Johan Uvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for OVAE, was a featured panelist at the 2013 U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference in Austin, TX on June 18. The session, which focused on “Transforming Career and Technical Education for the Global Economy,” was moderated by Mimi Lufkin, the CEO for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE). Other panelists included Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Rashid Davis, Founding Principal of the P-TECH Early College High School, Brooklyn, N.Y., Amy Loyd, Director of the Pathways to Prosperity Network for Jobs for the Future and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Janet Auer, Specialist for Global Partnerships and Programs at Chevron, was also present to offer introductory remarks on the importance of educating students for high-tech careers in the 21st Century economy.
The panel discussion focused on efforts to redesign the high school experience, replacing the traditional two-track model of college-prep and career and technical education, with various innovative approaches that integrate career-themed instruction and rigorous academics to ensure all high school students graduate college- and career-ready.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Uvin emphasized, “This panel touched upon critical equity issues and called for both ‘carrots and sticks’ to avoid unacceptable issues of under-representation and the disturbing over-representation of subpopulations in CTE. These incentives and accountability expectations need to focus on equity in access, participation and outcomes. The panel also identified perception and image issues re: CTE. My peer panelists and I called for changing the unproductive dialogue and lexicon that treats academic and technical knowledge and skill development as distinct choices into a conversation about pathways leading to rewarding careers and good jobs or professions that require strong academic, technical, and employability skills. The tracking debate is over and has been replaced by options for all students to pursue meaningful work and well-paying jobs and rewarding careers.”