Magazine article Techniques

Those Who Can, Advocate for CTE!

Magazine article Techniques

Those Who Can, Advocate for CTE!

Article excerpt

THOSE OF US WHO WORK IN WASHINGTON, DC, often hear the qt test ions: do you do it? How do YOU work in Washington?" Admittedly, the political atmosphere can be draining at times; yet, I do believe that many Members of Congress and their staff are truly interested in better understanding an issue and improving policy.

CTE advocates can definitely make an impact on the decision-making process at the federal level. Here are four reasons wily:

* You are an educator. I know that educators do not receive the respect they deserve, but judging from poll data, Members of Congress receive even less. My point is that the general public perceives Congress as disconnected and removed. Help educate your federal representatives and remind them that you will help them to be better informed and connected. You have the power to teach them about what is happening in a real school, and if your CTE program is engaging students, helping them to graduate and moving them on to postsecondary education or the workplace, your story is strong. Be the educator you are. Educate policymakers about CTE and what is needed from federal policies.

* You have the evidence. Data tells a story, and it's important to use as much positive data as you can to support your advocacy: but you have something else which provides firsthand evidence: a program, school or institution with live students! Invite a Member of Congress to visit your classroom, or if that is too challenging, send the Member a video clip demonstrating a point you want to make--whether that be the need for up-to-date equipment, or students telling, in their own words, the reasons GTE has impacted them in a positive way. I have seen school visits change opinions and beliefs within minutes--no lie!

* You are a constituent. As we often say, ACTE staff can be on Capitol Hill every day, but it means nothing if CTE educators are not also visiting and communicating with Congress. …

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