MDE. RCU conclude Perkins V Listening Tour

MDE, RCU conclude Perkins V listening tour

January 18, 2019
Contact: Carl Smith

Perkins V Listening tour participants
Lowndes County School District Superintendent Lynn Wright, background left, and East Mississippi Community College Vice President of Administration and Interim Vice President for Instruction Paul Miller, background right, discuss local career and technical students' educational needs on Jan. 15 during the Mississippi Department of Education's Mississippi Succeeds Career and Technical Education Listening Tour at the Lowndes County Career and Technical Center.

Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum staff members are moving forward with the development of a transition plan, due this spring, for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act that reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Act of 2006.

The MDE and the RCU hosted a listening tour this winter for stakeholders, teachers and the public to provide in-depth updates on the legislation — known as Perkins V — in Biloxi, Columbus, Greenwood, Hattiesburg, Hernando, McComb, Pearl and Tupelo. Participants provided feedback on numerous topics, including communication, collaboration and engagement, adult training needs, career and technical education perception, community needs, the characteristics of a prepared student and workforce, employability skills, credentials, postsecondary training and workforce development.

RCU Project Manager Brad Skelton said the meetings were successful in engaging people with the new legislation and provided education professionals with feedback from those who have an interest in Mississippi’s career and technical education.

"With all of these meetings, I think it has been a really good experience getting to hear what districts are struggling with and what they see as priorities moving forward," he said. "That's been pretty eye-opening."

The legislation provides language emphasizing outreach to special populations, a move that could greatly increase accessibility to resources for CTE students in some parts of the state.

"I think there is a greater point of emphasis on special populations and how to reach those students," Skelton said. "It details how to better reach those students and provide more accommodations to help them succeed."

Now that public meetings have concluded, the transition plan must be finalized and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by April. The federal agency will provide feedback to the MDE before the final four-year plan is due next spring.

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