Career & Technical Education Threatened in Missouri

Jamie Johansen 10 Comments

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs such as the Missouri FFA strive to teach students valuable skills through leadership opportunities & hands-on learning in high school vocational classes. There is a proposal sent out by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) removing the priority for organizations like the FFA from a students high school education.

CTE is not limited to just the FFA. It also encompasses Family & Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences, Business & Marketing Education, Trade & Technical, Technology & Special Needs. Can you imagine high school without these programs?

Supporters of CTE need to be aware of the changes that have been proposed that may erode the CTE delivery system in Missouri. Interested groups and individuals would include business and industry along with their trade associations, community leaders, legislators, teachers, administrators, staff, parents and STUDENTS, both current and former. Think about whom in your community should be alerted and asked to take action.

DESE has proposed MSIP 5. This will replace MSIP 4, which has effectively been suspended by the DESE. The MSIP 5 proposal appears to remove the weight given to CTE programs in a school evaluation process and no longer specifically requires 4 program areas to be available with a minimum of 12 credit hours and 20 credit hours as the desirable standard for CTE.

Generate letters objecting to the proposed rule in it’s current form and ask for changes. Send your letters to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Attention: Margie Vandeven, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Quality Schools, P.O. Box480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480. Be sure to reference the appropriate code of state regulation citation of 5 CSR 20-100.255. Send a copy of your letter to your legislator and follow up with a conversation regarding what is at stake. Comments must be received by Nov. 30, 2012.

For more information check out these resources:
Missouri ACTE Outreach 2012
Proposed MSIP 5 Information

If you have questions about this issue please contact:
Jon Wilson
Legislative Chair – MOACTE
Gainesville FFA
417-679-4200 –

Education, FFA, politics, Youth

Comments 10

  1. Hayden

    Please reconsider your proposal!!! I have been involved in CTE classes for 5 years I have learned skills such as sewing, cooking, and have been certified in infant and toddler CPR. I have learned other valuable skills such as leadership and interpersonal communications. I will be running for a a sate officer position in December!! And I know that if I was not offered these opportunities my Luther and my life would be drastically different!! So I ask you again please reconsider from some one who is still in high school enjoying these amazing opportunities

    1. Sarah

      CTE programs are not going anywhere. This information is incorrect. The Department supports high quality CTE and still requires the courses in schools.

      1. Carrie

        That is incorrect. Many schools are doing away with these programs. Our high school does not offer FACS classes any longer. I taught FACS classes in another district and my position was part-time. Schools are cutting these programs! These are very important classes, particularly for those students who have no desire to further their education, and it is valuable for those who do. So many life skills are taught through these classes.

  2. Jason Sprenger

    Skills gaps are emerging, and one important way we can bridge them is to invest in career and technical education (CTE). The benefits of this kind of work is well documented, and it’s even more powerful when businesses and educators work together. It’s definitely worth fighting for.

    The Industry Workforce Needs Council is a group of businesses working together to spotlight skills gaps and advocate for CTE as a means of curbing them. For more information, or to join the effort, visit

    Jason Sprenger, for the IWNC

  3. Jon Wilson

    The comparison, which was posted November 13th, is helpful, but it doesn’t clarify our concerns as career educators.
    The Resource and Process Standards are essentially best management practices for schools, covering class sizes, staffing, course offerings, instruction and other areas. In MSIP 4, the expectation of school districts in terms of offering career education programs is very clear. A minimum of four Department-approved career education programs must be represented each year with a minimum of 12 credit hours as the standard.
    This language is deleted in the proposed MSIP 5 Resource and Process Standards, as are the details about minimum standards for the core areas of study such as math and science, fine arts, physical education, health, etc. The detailed breakdown has been replaced with “Each high school provides all students in grades 9-12 sufficient access to content required to meet the minimum graduation credit requirements” and then the content areas are listed. Career education is on the list, but it doesn’t carry much weight since the state graduation requirements do not include career education as a content area.
    If finalized as written, it is unclear if a school could offer courses in only one career education area and still meet the state standard. If that is the case, students would be negatively affected if a school district decides to reduce the availability of career education courses.
    The stated rationale for the change is “allows local control in making ‘course offerings’ decisions.” We are concerned, however, the change signals high quality DESE-approved career education programs aren’t a priority for our state. We simply believe DESE should maintain its commitment to career education programs and the affiliated student organizations and provide greater detail about its expectations of schools regarding these programs.

  4. Tammy Bartholomew

    Jon is correct. The mere absence of any recommendation for career and technical education coursework in MSIP 5 speaks volumes to the true intent of this proposal for MO Education. Three years ago when DESE was reorganizing, Career and Technical Education was conveniently left out of the model. Last year we continued to battle issues that targeted career and technical education student organizations. Now, DESE chooses to conveniently remove it from graduation recommendations.
    In 29 years of education, I find it discouraging that I have spent the past three years protecting an important asset to Missouri education. It is a disturbing situation that leaves, not only myself, but other educators with a feeling of complete distrust for our State Department and its Commissioner. There is no denying that students need to be pushed to excel. Unfortunately, the changes proposed in MSIP 5 especially in reference to 5 CRS20-100.255 will not help all students succeed. The mere fact that it was not listed as a graduation requirement reflects DESE’s lack of support of career and technical education.

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  6. Donna

    There are many smaller school who have already cut their FACS classes. Funding has been cut; therefore, these are the first classes to be cut because they are not required. Perhaps not required in school, but definitely required in life. Skills such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. are not taught at home as they once were. Nutrition and weight must be focused on in the schools in order to improve our nation’s health.
    The programs are not being cut which has been stated, but the funding is being cut!!!

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