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P-16/P-20 Councils: List of Issues/Initiatives Council Is Addressing

Councils are addressing such a diverse set of issues - and even the same issue can be parsed quite differently - that no easy analysis of "who's doing what" is possible. However, it can be said that many councils are working to align high school exit and postsecondary entrance expectations, improve teaching quality, and develop P-16 data systems. Some councils have focused on a single issue, while others have taken on a large reform agenda.

In most cases, initiatives for each state are listed in the database in an "early to late" continuum, with early learning initiatives generally listed first, then followed by general K-12 or middle/high school initiatives, followed by transitions to postsecondary initiatives, followed by postsecondary entry and completion initiatives, followed by economic/workforce development issues, followed by "other" issues, such as communications.

Why does it matter?

  • Council agendas should be reasonably honed (neither too broad nor too vague).
  • Councils need to be given meaningful work to do.
  • A focused agenda can reduce the likelihood that time and effort will be spent on duplicative efforts.
  • Addressing early learning and the "17-20" truly addresses the mission of a P-20 council.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

Methodology: ECS performed an initial search of statutes, regulations and executive orders. However, because many P-16 and P-20 councils are established independently of these means, ECS conducted interviews with and had all data verified by at least one contact in the state (typically a P-16 or P-20 council member or staff member supporting the council).

Last update: May 28, 2008

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

List of issues/initiatives council is addressing
Arizona

In December 2006, the P-20 council issued its first set of 32 recommendations to the governor. Since that time, the council has been working aggressively to implement each of those recommendations.

The council’s work is based on five strategic goals that serve as its foundation. These goals include ensuring that:

  • Every child is safe, healthy and ready to succeed
  • Every 3rd grader is able to read at grade level
  • Every 8th grader is prepared to take and pass algebra
  • Every graduating high school student is prepared for work and postsecondary education in the 21st century
  • Arizona’s education system creates a strong pipeline of students who are prepared to build and sustain a knowledge-based economy.

Additionally, the council is focusing its work in seven policy areas, which also serve as the council’s committee structure, and include the following initiatives for 2008:

Education Alignment & Assessment Committee

  • Review assessments, including AIMS and end of course tests.
  • More students taking and passing Algebra I in the 8th grade.
  • Adoption of the more rigorous math standard.
  • Revision of Arizona’s English Language Arts standard.
  • Commissioned the report, “From Education to Work: Is Arizona Prepared? Alignment Project Report,” in 2006 which provided the baseline data for many of the P-20 Council’s recommendations.
  • Facilitated discussions and meetings with and between the Arizona Board of Regents and the State Board of Education to address the issues of alignment of K-12 curriculum, assessments, and graduation requirements that will prepare students for post secondary education and the workforce.

Education and Workforce Pathways Committee

  • Create multiple pathways for students to meet high school graduation requirements.
  • Expand early college options.
  • Enhance the academic content within CTE programs of study.
  • Partnered in hosting the state’s first Summit on 21st Century Skills in October 2007.

Teachers Committee

  • Improve teacher quality.
  • Increase the attraction, retention and supply of STEM teachers.
  • Arizona STEM Center.
  • Completed the report, “Strengthening Teacher Quality and Support: Next Steps for Arizona,” and integrated the recommendations into the work of the P-20 Council (2007).

Data and Graduation Committee

  • Raise the compulsory attendance age.
  • Implement an effective data system.
  • Implement a teacher identifier.

Communications Committee

  • Conduct a public awareness campaign in partnership with education, foundation and business leaders.

Literacy Committee

  • Support teachers by providing strategies to support literacy instruction.
  • Implement a teacher scholarship to increase the number of Arizona teachers with a Reading Endorsement.
  • Conducted three adolescent literacy forums in 2007.

Early Education Ad Hoc Committee

  • Assist in planning and participate in a day-long meeting on aligning early childhood with the early elementary years.
  • Identify recommendations regarding priorities and strategies around early childhood and elementary alignment (P-3) to be incorporated into the work of the Council’s standing committees.
  • Identify recommendations regarding priorities and strategies on aligning early childhood development into the entire P-20 education continuum, to be incorporated into the work of the Council’s standing committees.

