The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents state with a significant opportunity to design their K-12 systems to prepare all students for college and careers. States can use this occasion to set and execute a vision that provides students with multiple, meaningful opportunities to engage in pathways that build awareness of career opportunities, provide real-world instruction and lead to credentials with labor market value.
This brief from Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group examines where and how career readiness shows up in the first 17 ESSA plans. The brief finds that, while more than half plan to adopt measures of career readiness in their accountability systems, many states missed an opportunity to fully leverage ESSA to advance a statewide vision of career readiness. In addition to accountability, the brief examines how states plan to support career readiness through the vision and goals; Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction); Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants); and Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers).
This is a critical resource both for round 2 states finalizing their ESSA plans and for round 1 states strategizing the best approach to implement their plans. A cheat sheet detailing the opportunities and intersections between ESSA and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 is available here.