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Event Summary

Chairwoman Virginia Foxx of the House Education and Workforce Committee delivered a keynote on Tuesday morning at AEI to discuss the opportunities of career and technical education (CTE), followed by a discussion with AEI’s Andy Smarick.

To begin, Mr. Smarick introduced Chairwoman Foxx and the current state of the American workforce. Chairwoman Foxx then took the podium, stating that she would like to see CTE shift from a plan B option for students to a plan A. She stated that CTE can help fill jobs in in-demand fields, potentially increase graduation rates, and give students more schooling options.

Mr. Smarick and Chairwoman Foxx then discussed the federal government’s role in expanding CTE, with Chairwoman Foxx stating that local-level decisions on the subject were more beneficial. She also stressed the importance of online and distance learning.

— Kelsey Hamilton

Event Description

High school curriculums often focus more on preparing students for college than on providing technical skills to ensure career readiness. This has resulted in a higher percentage of American high school graduates attending traditional undergraduate programs with little guidance for those who choose other pathways. As policymakers look to close the options gap, what is the appropriate federal role for promoting career and technical education programs in American schools?

Join AEI for remarks by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and a discussion on how career and technical education programs can provide promising opportunities to American students and help develop necessary skills for an evolving workforce. Following her remarks, AEI’s Andy Smarick will host a one-on-one conversation with Chairwoman Foxx.

Join the conversation on social media with #FoxxAtAEI.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


8:15 AM

8:30 AM
Andy Smarick, AEI

8:35 AM
Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce

8:50 AM
Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Andy Smarick, AEI

9:05 AM

9:15 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Kelsey Hamilton at [email protected], 202.862.5889.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th District in the United States House of Representatives. She serves as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In this role, she has led efforts to modernize and reform the nation’s workforce-development system. Before serving on Capitol Hill, Chairwoman Foxx spent 10 years in the North Carolina Senate, where she successfully sponsored several statewide and local bills and consistently voted against tax increases and for legislation that would make government more efficient. She began her career as a secretary and research assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught at Caldwell Community College, was a sociology instructor at Appalachian State University (ASU), and held several administrative positions at ASU, including assistant dean of the General College. She also served as deputy secretary for management in the North Carolina Department of Administration for Governor Jim Martin. Before her election to the North Carolina Senate in 1994, she served as president and later a consultant at Maryland Community College from 1987 to 1994. Chairwoman Foxx is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received her A.B. degree in English and M.A.C.T. in sociology. She earned her Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching/higher education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Andy Smarick is the Morgridge Fellow in education at AEI, where he works on education and related domestic and social policy issues. Concurrently, he serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. Mr. Smarick started his career as a legislative aide in the Maryland General Assembly. He went on to serve as director of the Charter School Leadership Council, a nonprofit organization. He was also the cofounder and chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Mr. Smarick has served as a White House fellow in the Domestic Policy Council; a deputy assistant secretary of planning, evaluation, and policy development at the US Department of Education; and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. He has also served as deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, where he helped lead initiatives on an Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver, the state’s successful Race to the Top application, the launch of a new teacher evaluation system, and an overhaul of the department’s charter school authorization system. Immediately before rejoining AEI, where he served as an adjunct fellow in 2010, Mr. Smarick was a partner at Bellwether Education Partners, where he worked on a variety of projects, including school accountability, rural education, gifted student programs, and the reform of urban school systems. Mr. Smarick is the author of “The Urban School System of the Future” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012). A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Mr. Smarick has a master of public management degree from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

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