New Report on States’ ESSA Report Cards, A Push for Colleges to Complete Equity Audits

Even though Congress is in recess, new reports and recent events have kept the attention on Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about a new analysis of state report cards required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), equity audits for postsecondary institutions, and two recent events in Washington, D.C. that featured CTE.

Data Quality Campaign Report Sheds Light on States’ ESSA Report Cards   

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has updated its annual review of state K-12 report cards, illuminating for the first time how states are reporting and communicating student progress in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) era. States made some bold commitments in their ESSA plans, but DQC’s analysis shows that there is still work to do. According to their analysis, 41 states do not include disaggregated achievement data for at least one federally required subgroup. Twenty seven states do not include data on postsecondary enrollment. These are challenges states will need to address as they prepare to meet the data collection and reporting requirements under Perkins V.

Center for American Progress Encourages Colleges to Conduct Equity Audits

One part of the Center for American Progress’s (CAP) Beyond Tuition initiative to improve affordability, quality and accountability in higher education is for colleges to carry out equity audits. CAP defines equity audits as “internal reviews of key policies and practices to identify those that fail to effectively serve underrepresented students.” Senator Schatz (D-HI) recently introduced the College Equity Act, which includes implementation of equity audits in colleges and corresponding grant funding based on the outcomes of the audit. Find more information in CAP’s article, Equity Audits: A Tool for Campus Improvement.

Convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education Includes CTE 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Educated hosted a convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education: A Second Chance at Learning with the purpose of highlighting and advancing the “conversation around the administration-wide goal of rethinking education for incarcerated individuals.” The day included panels on state and local programs, student and educator perspectives, as well as remarks from the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson. A common theme, especially when hearing from state and local leaders, was that CTE plays an important role in educational programming for those who are incarcerated. A breakout session in the afternoon on how Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) can support education for incarcerated individuals highlighted that both laws provide opportunities to do so, but there is a lack of clarity on how this can be done. Looking for opportunities for how to promote collaboration across Perkins V and WIOA? Check out Coordinating Across Perkins V and WIOA, a brief from Advance CTE and the National Skills Coalition.

Workforce Preparation was a Resounding Theme at Reagan Institute Summit

The Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) – hosted by the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute, which aims to promote the former President’s legacy through policy and ideas – was held in Washington, DC on April 11. A major focus of this year’s summit was career readiness. Senator Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, made the case for expanding eligibility for Pell grants to both individuals who are incarcerated as well as learners in short-term credential programs. Representative Foxx (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, also made the case for strengthening workforce preparation opportunities in order to ensure that learners do not accrue significant amounts of debt without a credential to show for it. Other policymakers suggested ideas such as using H-1B visa funds to support training in high-need industry areas or piloting risk sharing funding models to hold institutions of higher education accountable for the workforce outcomes of their graduates. Overall, the theme of the day was that support for career preparation in high school and college is widespread.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

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