In Pennsylvania, area Career and Technology Centers (CTE) and Comprehensive High Schools are closely monitoring curricular and instructional activities to comply with the Carl D. Perkins Act. The Act holds schools accountable to continuously improve the quality of instruction to better prepare students for college and careers.
With the help of schools across Pennsylvania, I have worked to oversee the development of templates within eWalk to assist their efforts in this regard. The resulting system is called eWalk PACE.
Approximately 30 CTE Centers are using eWalk PACE to “look for” evidence that indicates teachers, both academic and vocational, are integrating academics, infusing instruction that leads to a national credential and improves a student’s ability to enter advanced training without having to take remedial courses.
Tremendous gains have been achieved at these schools as evidenced by the dramatic increase in scores on skill assessments administered by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute. All CTE completers in Pennsylvania are required to take the assessments. Average scores on these assessments show gains of over 40% during the last three years on almost every program assessed.
Reading Muhlenberg CTC is an urban Career Center located in Reading, PA, one of the poorest cities in the country. It serves over 1200 students comprised by a variety of ethnic backgrounds and races. A closer look at one of the templates being used by RMCTC to monitor CTE instruction and the implementation of quality programs of study shows an emphasis on teaching to the individual child and their learning style.
Before eWalk PACE was implemented at the school, teachers often overlooked students who learned differently or appeared to be disinterested. Through a strong professional development program and by using eWalk PACE to monitor and observe instruction we now find the staff totally engaged with each individual student.
To address the Carl D. Perkins requirements to improve instruction and integrate academics across the curriculum, the School provided professional development in conjunction with the state’s Technical Assistance Program to “look for” literacy, writing and numeracy activities and innovative instructional strategies designed to engage all students. Everyday reading and writing were “looked for” and were reinforced by instructional coaches that assisted the staff in preparing quality lessons.
Here is how we implemented this in eWalk PACE:
School wide numeracy activities were developed and implemented, and monitored in eWalk PACE.
Finally, the school serves a high percentage of students who are identified as special needs.
In-service training was provided to the staff on how to differentiate instruction and provide alternate learning activities that meet the individual needs of their students. These techniques were reinforced by the administrative team through walk throughs and individual staff coaching.
Many of the career centers using eWalk PACE have seen a 40% increase in scores on skill assessments administered by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute.
Scores at Reading Muhlenberg CTC have skyrocketed! Students are completing their programs of study at the highest rate in the school’s history. The School has become a model for all CTCs located across the Commonwealth.
For copies of CTE specific walk-throughs used in Pennsylvania or for more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
eWalk PACE is a professional learning community focused on improving the quality of CTE Programs, on integrating the common core curricula and using eWalk to measure teacher effectiveness.