U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to establish a Presidential Career and Technical Scholars Award program to better recognize and value the efforts of American students who have chosen CTE pathways.
President Obama, who highlighted the importance of CTE training in his State of the Union Address, is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at Worcester Technical High School on June 11, 2014.
“We urge you to create, by Executive Order, a Presidential Career and Technical Scholars program,” the Senators wrote. “Career and technical education (CTE) programs are a proven method to prepare secondary and postsecondary students with the rigorous academic and technical skills needed to compete in today’s global economy and to further their education. It is in our national interest to not only provide all students access to rigorous CTE programs of study, but to also encourage high attainment by CTE students.”
The current U.S. Presidential Scholars program, which was created by President Lyndon B. Johnson by Executive Order in 1964, honors graduating high school seniors for academic excellence, artistic accomplishments, and civic contributions but does not recognize excellence in career and technical education programs. Kaine, Portman, and Baldwin are strong supporters of expanding CTE programs and recognizing the importance of better equipping American students with the skills needed to succeed in today’s 21st century workforce.