Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 20th Century Act (Perkins V), introduced the expectation that states report on a new set of program quality indicators at the secondary level. These include the percentage of career and technical education (CTE) concentrators graduating from high school who have: (1) attained a recognized postsecondary credential; (2) earned postsecondary credits through a dual or concurrent enrollment program; and/or (3) participated in work-based learning.
The Quality Indicator Project was a nationwide initiative to build state capacity to implement the Perkins V quality indicators. Project work was designed to inform the development of technical assistance (TA) materials that states can access online via the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN). Experienced, nationally recognized subject matter experts facilitated project work.
Technical Assistance Activities:
Project activities occurred in two phases.
Three Quality Indicator Workgroups (QIWs) comprising state and local CTE directors and staff and led by nationally recognized subject matter experts, met in 2021 to consider effective data collection and analysis protocols as well as challenges and possible solutions to issues complicating state indicator adoption.
QIW input was used to develop a comprehensive resource guide to assist state agency administrators and data analysts in strengthening the implementation of the new quality indicators, refine data collection and analysis procedures, and promote the use of data in advancing equity in CTE programming. A series of four professional development sessions specific to the quality indicators were presented at the 2022 Data Quality Institute.
The second phase of work focused on customized technical assistance. States applied for TA to support them in designing, implementing, and revising their quality indicators. Three states were selected to receive support in 2022: Kansas, Texas, and Wyoming. Supports were tailored to individual state needs and delivered free of charge by subject matter experts.White papers summarizing the technical assistance designed and delivered to Kansas and Texas include overviews of each state’s respective implementation challenges and requested TA supports, approaches used by other states to address these challenges, specific TA supports provided, and recommendations for next steps.
State and local-level CTE directors and accountability staff participating in the initiative contributed to the creation of resources and tools that will strengthen the collection, analysis, and reporting of data on secondary CTE programming nationwide. This development work will have long-standing ramifications for CTE program design and the use of data for accountability and program improvement purposes at the state and local levels.