Issue/Policy Brief

Aligning K–12 and Postsecondary Career Pathways with Workforce Needs

This brief from the Education Commission of the States examines the policymaking activity of 13 states concerning two core areas: (1) how these states are establishing processes for educators and employers to use workforce data to set goals that align with high school and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs; and (2) how these states are developing strategies that scale up career pathways in a way that connects K–12 education to postsecondary CTE initiatives.  

 

Fostering School Success with Standards for Nonacademic Skills

Growing evidence highlights the importance of teaching social and emotional skills alongside academic skills for students’ success throughout their education and beyond. Although social and emotional skills are frequently tied to early education standards, they are often left out of the standards for elementary, middle, and high school. As a result, many states have encountered roadblocks in aligning early learning standards with those for K–12.

Career Pathway Systems: Lessons from Miami

This brief profiles Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ efforts to establish career pathway systems for its students. These efforts focus on providing students with coursework that builds their competencies in core academic and career areas, and provides opportunities to earn postsecondary and workforce credentials. Key features of the district’s career pathway systems include early career exploration, strong partnerships with postsecondary and workforce institutions, and emphasis on college and career in school curriculum and culture.

Planning for Higher Education Programs: Effectively Using Data and Modeling to Understand Workforce Needs

Educators and policymakers responsible for planning degree and certificate programs have a wide range of quantitative and qualitative workforce data available to support their decision making. Although the use of this information is usually limited to managing ongoing programs, these data also can contribute to supporting broader scans of occupations and fields of study in which new programs might be needed.

Integrating Earning College Credit in High School into Accountability Systems

Evidence suggests that earning college credit prior to postsecondary enrollment is a predictor of college success. States are now being asked to consider including measures related to students earning college credit during high school in their accountability systems. This paper offers research-based guidance and recommendations to states for incorporating these indicators into their accountability systems.

Let’s Get this Conversation Started: Strategies, Tools, Examples and Resources to Help States Engage with Stakeholders to Develop and Implement their ESSA Plans

The Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) has created opportunities for stakeholders to play a more active role in helping state education agencies create policy and implement initiatives. For this to happen, however, state education agencies must first to be able to engage stakeholders in a way that will encourage committed collaboration with state and local leaders.

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