Executive Directions. (Inside ACTE: News from the Association for Career and Technical Education)

Article excerpt

In China there is a symbol for the word "change." It means both crisis and opportunity. This says a lot about what to expect in our future. We are now living in a world of paradox. This 21st century has presented us with complex challenges, yet also a wealth of opportunities.

It's a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to his or her commitment to excellence. The field of career and technical education resounds with dedicated professionals who give daily so that others may lead productive and worthwhile lives. More importantly, what career and technical education professionals provide is the ability for individuals to choose their own destinies. To be the best at what they want!

Now it is time to turn this dedication inward. As professionals in career and technical education, you are confronted by the paradoxes of changes daily. You are aware that the knowledge explosion both informs and overloads us. Your goal is to make sense of all this information for both your students and yourselves. You are also keenly aware that the technology revolution has both connected and isolated us. You are constantly searching for ways to use technology to gain access to the world's knowledge and connect with others.

Our challenge in this fast pace of change is to navigate this chaotic world with a sense of adventure, reinventing ourselves along the way, while simultaneously maintaining the stresses and strains of more change. We need to impart this sense of excitement to our students and our colleagues as they also move through these changing times.

Change is the new reality! To paraphrase the eloquent Dr. Belle Wheelan, Virginia Secretary of Education, from her speech at the National Policy Seminar, career and technical education needs to find its voice. …