Higher Education Ad Hoc Committee

  • Implement Centennial Scholars program.
  • Increase bachelor’s degree production.
  • Facilitate more students going to and graduating from a community college/university
  • Expand collaborative programs (such as 2+2, 3+1, and 2+2+2 agreements).
  • Develop strategies to provide expanded degree programs at community colleges in limited subject areas.
  • Explore the creation of "university centers" on community college campuses.
  • Enhance the transfer of credits between institutions that count toward a degree.
  • Streamline governance of higher education.
  • Commissioned “A Feasibility and Demand Study for the State of Arizona,” to determine gaps in access to degrees in all parts of the state. This work has resulted in a number of collaborative planning efforts including the work of the Arizona Board of Regents, the Arizona Legislature and the P-20 Council itself.
Arkansas The council is required by statute to provide an annual report to the governor, senate and house education committees, the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and all boards of trustees of public institutions of higher education.

Secondary Reading:

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM):
The commission's 2007 annual report includes the recommendation, in response to 2007 Act 1024 and Act 564: "There must be better qualified teachers and more available resources for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subject areas."

High School Graduation Requirements: In 2007, the commission discussed the possibility of eliminating the opt-out provision for the Smart Core Curriculum, the rigorous graduation requirements that become the default high school curriculum effective with the Class of 2010.

College Readiness: The commission provided the state board of education with recommendations to improve alignment of K-12 and postsecondary math and literacy course standards. These standards were also reviewed by Achieve, Inc. and representatives of postsecondary and K-12 education. The commission is also discussing using the Algebra II end-of-course assessment as a college placement exam.

Dual Enrollment: The commission's 2007 annual report includes the group's recommendation that "More effort needs to be made by the colleges and universities to validate and assure the standards are being met for concurrent enrollment courses, including the credentials of the instructors. This must be specified in writing more precisely than it has been done in the past."

Teacher Shortage/Retention and Teacher Quality: The commission's subcommittee on teacher shortage/retention issued numerous findings and recommendations aimed at increasing the number and retention of K-12 educators serving the state.

The commission's 2007 annual report also provides recommendations on improving teacher quality and the perception of the teaching profession.
California Closing the Achievement Gap: The council's work is focused on closing the achievement gap, defined as the gaps between ethnic groups, between native English speakers and English language learners, between non-economically disadvantaged students and their economically disadvantaged counterparts, and between students without disabilities and students with disabilities.

The council has formed subcommittees focused on four themes (language below borrowed from January 2008 council report):

(1) Access, or the extent to which all students have equitable access to basic conditions, such as qualified, effective teachers; rigorous, curriculum based on the state academic content standards; "safety nets" and accelerated interventions.
(2) Culture and Climate, or the extent to which the learning environment is safe, promotes a sense of belonging, and fosters strong, positive relationships among students, among school staff and between the school and home/community.
(3) Expectations, or the extent to which a culture of excellence exists for students and adults alike, so that a common, high standard is the norm for all students, and getting all of them to meet those high standards is a responsibility embraced by the school community.
(4) Strategies, or the extent to which evidence-based or promising teaching, leadership, and organizational practices are employed by practitioners at all levels in areas such as delivery of standards-aligned instructional programs, standards of professional practice, needs-based allocation of resources, collegial accountability and collaboration, articulation across grade spans, and leadership development.

High School: The first issue the council addressed, high school reform, was the subject of a February 2007 report providing the council's recommendations for state policy changes.

Professional Development: The council issued a September 2007 report providing essential questions, research and recommendations on teacher, support staff and administrator professional development.

The council has also developed a three-year (2007-2009) plan of activities to address the achievement gap.
Colorado The council has created subcommittees on P-3; data and accountability; dropout prevention and recovery; educator recruitment, preparation and retention; and preparation and transitions [to postsecondary]. The council released recommendations in each of these areas in November 2007.
Connecticut To be determined
Delaware Early Learning: The Professional Development for Early Care and Education subcommittee was created in December 2007.

P-16 Data System: The Higher Education Data Cube subcommittee "was created to facilitate the creation of a data cube to link information between high schools, the Department of Education and institutions of higher education to be accessed by key people in schools, districts and colleges. These data will help personnel at all levels to identify areas that need improvement to insure student success from high school to college" (P-20 council Web site).  

