Posts Tagged ‘CCSSO’

Career Readiness Partners Gather in Washington, DC to Collaborate and Learn

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Career readiness can be achieved through statewide systems change — but it will take a unified effort from national partners working together to achieve that vision. That, at least, was my takeaway from Monday’s “Career Readiness in K-12 and Beyond” meeting hosted by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) at the National Guard Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

The meeting brought together nearly forty partners representing non-profit organizations, foundations, government agencies, think tanks and companies to raise awareness about ongoing initiatives and to coalesce around a shared vision. With numerous efforts already underway at the national, state and local levels, I could feel the energy in the room around the subject of career readiness.

Former Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday kicked the meeting off by sharing the background of CCSSO’s Career Readiness Task Force. The task force launched in 2014 when Holliday was president of CCSSO, and in which Advance CTE’s Kimberly Green participated along with a number of State CTE Directors.  The task force released a report, titled “Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation Work for Students,” with recommendations for states to transform their career readiness systems. Currently, CCSSO — along with Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, with funding from JPMorgan Chase & Co. — is leading the  New Skills for Youth initiative to implement the task force’s recommendations in 24 states and D.C. We recently launched the Learning that Works Resource Center in support of the initiative, and if you haven’t visited the Resource Center yet, I highly recommend doing so.

The meeting quickly jumped from national to state and local efforts. For me, the most impactful part of the event was when Ghafoor Siddique, an Aerospace Instructor from Sno Isle Tech in Washington, spoke about developing an aerospace program for high school students. Siddique had been working for Boeing doing commercial flight tests when he was recruited by Sno Isle Tech. The program relies on the Core Plus curriculum, which was developed by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, the Boeing Company, the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle and other companies. The curriculum uses industry-validated knowledge, skills and abilities to help students develop technical skills related to a particular career field.

Siddique also told us how, with support from his students, he launched an in-house aircraft maintenance company that services private planes, using profits to buy equipment for the class. This allows students to learn hands-on how to build and repair aircraft, while simultaneously allowing the school to sustain the aerospace program despite potentially prohibitive equipment costs. In the first few years since the program was launched, Siddique reported that several of his students had gone on to work for Boeing. The company, one of the largest global aircraft manufacturers, is based in Seattle, Washington.

Such programs are part of the reason why there is growing enthusiasm across the states for career readiness. That enthusiasm was clearly present among the attendees at Monday’s meeting. In between panels, we had the opportunity to share our own work and identify opportunities to collaborate with one another. We learned about efforts ranging from developing apprenticeship programs to encouraging adoption of industry credentials, each in support of the larger goal of improving career readiness for tomorrow’s workers.

Next month, states in the New Skills for Youth initiative will gather in Washington, DC to share their progress and outline their plans to transform career readiness systems back home. While only ten states will qualify for the next round of funding, many will follow through on their action plans, recognizing the need and importance of an educational system that prepares students for the workforce. Such aspirations are the reason why classes like Siddique’s can succeed.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Uncategorized
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Experts discuss CCSSO Opportunities and Options Report on the Importance of Career Readiness

Monday, December 1st, 2014
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) brought together leaders in K-12, higher education and the business community today to discuss recommendations from CCSSO’s newly released report encouraging states to make career readiness a priority.

The report, Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation work for Students, resulted from a year-long taskforce including K-12, higher education and affiliate groups such as NASDCTEc. Opportunities and Options, supported by 43 states and territories to date, presents a clear set of actions states can take to close the skills gap and ensure more students graduate from high school prepared for high-skill, high-demand careers.

These recommendations include:

Maura Banta, IBM’s Director of Global Citizen Initiatives in Education and task force representative reiterated the necessity of partnering business and education to create career-ready workers if the U.S. is to remain a global competitor. To accomplish this, businesses can take the lead in showcasing their passion for collaborating with education, developing staff-buy in and focusing on both short term and long term outcomes.

Terry Holliday, Kentucky Education Commissioner and Career Readiness Task Force Chairman urged states to develop high-quality pathways that help all students reach successful careers in their communities. To that end, Holliday urged local and national groups representing education, business and stakeholders, to streamline credentials and certifications to help students determine what credentials are necessary in today’s workforce.

Scott Ralls, North Carolina Community College Systems President discussed the interest gap that exists in CTE, and called on states to work with students earlier to showcase the opportunities that exist within CTE, and how it can prepare students for living wage careers.

Lastly, June Atkinson, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction and incoming President of CCSSO, outlined a series of the ways in which CTE can move forward. She highlighted Opportunities and Options’ capability to serve as a resource for recommendations for Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization; the opportunity for states to network to share information, challenges and lessons learned; and the necessity to engage State Governors to move the CTE agenda forward.

To learn more about the report, find NASDCTEc’s press release here, and the full report here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

By Katie Fitzgerald in Meetings and Events, News, Publications, Resources
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New Accountability Roadmap May Add Pressure for Faster ESEA Reauthorization

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Last week, NASDCTEc reported on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s efforts to pressure Congress to hasten reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by issuing waivers for states to bypass parts of the current law. Now, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a nonprofit membership organization representing education chiefs from each state, has released a roadmap that will apply further pressure for Congress to take action.

CCSSO’s roadmap, currently a working draft, proposes “next-generation accountability systems aligned with college- and career-ready expectations for all students.” The roadmap is a combined effort of chiefs from 40 states and the District of Columbia to outline areas that should be included in state accountability systems, specifically through ESEA reauthorization. The accountability systems would still require schools to meet high standards, and would also provide more feedback and support to help schools make continuous improvements.

If Congress does not speed up the ESEA reauthorization process, states plan to request waivers to build new state accountability systems based on the roadmap instead of using the federal accountability system, according to leaders at CCSSO. If this occurs, the Department of Education will be inundated with requests for waivers all addressing essentially the same topic. This would unify the focus of the waiver requests received by the Department and would make very clear the kind of accountability systems preferred by states in the new ESEA legislation.

Yesterday, Congress approved the second in a series of education reform bills designed to overhaul NCLB. Despite pressure from Duncan, CCSSO, and others, it looks unlikely that Congress will complete reauthorization prior to the upcoming school year.

By Kara in News, Public Policy, Resources
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