New CTE standards reflect fast-moving tech changes, higher academic goals

After almost two years of work, state officials have completed proposed revisions of the Career Technical Education curriculum standards encompassing the addition of several new pathways including game design and integration.

The state's existing career tech standards were adopted by the California State Board of Education in May, 2005. Among the many changes that have taken place since then is the national embrace of the common core standards in English language arts and math.

Officials said the new standards reflect not only changes that have occurred in business and industry but also the state's new academic goals.

The revised draft standards not only build on career-related skills and knowledge but also demand a higher level of academic achievement to help prepare students to be both career and college ready," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a memo to the state board released this week.

The draft standards are expected to come to the state board for approval at its January meeting.

The current standards are organized around 15 industry sectors and provide 58 career pathways to graduation. The proposed revisions eliminate some of those pathways and adds a number of new ones, making a total of 59 pathways.

The revised standards were developed with the help of 135 representatives from industry, labor and education organizations with oversight from faculty selected from the University of California's Curriculum Integration Institute and California Partnership Academy programs. Public hearings on the proposal were also held in Sacramento and Los Angeles in September with a comment period that lasted much of that same month.

Among the key changes:

Game Designand Integration pathway was added to Arts, Media, and Entertainment;

Games and Simulation pathway was added to Information and Communication Technologies (the systems side of the career area);

International Business pathway was added to Business and Finance to address the global perspective;

Environment pathway was added to Energy and Utilities, to address the growth of "green energy;" and

A Mental and Behavioral Health pathway was added to Health, Science and Medical Technology to help prepare future healthcare workers to address post-traumatic stress syndrome and other associated mental problems.

To read the draft standards visit:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/sf/ctemcstandards.asp