Closing the Achievement Gap: One of the primary objectives of the Achievement Gap Action Group (AGAG) was to adopt a measure to "minimize the fluctuations in the gap that resulted when looking at different groups of students each year" (P-20 council Web site). To that end, the committee "has issued 5 annual 'Awareness to Action' reports on tracking the achievement gap in Delaware schools. In addition, with funding from the State Board of Education, AGAG sponsored and worked with the Research and Development Center on the Correlates of Achievement data base for all middle and high schools" (minutes of December 3, 2007 group meeting).

AGAG held its last meeting in December 2007; the new Delaware College Access Network subcommittee (DE-CAN - see more information below) subcommittee was established in January 2008 with some of the AGAG members, as well as members from the Rodel Foundation and higher education representatives.

High School Graduation Requirements: The committee, formed in September 2005 after a commissioned Achieve report suggested the state should increase its graduation expectations in English language arts and math, and make other requirements more specific. The committee issued recommendations that were presented to the state board of education in summer 2006. The regulations approved by the board that summer reflect the recommendations provided by the subcommittee. A 2006 report, "Updating Delaware's High School Graduation Requirements," details the recommendations and next steps for the state.

College Access and Success: The Delaware College Access Network (DE-CAN) subcommittee was created in January 2008. As stated in the minutes of the subcommittee's January 25, 2008 meeting, "The primary mission of DE-CAN is to strengthen the preparation of public school students in Delaware to ensure their college readiness and ability to succeed in work readiness programs, as well as degree attainment from two- and four-year college degree programs." The minutes state the following five objectives for the group:

1. Develop and strengthen public support for increasing academic rigor
2. Support student access to a state-wide network of college preparatory activities.
3. Develop a community-wide academic support infrastructure.
4. Use data to measure student access and success in higher education.
5. Develop a financial plan to support DE-CAN.

Dual Enrollment: The dual enrollment subcommittee was established to set a statewide dual enrollment policy, as part of the work to be conducted under the National Governors Association Honor State grant to Delaware. The subcommittee's work in 2006-2007 resulted in the issuing of an October 2007 report that set forth the subcommittee's recommendations on a number of policy issues related to dual enrollment/dual credit. 

Georgia

The Alliance has set five goals:

1. Increase high school graduation rate, decrease high school drop-out rate, and increase postsecondary enrollment rate.

2. Strengthen teacher quality, recruitment, and retention.

3. Improve workforce readiness skills.

4. Develop strong education leaders, particularly at the building level.

5. Improve the SAT/ACT scores of Georgia students.

Hawaii

P-3 Initiative: "Capturing the Momentum," supported by a $10 million, eight-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, "will support the development of high quality, culturally sensitive learning environments in early childhood through grade 3 settings and classrooms," with the goal that all third graders will read on grade level. The project will replicate and provide support for successful community-based and state-level initiatives already in place. A fact sheet provides additional information on the effort.

Longitudinal Data: The council has completed a contract with Cal-PASS to conduct preliminary analysis of longitudinal data in the state. If the pilot proves successful, the council will continue to develop "HI-PASS" for Hawaii–creating unique student identifiers to make possible longitudinal tracking of cohorts from high school to postsecondary. Such a data system will allow the state to measure the impact of high school reforms on  students' postsecondary outcomes.

High School to Postsecondary Transitions: Multiple efforts, including:

  • American Diploma Project, which assists member states in developing and implementing rigorous high school curricula, college-ready standards and assessments, and accountability for high school and postsecondary success. As part of this effort, the council is supporting a proposal to increase the rigor of the state's more advanced "Recognition Diploma."
  • GEAR UP state grant to foster college readiness and access among low-income students, beginning in the middle grades. These efforts include hosting college awareness month in January and such other efforts as free tax preparation (to facilitate completion of the FAFSA), college planning workshops and financial aid nights.
  • Achieving the Dream, a multi-state initiative to support retention of traditionally underserved students in community colleges.

Postsecondary Entry/Completion: The council voted at its November 2007 meeting that the group's long-term measurable goal would be to increase the proportion of working adults in Hawaii with a 2- or 4-year degree to 55% by 2025. (If the status quo were maintained, a projected 43.7% working adult Hawaiians would meet this benchmark.) The council staff are developing plans to backwards map from the goal to set intermediate benchmarks (such as high school graduation rate, college participation and completion rates, rate of adults returning to education, etc.) and communicate about the goal.

