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2008 Fall Meeting

Resources, Reports and Presentations

Below are the available presentations from speakers, as well as additional resources distributed at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting held September 7-11, 2008 in Mystic, CT.




  • Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School:

    John Curtis, director of the Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School and Career and Technology Education for the Bridgeport Board of Education

    Curtis presented an overview of the first aquaculture only Vo-AG school in Connecticut. The school’s guiding philosophy is based on a saying of Confucius: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. According to Curtis, students of the program are prepared to work in any medical lab after the course. The school participates in the Bridgeport Aquaculture College Alliance (BACA) and has recently formed a partnership with Nha Tang University in Vietnam.

    Kirk Shadle also gave a report on the Early College Experience Program at Bridgeport Aquaculture Science and Technology Center.

  • Programs at Ledyard High School and the Science and Technology Magnet High School

    Presentation by Matthew Smith, Instructor, with Kyle Beglau, Senior, Ledyard High School, and Brandy Morneau, Senior, Ledyard High School

    Matthew Smith is a graduate of UConn's School of Agriculture with a degree in Natural Resources Management and Engineering. Matthew has been an instructor at Ledyard HS for 6 years and currently teaches courses in aquaculture, natural resources and agriculture mechanics.

    Ledyard Freshwater Aquaculture Program(6.65Mb)

    Justin Grabel, Resident Scholar, described the Coral Aquaculture Program at the Science and Technology Magnet High School in New London, CT. In 2005, he formed the non-profit Applied Sustainable Aquaculture, to research environmentally sustainable ways to propagate coral in captivity.

  • Additional Aquaculture Presentation

    Utilizing Cooparative Programs to Enhance Science & Math College Preparatory Skills (PDF,4.45Mb) by Gabriel Geist, John Roy and Steven Pynn of Sound School Regional Aquaculture Center, CT

  • Technical Skill Assessments Panel:

    *Kurt F. Geisinger, PhD, Director, Buros Center for Testing, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    *Steve Klein, MPR Associates

    *Seth Derner, Development Leader, Vivayic

    Geisinger provided information on testing topics, discussed the benefits and concerns related to testing, and identified primary and secondary purposes and related costs associated with testing. He stressed the point that the most important factor in test creation is knowing the purpose of the test. In making a decision about what kind of test to use in a given situation, reliability, validity and stability should be the criteria for evaluation.

    Klein reported that OVAE commissioned the study to look into an item bank or assessments clearinghouse in terms of what is needed by states and how much it would cost. The first step was to create a task force and do a feasibility report. In October, the task force will meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Chief State School Officers (CSSO), NASDCTEc and three states. Klein reported that the final product will need to be grounded in Career Clusters, but will also need to be flexible for different state goals. In terms of the clearinghouse concept, it would need to be accessible and searchable online, industry-recognized, and provide valid and reliable assessments. Vendor assessments could be used to populate it. The costs of a clearinghouse would have to include the expenses of maintaining and updating it, in addition to the initial creation. Training for users would also be necessary. Klein estimated that it would cost between $50,000 and $75,000 for the initial creation. He estimated a three-year development cost covering populating ,cataloging, and managing the clearinghouse, plus training costs, somewhere between $400,000 and $900,000 dollars, which would translate to approximately $15,000 to $30,000 per state.

    Derner presented information about the national item bank concept. He reported that, while there won’t be a single concept that works for every state, it would be possible to create a product that would meet the needs of most, but have some utility for all states. There are already some quality CTE assessments available, but as Career Clusters become more widespread, the need increases for transferable skills at the cluster/pathway level, and there needs to be a way of measuring what is actually being learned by the students. The national item bank would be a resource accessible by states to create tests. Derner stated that with approximately 185 performance elements per Career Cluster, 3 test items per each would result in around 9000 items, which would be very expensive. Because of such cost issues, it would need to be a low stakes test, for the purpose of creating tests to align to the plans of study in a state, to give some sort of information to report, to drive professional development, etc. Derner advised that some questions will need to be considered: Who will define what the test looks like? How much will it cost to keep the test current? How will a cost estimate be achieved to decide what states will decide to participate?

    A question and answer period followed.

    Presentation resources:

  • OVAE Panel Presentation

    *Sharon Miller, Len Lintner, Ed Smith, Marilyn Fountain

    OVAE staff members presented an update on the following topics:

    • Local application review
    • Performance level negotiations for year two
    • CAR opening and training sessions: CAR reporting will open October 1st. There will be 2 web-based training sessions the week following DQI (date to be announced)
    • Financial Management Institute: Set for October 17, this one-day session will cover basic recordkeeping. To register go to
    • Upcoming Data Quality Institute meeting: will now be virtual so all states can participate with minimal travel expenses. State planning time has been built in to the Institute, with technical skill attainment as the topic
    • Customer Satisfaction Survey
    • OVAE Updates PowerPoint by Sharon Miller, Len Lintner, Ed Davis, and Marilyn Fountain
  • National Research Center Update

    *Dr. Donna Pearson, Deputy Director

    Dr. Pearson described how the Center's Mission Statement is guiding its direction: The National Center will improve the engagement, achievement, and transition of high school and postsecondary CTE students through technical assistance to states, professional development for CTE practitioners, and dissemination of knowledge derived from scientifically-based research. Pearson indicated that there are currently over a dozen research projects in progress, including 4 OVAE-initiated studies. Major Research Findings from 2000-2007 revealed:

    • No significant findings that career-related activities contributed to postsecondary enrollment (tech prep, WBL, cooperative education, career major)
    • CTE courses do help students think about/plan their futures
    • Students still need remediation in postsecondary
    • An implied need for increased academic rigor in secondary CTE courses
    • National Research Center Updates by Dr. Donna Pearson, Deputy Director, National Research Center
  • What is Ahead for CTE?

    *Kimberly Green

    *Dave Buonora

    Kim Green and Dave Buonora closed the conference with a presentation entitled "What is Ahead for CTE?" Green highlighted that there is growing interest nationally in how CTE programs are an important tool in educating students and providing for a skilled workforce. She also highlighted the top 5 issues being discussed nationally related to CTE. These are:

    • How CTE is being defined by our community and others
    • The progress of career clusters
    • The focus on integrated and articulated credit
    • The need to have a strong pipeline of CTE teachers
    • Accountability
    • What is Ahead for CTE? PowerPoint

    Buonora provided the latest update on the status of the Congressional appropriations process and an overview of the education positions of Barack Obama and John McCain. He also highlighted the joint advocacy efforts of NASDCTEc, ACTE and AACC with Congress and Presidential campaigns. He emphasized that CTE programs can be the answer to many of the challenges that our nation is facing in regard to high school reform and economic and workforce development.