As you know, Perkins reauthorization is moving through Congress. The House and Senate bills are similar on most points but are in total agreement on one key point important to the CTE research community: There is no support for a CTE research agenda. There is no CTE research center.
As you may know, recently and for the first time, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) called for CTE research proposals under its special topics provision. These proposals are due August 4. Although adding CTE to the IES research agenda is a strongly positive development, these will be scattershot projects at best that may or may not address the long-term needs of the field. Further, the deep connections to the field characterized by the University of Minnesota and University of Louisville-led research centers are not possible under this type of IES funding.
What will be missed in the current iteration of the Perkins reauthorization, in my judgment, is the kind of research, development and related professional development the University of Minnesota-led NRCCTE did with curriculum integration and the University of Louisville-led NRCCTE did with alternatively certified teacher development and other topics relevant to the design and delivery of high-quality CTE. Similarly, the work of the University of California, Berkeley-led National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE) produced seminal work on work-based learning and other topics that has contributed to the growth of high-quality CTE.
If you share my concern about this development, this is the time to get busy. Please contact your congressional Representative and Senator to advocate for a CTE Research Center that can conduct comprehensive, long-term R&D projects that support the design and delivery of high-quality CTE and provide funding to support deep engagement with the field to move research to practice.