Illinois Not determined as of March 2008
Indiana The Education Roundtable adopted Phase I of "Indiana's P-16 Plan for Improving Student Achievement" in October 2003.

The 2003 plan includes the following 10 components (more details on each component in the plan):

Early Learning and School Readiness

Academic Standards, Assessment and Accountability

School and District Leadership and Governance

Eliminating Achievement Gaps and Ensuring Academic Progress for All Students

Dropout Prevention

Ensuring College/Workforce Success

Higher Education and Continued Learning

Teaching and Learning

Communication

Effective Use of Technology and Efficient Use of Resources

In addition:

Rigorous High School Curriculum: The Education Roundtable heads up the Indiana Core 40 Scholars Initiative, the state's version of the State Scholars Initiative program, which invites business leaders into schools to make presentations to 8th graders on the importance of completing a challenging high school curriculum in achieving future academic and career goals. Students agree to complete a rigorous high school curriculum.

The Education Roundtable is leading Indiana's participation in the American Diploma Project.
Kansas Not determined as of April 2008.
Kentucky P-16 Data System: The P-16 council endorsed the creation of a data system linking K-12 and postsecondary student records. Various other data initiatives in which the P-16 council played a role, including the revised high school feedback report, are outlined in the September 2007 report, Kentucky P-16 Collaboration: A Review After Eight Years.

High School Graduation Requirements: The council strongly advocated for the enhanced graduation requirements approved by the state board of education in February 2006.

Transitions from High School to Postsecondary: In 2000-2001, the council convened teams of K-12 teachers and administrators and postsecondary faculty to develop recommendations on what P-12 educators, postsecondary institutions (including colleges of education) and classroom teachers at all levels should do to reduce the need for postsecondary remediation in English and math. Focus groups of parents, employers, labor leaders, students who had participated in postsecondary remediation, and chief academic officers of public postsecondary institutions reviewed the recommendations and provided their suggestions. The council endorsed these recommendations, some of which were included in the Kentucky Board of Education's 2006 revised high school graduation requirements.

In 2001, Kentucky was selected as one of the five pilot states for the American Diploma Project (ADP). When the benchmarks were released in 2004 at the end of the pilot, Kentucky postsecondary institutions agreed on college-ready skills that would guarantee placement in credit-bearing courses in English and math. The P-16 council endorsed this postsecondary placement policy. Students who can demonstrate achieving these benchmarks in English and mathmatics through threshold ACT scores or their equivalents are guaranteed placement into credit-bearing courses at postsecondary institutions throughout the state.

The P-16 council has been a vehicle for various other initiatives on transitions to postsecondary, outlined in the September 2007 report, Kentucky P-16 Collaboration: A Review After Eight Years.

Postsecondary Access and Success: The September 2007 report, Kentucky P-16 Collaboration: A Review After Eight Years outlines a variety of efforts on which the P-16 council has served as the vehicle, such as the state GEAR UP grant, "Go Higher" campaign to encourage postsecondary enrollment, and regional stewardship program.

Teachers/Administrators: The P-16 council has been a vehicle for numerous activities outlined in the September 2007 report, Kentucky P-16 Collaboration: A Review After Eight Years. They include yearly teacher quality summits, 2+2 teacher preparation agreements, participation in the State Action for Educational Leadership Project (SAELP), a Title II teacher quality enhancement grant and development of the principals' academy as directed by 2006 legislation.

E-Learning and Online Resources: The September 2007 report, Kentucky P-16 Collaboration: A Review After Eight Years details various online efforts in which the P-16 council has had a hand, including www.kyeducators.org, the Kentucky Early Mathematics Testing Program, Kentucky Virtual Schools, the Go Higher Web portal, the Kentucky Education Network and the Kentucky Learning Content Repository.

Communications: The P-16 council endorsed a statewide public communication campaign to promote postsecondary education for all Kentuckians.
Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence: The commission focuses on the recruitment, preparation and certification of teachers and educational leaders. Their work to redesign all teacher and educational leadership preparation programs at all public and private universities in the state has included creating a new certification structure, strengthening undergraduate programs, and developing three new alternative teacher certification pathways, including the Practitioner Teacher Program.

