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Press Release

Monday, September 28, 2015

CCSSO Announces State Action to Advance Career Pathways

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2015) -- Seventeen states are committing to reset career education by adding rigor and value to programs preparing high school graduates for high-skilled, high-demand jobs.

Using economic development data and partnerships with community employers, these states will design more rigorous career pathways that span secondary and postsecondary levels, culminating in credentials for students.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is facilitating this work, which pursues recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO's Career Readiness Task Force.

The report encourages states to make high school programs more responsive to the labor market by enlisting the employer community as a lead partner; significantly raise the threshold for quality career pathways in secondary schools; and make career preparation matter to schools and students, in part by expanding accountability systems to emphasize career readiness.

"The task force recommendations were an important start, but states now must make them a reality," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. "In this global economy, we must prepare all kids to have an option in a career pathway as well as continued academic pursuits by the time they graduate from high school."

For all states, CCSSO will develop an online resource center to provide strategies, case studies, self-assessment tools, communications materials and models of best practice.

Seventeen states have committed to developing and executing detailed plans to implement the task force recommendations. That includes making career readiness a higher priority in state accountability systems by incorporating a more robust set of career-focused indicators that measure and value successful completion of meaningful pathways, work-based learning experiences, and credentials.

The 17 states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

CCSSO launched its Career Readiness Task Force in the Spring of 2014 to increase the rigor in career education to meet expectations of the current labor market.
 

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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.