Policy: State

State High School Tests: Changes in State Policies and the Impact of the College and Career Readiness Movement

This annual report from the Center on Education Policy uses the results of a survey of state department of education officials to examine state policies regarding high school assessment requirements. These include high school exit exams, college entrance exams, and college and career readiness assessments. The paper reports on recent changes to state policies regarding exit exams, and discusses the impact of the national and state focus on college readiness standards, such as the Common Core state standards, on such policies.

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.

Inequitable Oopportunities: How Current Education Systems and Policies Undermine the Chances for Student Persistence and Success in College

This report presents a national study that examines K-16 policies and practices and student, parent, teacher, counselor, and administrator understandings of them. The findings showed that students, parents, and educators are either confused or misinformed about how students should properly prepare for college, and a great deal of inequalities between students in honors versus those in non-honors courses in regards to the quality and amount of college counseling they received existed.

High Leverage Policy Framework

This guide from the New England Secondary School Consortium provides policymakers and educators with a framework for analyzing and developing education policy at the state, district, and local levels. The framework includes three factors - leverage points, design features, and implementation contingencies - and provides definitions and examples of how these factors can lead to systems change and positive student outcomes through a theory of action.

Supporting Data Use While Protecting the Privacy, Security and Confidentiality of Student Information: A Primer for State Policymakers

This policy brief sponsored by the Data Quality Campaign discusses the states’ role in keeping student data private and used effectively and securely. The author explains the importance of state guidance on securing data and creating efficient systems of using data. It provides recommendations including establishing roles for data stewardship, ensuring policy documentation, transparency and enforcement, and supporting organizational capacity.

Incentives for Early Graduation: How Can State Policies Encourage Students to Complete High School in Less than Four Years?

This policy brief sponsored by Jobs For The Future discusses early high school graduation policies. The author examines the effects of early high school graduation policies including brief discussions on the purpose of early graduation policies, the costs and benefits of early graduation policies and designs of state policies.

Engineering Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise of the Common Core State Standards

This policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education makes a number of federal policy recommendations that might support states’ comprehensive literacy plans, including: support for college and career ready standards, support for state level literacy teams, support for teacher education and professional development focused on content literacy, and investment in ongoing research and evaluation. Authors argue that major commitments are necessary from state and federal agencies to make substantial improvements in literacy achievement.

Framework for Developing A System of Linked Learning Pathways

This framework, sponsored by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, discusses critical elements needed to build district infrastructure for Linked Learning, California’s system of preparing students for college and careers. The author identifies 17 critical elements that district leaders must consider to properly support Linked Learning. These critical elements are organized into three categories: (1) Leadership and Systems Alignment, (2) Pathway Design and Quality, and (3) Operations.

Student Learning Plans: Supporting Every Student's Transition to College and Career

This policy brief from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy describes student learning plans (SLPs) as a way to prepare students for the transition from school to college and career. The brief includes an overview of SLPs, the research on their effectiveness to improve student outcomes, and the implementation of SLPs in other states. While the brief was written for Massachusetts policymakers, the information and recommendations are useful for other audiences.


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