High School Redesign Commission: The commission's 2006 report provides recommendations in six areas of high school reform. These areas include: 

  • High School Redesign: The commission has issued recommendations on state policies related to the creation of small learning communities, 9th grade, and linking high school redesign with accountability.
  • Early Warning Systems, Remediation and Credit Recovery: Efforts on this front are in the implementation phase. An early warning system database has been developed. State funds have been allocated to provide credit recovery, and the commission will be evaluating methods of ensuring the credit recovery initiative is implemented consistently across the state and meets student needs, while maintaining the quality of courses students receive. The commission has also been involved in the development of a grade 9 initiative, which involved 54 schools in the 2007-2008 school year and that will continue (and hopefully expand, depending on funding), in the 2008-2009 school year.
  • Helping Students Prepare for College: Based on the commission's recommendations and with the commission's support, the state is working to develop an education and career planning Web site, and to provide training to adults to help students use the Web site. In addition, the state is hoping to expand access to career/technical education (CTE) through dual enrollment (including the TOPS Tech Early Start program) and close collaborations with business and industry via job shadowing and internship programs. The commission works closely with individuals involved in TOPS Tech so that the diploma requirements and scholarship criteria are aligned.
  • Ensuring Rigor and Relevancy in the High School Curriculum: The commission has issued recommendations on increasing the rigor of courses all students must complete for high school graduation, and on implementing end-of-course exams to ensure that course content across the state meets equally high expectations.
  • Dual Credit: The commission has recommended that the state increase access to dual credit opportunities for college-bound as well as workforce-bound students. As a result, the state is piloting a statewide dual enrollment program and is expanding postsecondary learning opportunities through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.
  • Communications/Building Public Support: With the commission's support, the state is pursuing various activities to communicate high school redesign efforts to various stakeholders and the general public. These communications efforts are informed by focus groups with business and industry representatives, parents, and others, along with roundtable committees of business leaders and community and technical colleges. In late 2007-early 2008, state officials also met face-to-face or in conference calls with district superintendents and other interested policymakers about high school redesign effort. Department staff hope to go out into the field to address questions from various stakeholders: What does HS redesign mean to you as a parent, business leader, etc. Development of the Web site and work in the field have just begun as of May 2008, and will continue through the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.
Maine The April 2008 executive order charges the council with recommending to the governor a plan that:
  • Furthers the goal of increasing the percentage of adults with a four-year degree to 30%
  • Furthers the goal of raising the high school-to-college rate to 70%
  • Leverages pre-K through adult resources and technologies
  • Finds further efficiencies in education administration at all levels.
Maryland As of April 2008, the P-20 council has had one meeting, so development of the council's agenda is in the early stages. However, the council's efforts will be focused on improving student achievement and promoting workforce skills through a statewide approach that ensures every student has a chance to succeed in school and in the workplace (cf. Executive Order 01.01.2007.20).

Work is underway to respond to the governor's charge to address:

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): The council's first task force will be appointed in spring 2008 and will focus on STEM. The task force will include high-level representatives of P-12 and higher education, business, and governmental agencies.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

The Critical Role of the Principal

The impact of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in Maryland in 2008 has increased the urgency of addressing these issues.

Minnesota The following are council priorities during the current chairmanship (2007-2009). Language quoted from working groups Web pages.

K-16 Data Systems: "The Data System Working Group should coordinate and complete the implementation of a common student identifier that follows students in Minnesota from kindergarten through the completion of postsecondary education. The working group should also develop recommendations for the P-16 Partnership Roundtable on the design and implementation of a broader statewide data system that will make it possible to link diverse data sets to analyze and enhance student success in preK-12 and higher education."

K-12 Science Instruction: "The Science Instruction Working Group should identify policies and practices that will increase the capacity of teachers, principals, mentors and other adults to help students from all backgrounds meet and exceed state academic standards in science and develop a lifelong interest in science and related fields. In particular, the group should work to identify instructional best practices in elementary and secondary science education that can be disseminated through the State of Minnesota’s new Math and Science Academies and other professional development initiatives."

K-12 Science Standards: "The Science Standards Working Group should develop broad recommendations for strengthening and enhancing Minnesota’s K-12 academic standards in science. The working group should seek to promote alignment between Minnesota’s K-12 science standards and: (a) the science readiness expectations of postsecondary institutions in Minnesota and around the country, and (b) recognized national and international science education frameworks."

