TO: ATEC Members
FROM: Ryan Goertzen, President
RE: ATEC July 2015 Update
Fellow Educators, Industry Members, Colleagues and Friends,
This summer, I find myself reflecting on my first year as ATEC’s President. It’s hard not to be enthusiastic about all that we’ve accomplished and excited about the future. I would have to say the 2015 ATEC Conference was the best yet…
To read the full update, please visit: http://www.atec-amt.org/uploads/1/0/7/5/10756256/atec-presidentletter-official-20150715.pdf
On June 29, ATEC appealed the denial of its Jan. 30, 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to make the A&P exam question and answer test bank available for public inspection. After receiving numerous reports of vague, inaccurate or unanswerable exam questions, the board determined that access to the test bank was essential to ensuring questions and answers are – first and foremost – correct, accurate and clearly written.
Although we are hopeful that we will prevail in our appeal, there may be an alternative—and perhaps more fruitful—avenue. While drafting the appeal we discovered that other segments of the aviation community had similar problems when their certification exams were removed from public scrutiny. In 2011, the Airman Testing Standards and Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was created to address concerns that the FAA’s testing standards and materials for pilots were not keeping pace with training methods and technology. The committee recommended that a group of industry professionals should be formed to “bolster” the development of the pilot exam. Indeed, ARC’s 2012 report concluded that “returning the question bank to the public domain—where it previously resided—is the most effective way by which the aviation industry and FAA can work cooperatively to review, revise, and better focus what knowledge applicants must demonstrate during [the exams].” 
We contacted the authors of the report and were informed that there will be a part 147 ARC in the near future. Currently we are scheduling meetings to discuss how ATEC and its members can be involved in the process. We hope that by participating in the committee we can demonstrate that public oversight and coordination with part 147 schools is essential to ensure the integrity of the A&P exam.
 Jens C. Henning ET AL., A Report from the Airman Testing Standards and Training Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to the Federal Aviation Administration (2012).
On July 10, ATEC sent a letter to FAA headquarters concerning recent changes to FAA Order 8900.1 (“FSIMS”), Vol. 2, Ch. 12, Section 1 and Section 3 and Advisory Circular (AC) 147-3B (see previous story http://www.atec-amt.org/member-alerts/-faa-updates-fsims-for-amts-certification-and-evaluation). In its letter the council requested revision to provisions regarding distance education and the availability of missed material.
Most of the language contained in FSIMS (directed at FAA inspectors), conflicts with the AC language (directed at industry). Most notably, the order contains guidance that would “limit” distance learning instruction to 400 hours of level one instruction, a provision that was removed in the final version of AC 147-3B (as recommended in ATEC’s comments to draft AC 147-3B).
Similarly, inspector guidance for implementation of § 147.31(e), which requires that the AMTS system “show hours of absence allowed and how missed material will be made available to the student,” is not consistent with AC 147-3B or part 147. The order’s language goes beyond the scope of the regulation, specifically “requiring” that all missed projects and assignments be “made up” and the manner in which that must be accomplished.
In its letter the Council also requested some edits to AC 147-3B to ensure consistency and to clarify ambiguities in that recently-revised document.
The council is the voice of the aviation maintenance education community, a role that takes many forms. Through regulatory and legislative advocacy, media engagement and member communications, ATEC publicizes the good work of A&P schools across the United States and helps define the challenges they face.
ATEC members can use these mechanisms to amplify their own voices by:
- Submitting content for the ATEC Journal.
- Providing editorial pieces for AMT Magazine.
- Delivering industry updates, job postings and other member alerts.
- Contributing to member communications by authoring original feature content.
- Scooping us on news items.
- Putting your logo on industry publications by advertising with ATEC.
For institutions, instructors and students, providing content for ATEC communications is the perfect way to highlight good work, build interest in educational issues and lend authority to the many initiatives ATEC has undertaken on behalf of AMTS nationwide.
How do you get started? Visit www.atec-amt.org/write-for-ATEC.
ATEC’s greatest success is the good work of its members. Help put it on display.
Through its membership on the STEM Education Coalition’s Leadership Council, ATEC provides part 147 schools an opportunity to support life-long technical education on Capitol Hill.
The Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) has recently emerged in the Senate. The comprehensive and bipartisan bill includes a significant focus on improving learning in the critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Specifically, the bill includes a hard-won provision – adopted by a close vote during committee consideration – that would provide every state with dedicated funding to support a wide range of STEM education activities, including professional development and hands on learning.
Tell the Senate how important this provision is to the future of American education. By beginning with elementary education, ATEC can help to foster technical skills and interest that will bear fruit when students consider hands on fields like aviation maintenance.
The STEM coalition has done much of the work, all you need to do is click on this link and you can get started.
Click here for a more detailed summary of the Every Child Achieves Act's major STEM provisions.
The 2016 ATEC Annual Meeting will be in Atlanta, Georgia on April 9-12, 2016. The top meeting of aviation maintenance educators, the event offers the forum to network with colleagues, receive regulatory updates and see new education tools and techniques. Attendees will be eligible for both professional education and AMT credit. Registration will open this Fall, so mark your calendars now and plan to attend.
Calling all Sponsors!
ATEC invites you to join the 2016 annual conference as a sponsoring partner. Your sponsorship provides attendees with an unforgettable experience while creating a valuable opportunity to network with aviation maintenance education professionals. A record number of attendees participated in the 2015 event, and the 2016 program’s enhanced agenda will be a powerful draw.
Increase your industry visibility by sponsoring an event. Benefits include:
Sponsorship Opportunities. By sponsoring a specific event, you will connect your business to an indelible part of the conference experience:
Get maximum exposure for your products and brand. Secure your place at the conference by reserving a booth in the exhibit hall. Two size exhibit spaces are available.
Visit the exhibitor/sponsor page to get started.
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.