NASBE is facilitating a year-long study group “The Second ‘C’: Ensuring All Students Graduate College and Career Ready” (2015) to focus on effective programs and policies designed to ensure students graduate from high school career ready. The study group includes state board of education members from across the nation, and is chaired by Mireya Reith, a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education.

Among the issues being explored:

  • Student readiness. Data from ACT and other sources clearly indicate that today’s students do not leave high school with the skills and knowledge they need for success in college or a career. What are the gaps? How can schools help fill those gaps?
  • Funding. The best career education programs offer students opportunities for personalized learning. This is not inexpensive, and with federal funding always uncertain, states may struggle to provide a steady funding stream.
  • Recruiting and retaining strong staff members. It is a challenge to recruit and retain highly effective educators in career fields. Frequently, individuals with strong technical skills may lack the required coursework to earn a teaching certificate. What are best practices in this area? How can state policies on teacher licensure support CTE?
  • Partnerships. Some of the best career training programs are offered by industry and labor unions. How can schools take advantage of this expertise? Can states develop policies that will foster stronger partnerships?
  • Meeting diverse educational needs. How can states start to bridge the gap between “college-ready” learning and “career-ready” learning? If the goal is to have all students leave high school prepared for both college and a career, how will state policies need to be adjusted?

The study group will release a full report of their findings in October at NASBE’s annual conference. The report will provide state boards with timely research and suggest principles by which to craft policies.

To learn more about the Career Readiness Study Group, please contact Francis Eberle.