Postsecondary/Workforce Readiness: "The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Working Group should develop a clear and concise definition of readiness for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-wage employment in Minnesota and a plan to disseminate that definition across the state. This definition of readiness should identify the academic content knowledge and the habits of mind that students need not only to gain admission to a postsecondary institution or to secure high-skill employment, but to succeed once they are in college or on the job. Minnesota’s readiness definition should be designed to provide the state’s diverse students, families, educators and communities with understandable and actionable information that can be used to guide preparation for life after high school. It should promote both individual student success and systemic change across schools, districts and the state as a whole."

The council has completed work in:

English Language Arts/Mathematics Standards: The council worked to integrate college readiness standards into high school English language arts and math standards. The fruits of these efforts are currently in rulemaking, and will make their way into state-level assessments in 2011 or 2012.
Mississippi
Missouri STEM (called "METS"): The governor asked the council in 2006 to make METS-related work the focus of its efforts. Throughout 2007, P-20 council members actively supported METS Coalition efforts. More details on METS available on the P-20 council Web site.

Longitudinal data sharing: The council has submitted an application for a $200,000 grant from the National Governors Association to improve links among data systems to provide value-added feedback reports to high schools, postsecondary institutions and the business community.

High school/postsecondary alignment: The council has been working with the Missouri Department of Higher Education to specify course-level competencies for entry into credit-bearing postsecondary-level courses, along with exit competencies to facilitate course transfer among institutions in the state. Fifty K-12 and 300 postsecondary participants are collaborating in workgroups built around seven disciplines: (1) arts and humanities; (2) engineering and technology; (3) English and communications; (4) foreign languages; (5) mathematics; (6) science; and (7) social studies. A workgroup is convening business/industry representatives to collect feedback on the entry-level competencies, and will use the results of this survey to suggest changes to the curriculum requirements where necessary.

Workforce development/Workforce planning for targeted industry clusters: Workforce 2025: Missouri's Labor Force of Tomorrow, the council's first deliverable, was the focus of the council's efforts in 2007 and was released in December 2007. The report highlights issues the state must tackle to meet future economic/workforce demands and provides recommendations for future efforts. In addition, state agencies participating in the council have launched an initiative to align worker supply with skill requirements in eight industry clusters in the state. Also see "high school/postsecondary alignment above for details on the role of industry in setting postsecondary expectations.

The 2007 annual report identifies regional summits, postsecondary remediation and mapping "critical transition points" in the P-20 pipeline as areas of focus for 2008.
Montana The governor has tasked the board of education with “homework assignments” requiring coordinated efforts by the state superintendent/office of public instruction, the board of public education and the board of regents/office of the commissioner of higher education. The kindergarten to college workgroup supports the board of education accomplishing the assignments. More details on each "homework assignment" are available through a strategic plans worksheet.

The governor's "homework assignments" fall into the five main categories below–further information on each assignment follows:

(1) School Readiness
    - Full-time Kindergarten

(2) Students Ready for College and Work
    - Increasing Graduation Rates
    - Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment
    - Global Competitiveness (Math and Science)

(3) Coordinate a Technology Network
    - Distance Education

(4) Close Tuition and Salary Gap
    - Access
    - Affordability
    - Transferability

(5)  Indian Education for All

(1) School Readiness (Early Learning): Extend the availability and quality of full-day kindergarten programs to ensure that "kids are ready for school, and schools are ready for kids." In addition, representatives of the office of public instruction (OPI) and the board of regents (BOR)/the Montana University System and the department of health and human services serve on the Governor's School Readiness Taskforce. The Governor’s Economic Development Office and the Department of Public Health and Human Services partnered with the private sector to study the early childhood industry in Montana. Efforts are also underway to enhance teacher education programs for early childhood providers within the Montana University System.

