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Knowledge & Skills Revision

Career Cluster™ Knowledge and Skills Revision

The Knowledge and Skill Statements associated with the National Career Clusters Framework are currently under a review, revision, and re-validation process. The process is something that periodically occurs to ensure the currency and relevance of the statements from industries perspective of students should know and be able to do.

The general revision timeline is as follows:

Spring 2011 : Subject Matter Experts (SME) review, rate, and recommend revisions to the current knowledge and skill statements.

Summer 2011: An exhaustive review.and collection of industry standards, education and curriculum standards, competencies, and other resources to benchmark the knowledge and skills.

Fall 2011: A writing team will synthesize the data from the SME review and the industry standards and make any relevant adjustments and modifications to the knowledge and skill statements.

Winter 2012: The revised Knowledge and Skills will be sent out to industry SMEs for review and rating as a part of the validation process. The process is currently underway. For more information go to

June 2012: The revised and validated Knowledge and Skills will be released at the 10th Annual Career Clusters Institute in Washington, DC and be available online for access.

  • A page with useful resources that are associated with revision process for the Career Clusters Knowledge and Skills.

Progress Updates

September 1, 2011

The revision process is ready to move into high gear. This spring, nearly 3,000 subject matter experts were invited to review the current Knowledge and Skill Statements and rate each for its relevance, frequency and criticality in relationship to the expectations of careers with each of the 16 Career Clusters and 79 pathways. Those ratings and comments were organized in an online database to be made available to the revision writing team.

Additionally, we’ve spent the past 10 weeks collecting industry benchmarking standards for each of the 79 pathways in the 16 Career Clusters. These standards include professional/association standards, certification standards, and training program standards. We have a file that identified hundreds of industry generated standards speaking to the career expectations for those working in each career pathway.

The goal of the SME review and the collection of industry benchmark standards is to provide two significant and relevant sets of data for analysis and use in determining what revisions to make to the Knowledge and Skill Statements. With this work done, our effort now shifts to getting the revision writing team trained and organized to begin the revision efforts.

September 15, 2011

The revision writing team has been secured, trained and is starting initial analysis efforts. Three of the members of the team are former state directors of career and technical education with deep experience in standards development and use. The fourth member is a consultant to Career Clusters who helped facilitate the previous round of revisions in 2008. Biographies of the team members will be posted online soon.

The writing team will spend the next two weeks learning to use the online standards portal, reviewing the SME ratings/comments, and reviewing the industry benchmark standards. This analysis will help each team member identify what revisions to propose to the Knowledge and Skill Statements including the supporting performance elements and sample indicators. Because these revised Knowledge and Skill Statements may be the foundation for Common Career Technical Core Standards (CCTCS) the team will be following a set of standards development criteria that closely matches the criteria used by the teams that developed the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts.

October 1, 2011

Writing team members are working on revisions to the first set of Career Clusters. Currently under review are Marketing, Education & Training, Government & Public Administration, and Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources. Additionally, the team is reviewing the Essential Knowledge and Skill Statements to determine the viability of re-organizing these to become standards of practice for career readiness. Additionally, the team is now reviewing the cluster-level (foundational) Knowledge and Skill Statements to identify gaps and redundancies. The mantra of the writing team: clearer, higher, industry-benchmarked. All statements in the revised collection are intended to meet this goal.

Another introduction with this round of revision is the use of an online standards development portal. All of the nearly 5,200 knowledge and skill statements were loaded into the portal and as writing team members make revisions in the portal changes are captured immediately and allow for internal review among team members. Once the revision process is complete, the same portal will be used to make the Knowledge and Skill Statements available to the field for use. The portal allows for far greater functionality and access to the statements. As we get closer to June 2012, videos will be posted introducing the standards portal.

November 1, 2011

Writing team members are working on revisions to the following Career Clusters: Finance, Architecture and Construction, Human Services, Information Technology, and Business Management and Administration. Revisions are progression well with writers finding many opportunities to bring consistency in the approach to standards. Writers report that a great amount of the content in the standards continues to be current and accurate. A few areas require more extensive revisions – especially those impacted by rapidly changing technology and market forces in the economy. Using the industry-benchmarked standards is helping writers easily identify “gaps” and areas requiring additional attention.

The writing team has been working on building a prototype of standards for career readiness that would replace the Essential Knowledge and Skills and would be used similarly to the Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (page 6, One concern is that the career readiness skills are not well suited to be content standards; they are not easily mastered and retained. Rather, career readiness is often about acquiring increasing levels of expertise that can be applied in ever more complex and real-world situations. A set of standards for career ready practice would acknowledge the great importance of this expertise to every role in the workplace, and would not relegate this expertise to a set of basic skills to be acquired in middle school or foundational high school courses. The team will compare the prototype to industry-benchmarks and consider their use in the proposed revisions.

December 1, 2011

Writing team members are working on revisions to the following Career Clusters: Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Manufacturing, and STEM. The writing team will complete revisions to all 16 clusters by mid-month and then a copy editor will review the entire collection before shared for review and validation.

The validation process is scheduled to begin January 10, 2012. It will invite participation of industry experts and educators to review and validate the prosed revisions to the statements. Those participating in the review of the 2008 version of the statements last spring will be invited to participate in this review. And, anyone with an interest will be able to self-register and participate in the review, as well. The review will be conducted in an online portal so that ratings and comments can be collected. For those who participated last spring, you’ll find this round of revision much less cumbersome and require much less time to complete. We are hoping for a significant response to ensure high levels of validity. Information on how to sign up will be posted on this blog in early January.