Gino DiCaro

Career Tech Education "Get REAL" campaign

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, March 23, 2007

Get REAL (Relevance in Education and Learning) is a new coalition of business, public safety groups, labor unions and teachers to restore Career Technical Education in the schools. Spearheaded by CMTA, Get REAL believes that California should provide a more well-rounded education that includes hands-on vocational and technical education to give students more choices and the opportunity to qualify for good-paying jobs in a variety of fields.

Last week, CMTA President Jack Stewart and Vice President Dorothy Rothrock presented the Get REAL White Paper at the Governor's Career Technical Education Summit at Ace Clearwater Enterprises in Torrance. The White Paper addresses the loss of opportunity for students to take vocational courses in California's public schools and makes specific recommendations to reverse the trend.

Other Get REAL members participating in the Summit included State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) President Robert Balgenorth and Legislative Advocate Cesar Diaz.

At a press conference in the Capitol this week, Get REAL unveiled a package of legislation that would expand CTE for K-12 students and strengthen math and science instruction by providing students with more "hands-on" learning opportunities.

"Expanding CTE instruction will bring better balance to today's educational curriculum, make education more relevant and equip our students with the skills needed for 21st Century jobs, whether they choose college or not," said Jack Stewart.  "California is suffering from an increasingly acute shortage of skilled workers. Our legislation will reverse this trend by ensuring we have the hundreds of thousands of new skilled workers needed to keep our economy strong and growing."

Get REAL's legislative agenda includes:

  • AB 400 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), which strengthens the Academic Performance Index by including career and technical education.<.li>
  • SB 672 by Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Concord), which requires career and technical coursework for all K-12 students.
  • SB 13 by Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad), which provides bond funding for career technical education equipment and facilities.
  • AB 1414 by Assemblymember Loni Hancock (D-El Cerrito), which provides funding for career and technical education programs in middle and high school.
  • AB 1586 by Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Martinez), which requires students to have completed career and technical education courses before admission into the state's public university systems.

More information:
Press release | Facts | Poll results | White Paper | GoalsGet REAL Triangle

Media Coverage:
Sac Bee | Bakersfield Californian
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