State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster
Wisconsin Technology Education Association
Wisconsin Dells, WI
March 9, 2006
Good morning! Welcome to our 2006 Wisconsin Technology Education Association conference.
Thank you, Dennis for that kind introduction and for your leadership.
I am honored to serve as your state superintendent and to join you today.
Also, thanks to Steve Johnson for this special invitation, and for his work coordinating this conference.
WTEA’s conference clearly reflects the work, vision, and passion that each of you bring to your professional association, and your classrooms. It is why Wisconsin technology and engineering education is exemplary.
I’d also like to give my special thanks to WTEA President Dennis Nelson and President-Elect Mike Roth in assisting us with the review of candidates for our DPI Technology and Pre-Engineering Consultant position. As most of you know, Mike was part of our candidate review team this last fall and his participation is a great testament to the meaningful relationship that WTEA has with DPI and our Career and Technical Education Team. Our new Technology and Pre-Engineering Education consultant, Brent Kindred, started this week. I am sure he will continue the strong tradition of collaboration and excellence in this position. Many of you know Brent and I‘m sure you will agree that his expertise, energy, and vision for the future will carry Technology and pre-Engineering far. Brent, thank you for joining our team!
As your conference theme (Technology & Engineering: Pioneering New Pathways) suggests, we are all working together, pioneering new pathways of excellence.
As we look at the larger context of technology and engineering and the “pioneering of new pathways,” I’m reminded of Alvin Toffler’s observation about technology and the need for its continual innovation. “Technology in developing new pathways must have: creative, feasible ideas; then practical application of those ideas; and lastly, the diffusion of those ideas throughout our society.”
At no time in our state’s history are technology and engineering -- its continual innovation, and resulting impact -- more important to the positive advancement of Wisconsin’s educational and economic development. Our state’s competitive and knowledge-based future requires our students to master skills that allow them to be creative, develop innovative highly technical ideas, and apply those ideas in multiple ways for the good of our society. Our youth—your students—will create solutions and innovations to the challenges of today for a better tomorrow.
For that dynamic and better tomorrow, our students—through technology and engineering—will enable, sustain, and evolve our state’s technical infrastructure, business, and industry. Industry areas or “pathways” of advanced and automated manufacturing, communications technology, construction, biotechnical engineering, nano technology, digital electronics, and transportation are just a few that are so essential to Wisconsin’s future. And, looking at the state’s occupational trend data, many of these industries are projected to grow the fastest in the next ten years.
These new technology pathways—many of which are introduced and expanded upon in your programs, in your classrooms—will continually influence our state, our global society, and economy. With this in mind, you provide the technological opportunities needed by our children. I am so moved and very optimistic when I see the contributions you make to the education of technology and engineering students. Their success is paramount to each of you and to all of us!
In that success, you connect their dreams and ambitions in the world of technology and engineering. That connection is the key. It is the connection of interest, rigor, and relevancy that make your programs so great. And through your leadership, we will continue to keep our technology and engineering education content and instruction strong. We must continue to incorporate technical related standards; integrate math, science, and literacy concepts; and have vibrant partnerships with our communities, business, and industry.
And, we all know how important maintaining the federal role and resources is to our work.
The reauthorization of the Carl Perkins Act is vitally critical to our efforts in secondary and postsecondary career and technical education. And the Bush administration cannot continue cutting needed aid for our students and schools.
The technology education community, through your grassroots efforts, is able to bring your voice to this national debate and be heard. And I pledge to lead the fight once again, working with our congressional delegation, to stop proposed cuts.
Together, we must demonstrate the importance of technology and engineering education federal lawmakers.
More than ever, our united advocacy is needed in the name of all our current and future students.
How technology and engineering content is taught cultivates student success and it changes lives. It also develops a sense for life-long learning. Your students leave your classrooms and labs with the real opportunity for continued education and to be able to gain good, meaningful jobs with advancing wages. As educators, we will continue to adapt to technological change; study emerging science, technology, and engineering disciplines; and embed those resulting innovations and knowledge’s within our programs so our students have the best opportunities for that exciting success.
Our future is now. Your role in nurturing the young pioneers who will create that future is absolutely critical. What you impart to students -- technical skills, creativity, reasoning, and applications -- make our students so essential to Wisconsin’s continuing growth. Thank you for your efforts and expertise. Your work is valued and appreciated by myself, your communities, and most importantly, your students.
Thank you so much and my very best for an outstanding conference!
© Copyright 2005 Wisconsin Technology Education Association
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