(2) College/Work Readiness: The workgroup is charged with increasing the number of students who leave high school ready for college and work. As a result, the Board of Regents (BOR) and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) are working with K-12 to align high school graduation and college admission expectations in math and writing. The OCHE and the Office of Public Instruction are implementing career clusters, Big Sky Pathways, in the Perkins reauthorization. Additional components of the workgroup's efforts on the governor's "students ready for college and work" assignment are:

  • Math and Science: As part of the workgroup's charge to ensure students are ready for college and work, the kindergarten to college workgroup supports the Governor and First Lady’s focus on math and science, and is examining changes to state policies in these subject areas.
  • High School Graduation Requirements: The state board of public education is reevaluating the state's high school graduation requirements. The state superintendent is developing a college readiness campaign.
  • Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment: Workgroup members are working to increase the availability of dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses, and to establish state-level dual credit/dual enrollment policies. To this end, the board of public education has convened a distance learning task force "To review and resolve K-12 education issues related to teacher qualifications/dual credit, supplement, not supplant, and funding."

Members are pursuing various activities to reduce the achievement gap between Native/non-Native students and improve articulation and transferability between tribal colleges and other two- and four-year institutions.

(3) Technology Framework:

  • Data Systems/Postsecondary Transfer: This is a priority area of the workgroup, with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education taking the lead on a seamless education data system. In response to the governor's "students ready for college and work" charge, members of the workgroup are participating on the Integrated Data Management Coordination Committee and are helping develop a P-16 student data system.
  • Distance learning and dual enrollment are priority areas for the workgroup, with the Board of Public Education taking the lead. Refer to the dual credit/dual enrollment taskforce link.

(4) Close Tuition and Salary Gap:

  • Transfer and Student Data Initiative: Aimed at facilitating the transfer of credits across Montana University System schools, improving access to the transfer and student information, and building upon existing data warehousing capacity. Distance learning and dual enrollment are priority areas for the workgroup, with the Board of Public Education taking the lead. Refer to the dual credit/dual enrollment taskforce link.
  • Postsecondary Participation and Success: The workgroup supports actions to increase college participation, especially at two-year institutions, and graduation rates. These efforts have focused around the Montana University System (MUS) remediation policy and course offerings, the math proficiency policy and placement in MUS, and implementing a writing proficiency measure for MUS placement. This is a priority of the workgroup, and the State superintendent is taking the lead on better aligning the expectations of college with hs course taking via an outreach project.
  • Teacher Quality/Recruitment: Workgroup members are addressing the availability of loan forgiveness programs and need-based financial aid and scholarships for prospective teachers, as well as the cost of postsecondary education in the state.

(5) Indian Education: "Indian Education for All" is a constitutional requirement for public education in Montana so that students learn about the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians.

Nebraska Early Learning: The Nebraska P-16 Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 proposes that an "early childhood development" task force be created in 2008.

K-12/Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment: Over a seven-year period, the council convened vertical teams of K-12 teachers and postsecondary faculty to develop a seamless curricular progression in English language arts, math and world languages.

High School Reform: The council is collaborating with the Greater Nebraska Superintendents organization, representing the 18 largest districts outside Omaha, along with the Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska Department of Education, to study research findings and reforms put forward by the McREL education laboratory and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Many of the participating districts have approved some reforms, and some progress has been demonstrated as a result.

College Planning and Transitions to Postsecondary: The P-16 council participated in the development of a Web portal, Nebraska Career Connections, to provide students and their families with an online resource on postsecondary options in the state, academic preparation for college, and financial and scholarship information.

In addition, the Nebraska P-16 Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 indicates that the council should assist in developing policies and procedures to improve student transitions from high school to postsecondary. Slated 2008 activities to support this work include the creation of a "college access" task force to develop an action plan, ongoing collaboration with the University of Nebraska to develop common admissions pathways for transition from community colleges into the university system, and cooperation with the Nebraska Council of Teacher Education "to address licensure requirements for postsecondary faculty teaching high school credit courses."

Career Exploration & Economic/Workforce Development: FutureForce Nebraska is a coalition of K-12, postsecondary, private sector and government agencies that aims to align K-12 curriculum and instruction with the workforce and economic development needs in the state. The council has participated in FutureForce Nebraska since the coalition's inception.

Closing the Postsecondary Participation Gap: The College Preparatory Academy seeks to increase the number of low-income and Hispanic first-generation college-goers. Middle grades students in these target populations with college-going capability are identified and invited to complete a rigorous high school curriculum and participate in activities with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ("campus visits, university activities, visiting professors, etc.," according to the council's 2006 report). Participating students are guaranteed financial aid and participate in various activities together "(attending classes together, living in the same residence halls, working on team projects, having the same faculty advisors, etc.) to help promote their success" 2006 report). The council served as the catalyst for the development of the College Preparatory Academy.

