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:
- Developing sustainable employee and business partnerships,
- Creating high-quality career pathways, and
- Prioritizing accountability systems
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