efficient. And, the new accounting software package is continuing on schedule. Kim Graham and Missy Wilson had training for two days in July and there are two more days scheduled later this month.
  • The State Association Directors Annual Professional Development and Training Conference, August 12 - 16 in Louisville, Ky. has a packed agenda. We begin with new director training on August 11 and that continues into August 13. Of course, a major focus will be to get all of the directors oriented in Louisville. It’ll be a great conference.
  • And, one last thing. In the last edition I wrote about the move of the SkillsUSA Championships equipment from Kansas City to Louisville. What I’d forgotten to ask Jim Kregiel was how many miles were driven in the move. The answer was 24,610 miles, a little over eight trips across the continental United States. That was a big move!

That’s it for now. Until next time, thank you for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.