I was fortunate to be able to attend OCTAE's inaugural symposium on Advancing Equity in Adult, Community College, and Career and Technical Education this week. I want to share some of the highlights from this event, and invite you to join the Advancing Equity Community of Practice.
In his opening remarks, Secretary of Education, John R King, Jr., made the comment that "Access without quality, is not equity". To that end, Cheryl Keenan, Director of OCTAE's Adult Education and Literacy Division later addressed how under WIOA, state's performance accountability systems are required to disaggregate data by sub-populations.
One of the reasons this data is required is to support increased equity in achieving performance indicators, and avoid disincentives for serving the most difficult to serve. In addition, Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) will be participating in innovative grant opportunities to support WIOA's performance indicators. We will share these opportunities on LINCS as they become available.
In supporting the idea of access to quality programs and services, WIBs will also measure proposals agains their work plans, which must demonstrate equity in serving the needs of their communities. This focus on collaboration between WIOA, at the state level, and local WIBs left me wondering how many adult education programs have existing relationships with their WIB? If there is a relationship, how would you describe it? Is it an open, collaborative relationship, or are there obstacles to working collaboratively towards the shared goal of improved equity? If so, what are those obstacles, and how can we work here on LINCS to help you overcome them?
Career Pathways and Disabilities in Adult Education Moderator
Thank you for this post! As you noted, the topic of collaboration and career pathways systems development came up time and time again in the morning panel session. Systems thinking is one of the biggest challenges to career pathways when we have been trained to work and respond within our own agencies, and yet it can have a profound effect on equity outcomes. Hearing "how we did it" from field would be especially helpful to other tackling this issue, so I would love to see some responses come in from those who have made some collaborative efforts.