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Brendan Desetti
Alexandria, VA
As one of ACTE’s Legislative Liaisons, Brendan's role with the Public Policy Department is to lobby Members of Congress on Capitol Hill on behalf of ACTE members. He covers authorizing issues such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Workforce Investment Act, Higher Education Act and the Perkins Act. In addition to his work on the Hill, Brendan is involved in several education policy working groups in DC to make CTE’s voice heard in the education policy community. E-mail me at bdesetti@acteonline.org.
Recent Activity
As of July 1, newly enrolled students without a high school diploma, or its equivalent, who demonstrate college readiness, will lose access to all federal financial aid. On June 4, thirty-one education and workforce training groups, including ACTE, sent a letter to Senator Harkin (D-IA) concerning the elimination of “Ability... Continue reading
The House Education and Workforce Committee met yesterday to mark up the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297). Introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the bill would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act. Causing controversy between the Republicans and Democrats on the committee was the fact that Rep. Foxx’s... Continue reading
By: Nate With a vote of 64-35, the Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, commonly known as the 2012 Farm Bill, last week. The proposed legislation, a continuation of previous farm bills, will appropriate funds and set policy for most of the agricultural sector over... Continue reading
The dog days of summer are waning, and many of you are already back in the classroom for the start of the year. As CTE stakeholders, you know that summer is not really a break for the educator, and we know that most of you haven’t had the time to... Continue reading
Recently, the Department of Education approved its 33rd state waiver application for release from key provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. While a majority of those applications were lacking in specific details on CTE accountability, we did find quite a few that made great progress in including “career... Continue reading
Yesterday we discussed a few state applications for ESEA flexibility that introduced CTE measures into their broader school accountability systems. Today I’d like to introduce states that specifically require districts to report student participation and progress on industry certifications. By openly asking for data on industry certification attainment, these states... Continue reading
In our final highlight of approved state waivers from provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), I will be looking at two states that currently do not integrate CTE into their accountability system, but that have suggested in their applications that they may in the future. In their... Continue reading
Inside Higher Ed published an article today on the future of higher education after the November elections. The article discussed financial issues, upcoming and pending legislation, and what to expect if leadership in Congress changes. While the presidential race may be the most prominent election happening now, the congressional races... Continue reading
Speaking at the Council of Chief State School Officers meeting last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hinted that he would stay on as secretary for President Obama’s second term and laid out his goals for that time period. Going forward, he said the department will leverage education improvement at... Continue reading
The 113th Congress officially began at noon yesterday with the swearing in of the House of Representatives and Senate. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was re-elected as Speaker of the House with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) selected as Minority Leader for the Democrats. A full breakdown of all the congressional leadership positions,... Continue reading
In a rose garden event, President Barack Obama called attention to the doubling of interest rates on student loans set to occur on July 1. President Obama also used the event to advance the message that all students graduating from high schools today will need some form of postsecondary education to succeed in today’s economy. A striking omission in his speech was an acknowledgement that a postsecondary credential includes more than just a degree. Continue reading
Today the Senate HELP Committee introduced a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The HELP committee’s last attempt to reauthorize ESEA was in 2011. Continue reading
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee ESEA reauthorization bill, the Strengthening America’s Schools Act (S. 1094), makes a better attempt to prepare students to be college- and career-ready than other proposals we have seen in the past, but it still falls short of truly preparing our students to be career ready. Continue reading
In an op-ed article for WPRO 99.7 FM radio station in Rhode Island, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus, touted the importance of CTE programs as an effective method to “educate and train a workforce capable of filling 21st century jobs.” He also used the article to announce new legislation to strengthening comprehensive career and academic counseling services for students. Continue reading
ACTE and Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduce an amendment during ESEA markup to include career readiness measures on state and school report cards. Continue reading
In blog posts this week on the Department of Education’s Homeroom blog, career and technical education took a front and center role as a great example of initiatives by high schools to improve student performance. These blogs are part of a series pushing President Obama’s high school redesign initiative, a proposal for a new competitive program to “encourage school districts to… focus on providing rigorous real-world experiences to students that will put them on a path for succes in both college and careers.” Continue reading
Last week, Chairman John Kline (R-MN) of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee released legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and announced a full committee markup of the proposed bill, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The proposed legislation is a combination of three bills passed by the committee in the previous Congress. Continue reading
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan announced two new flexibility waivers for states under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A letter was sent to all Chief State School Offices with details on the waivers. Continue reading
On June 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee held it first hearing on reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the 113th Congress. Continue reading
Over the past week, the Department of Education has approved flexibility waivers for key requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for Alabama and New Hampshire. Their approval brings the total number of approved flexibility waivers to 39 states and the District of Columbia. Continue reading
Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday during a debate on fixing the student loan interest rate, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) lauded the merits of career and technical education as a key part of any "fix" to the higher education system. Continue reading
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Building Understanding, Investment, Learning and Direction Career and Technical Education (BUILD CTE) Act of 2013 to establish a pilot, competitive grant program to help states establish, re-establish or scale up career exploration programs in middle schools. Continue reading
Concerned about the growing federal student loan debt, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) sees vocational training and CTE as an important option for students seeking pathways to career success outside of the traditional four-year degree path. Continue reading
Today the House of Representatives will be voting on amendments to the Student Success Act reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI), in conjunction with ACTE, is introducing an amendment requesting schools report on the career readiness of its students. Call or email your Representative to support the Benishek amendment and CTE! Continue reading
Earlier today, Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) introduced a CTE amendment to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), the House bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The amendment encourages states to include information on student achievement of career and technical proficiencies on their state and school report cards. Thanks to the efforts of advocates around the country that have worked to show Congress the importance of CTE student achievement, it was adopted on a bipartisan basis! Continue reading