President Obama’s administration and the United States Department of Education have proposed a strategy for educational policy that prioritizes rigor and relevance in America’s schools. The plan is Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education (the full document is quite long, so feel free to glance through the summary). The plan calls on educational leaders and organizations to create opportunities that provide high-quality job-training opportunities in order to reduce skill shortages, encourage business growth, encourage new investment and job creation, and improve the longterm financial and economic health of citizens and the country as a whole.
Along with the Investing in America’s Future plan, the Obama administration and Department of Education are pushing for a new version of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins Act). This law is the primary source of federal funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. The president’s proposal for a new, revised Perkins Act hopes to improve the quality and capacity for career and technical education by focusing on four core principals: alignment, collaboration, accountability, and innovation.
The Academies of Nashville already are poised to benefit and excel within the parameters of this plan and proposed legislation. Our model relies on aligning the economic needs and workforce development goals of the middle Tennessee economy with the instructional methods used in our classrooms and the educational needs of our students. The Academies are thriving due to meaningful collaboration with a wide range of dedicated community partners. Our community partners drive a sense of accountability by having a direct impact on the schools through high-level program development. The Academies of Nashville are fueling innovation by giving students first-hand experience in industry and putting them into contact with leading professionals across a variety of fields.
Nashville’s high schools are at the leading edge of high-quality education that is responsive to the needs of our community. We look forward to leading the way as the rest of the nation looks to us as a model of how education is being made relevant in the twenty-first century.