Policy: Federal

Improving Academic Preparation for College

This paper reviews research and makes the case for a definition of academic preparation that includes academic rigor, grades, and specific academic skills that students will need to be successful in a college level course. The authors assert that though it may be difficult to measure, it is important to consider all of these aspects in defining readiness and in helping students meet a threshold of it.

Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018

This report is divided into five parts that present national forecasts of educational demand from 2008 through 2018 and provide economic context for the findings. These estimates are grounded in occupational and industry forecasts based on a macroeconomic model that generates a cohesive economic outlook for the economy over the next decade. The report demonstrates that projecting education and job requirements is technically feasible with a minimum amount of error.

Coalition for a College and Career Ready America: Guiding Principles

This policy brief outlines the policy agenda of the Coalition for a College and Career Ready America. The authors note that the coalition supports: high standards with supports for students, providing states and districts with access to quality data and technical assistance, recognizing the role of charter schools and high-quality models, turning around all low-performing schools, and aligning state and federal initiatives with these principals.

A Federal Agenda for Promoting Student Success and Degree Completion

This report seeks to define and recommend changes to the federal role in ensuring that students not only enter college but graduate. The authors describe the current state of college matriculates, discern their goal of "increasing degree production and decreasing inequality", and discuss five strategies that need to be implemented to reach their goal. The authors conclude that the federal role, in terms of both funding and oversight, should further expand their reach to increase the number of degree holders.

College for All? The Labor Market for College Educated Workers

This guide addresses the question: "Is the demand for 'college jobs' growing?" The author approaches the question by breaking relevant issues and the research into four areas: 1) evidence on the trajectory of the demand for skill; 2) sources of rising skill needs; 3) are the benefits real; and 4) moving forward. The author concludes that increasing access to higher education is beneficial in "social, civic, and economic terms."

Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation

This paper from the Center on Educational Policy reports on a national survey in early 2011 of school districts’ perceptions of the impact of the common core state standards (CCSS), district progress in implementing the standards, and any challenges they have experienced in doing so. The report discusses the results of the survey based on state and district responses. The questions posed covered a range of topics, including district budgets, federal stimulus money, education reform, and the CCSS.

High School Career Academies: A 40-Year Proven Model for Improving College and Career Readiness

This resource from American Youth Policy Forum examines the impact that career academies have had over the past 40 years. The author discusses the need for action and the research that shows career academies improve educational and labor market outcomes. Additionally, the author suggests several policy issues that must be addressed in order for career academies to be expanded.

Connecting College and Career Readiness Policy and Data: A Planning Tool for States

This resource from the Data Quality Campaign is a tool designed to help states identify critical policy questions for achieving education policy goals related to college and career readiness. The authors provide guiding questions to allow state policy makers to critically examine their state’s policy priorities. Once the questions have been answered, the tool then provides a template for an Action Plan to help guide the policy makers through to the next steps can be taken within their states.

State-Level High School Improvement Systems Checklist

This National High School Center checklist is designed to help states at various stages develop their system of support to reach struggling high schools. The checklist can be used to assess where your state is in terms of the elements of using existing support and guidance mechanisms, and reconfiguring and/or creating new structures to leverage system change for high school improvement. The elements listed in the checklist may be helpful in establishing or refining your state’s education planning and implementation process.


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