P-16 Data System: The Nebraska P-16 Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 indicates development of a comprehensive P-16 data system as a goal for the council. The council is helping develop and implement a data structure that will link the K-12 and postsecondary data systems. The P-16 data system will allow students and their performance to be tracked to provide performance-based data and offer feedback to improve K-12 education and the alignment of K-12 and postsecondary expectations. The strategic plan also lists identification of effective state and national practices as objectives underlying the development of a P-16 data system.

Sustainability/Expansion: The Nebraska P-16 Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 urges the council to "seek resources to sustain and expand the P-16 initiative." Proposed activities to support this goal are (1) Identifying "internal and external resources to support P-16 initiatives" at the state and regional levels and (2) Developing/submitting "grant applications based upon strategic plan priorities."

Communication: The Nebraska P-16 Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 identifies disseminating and communicating to various constituencies about the P-16 education pipeline as one of the council's main goals. To this end, the strategic plan calls for a number of activities, including the creation of "a P-16 Communication Committee to develop recommendations for establishing a formal P-16 communications plan." The strategic plan also calls for the implementation of a strategic communication plan to disseminate information across the state, and to collaborate with other initiatives in the state – including Building Bright Futures, FutureForce Nebraska, KnowHow2Go, Nebraska "Dream It - Do It" and the Civics Nebraska Partnership Advisory Council – to communicate the P-16 message.
Nevada To be determined
New Hampshire Data System: An RFP was issued in December 2007 to identify a consultant to help the P-16 Working Group think through the issues related to the development of a data system that combines P-12, higher education, workforce, economic development and demographic data "for the purpose of increasing academic success at all grade levels and expanding economic opportunities." The consultant is also to write a white paper based on the outcomes of the discussion.

College Readiness: The council is working to identify a high school assessment that would indicate student deficiencies in reading and math. The assessment would also be used by postsecondary institutions to determine admissions and reduce the need for remediation upon college entry.
North Carolina Early Learning: The state's More at Four prekindergarten program was launched through the involvement of the education cabinet.

High School Reform: The education cabinet is overseeing the New Schools Project, which seeks to bring innovative high school models to schools across the state, including the Learn and Earn early college high school program. Learn and Earn allows students to enter an integrated high school/postsecondary program in grade 9 so as to earn a high school diploma in five years, along with either an associate's degree, technical certification or adequate credit to enter a four-year institution as a junior. Effective with the 2007-2008 school year, Learn and Earn Online brings the program to every high school in the state. The education cabinet advocated for the development of Learn and Earn, which was later established through legislation. Also see "data systems" below.

In addition, the education cabinet is leading the state's American Diploma Project efforts, which include Learn and Earn and other initiatives to improve the quality of learning and instruction at the high school level.

Financial Aid: EARN Grants provide qualified low-income North Carolina high school graduates with a two-year grant. Recipients need not have participated in the Learn and Earn program but must be full-time undergraduate students at a public two- or four-year institution in the state.

Teacher Recruitment/Retention and Teacher Working Conditions: The education cabinet has played a role in the governor's efforts to recruit a growing number of teachers (particularly in such high-need areas as special education, math and science) and assess/improve teacher working conditions.

Data Systems: The education cabinet is involved in efforts to develop a data system that will flag Learn and Earn courses as postsecondary credit-bearing courses. The cabinet is also working to launch a data portal, allowing students and their parents to create a profile on www.cfnc.org to track students' coursetaking progress beginning as early as kindergarten, explore postsecondary and career options, and access tools to plan academically and financially for college.
Ohio College/Work Readiness Assessment: Legislation directs the partnership to develop recommendations on assessing high school students' college- and work-readiness in English and mathematics. Draft recommendations have been developed and will be discussed at the March 2008 meeting.

High School Graduation Requirements/College Admission Requirements: The partnership for continued learning strongly advocated for the adoption of the Ohio Core Curriculum, a set of more rigorous graduation requirements that will become the default high school curriculum effective with the Class of 2014. OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3345.06 requires most state universities, effective with the 2014-2015 school year, to mandate an Ohio resident complete the Ohio Core to be admitted as an undergraduate. OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3301.42(M) directs the partnership to provide recommendations on conditions under which univerisites might accept students who have not completed the Ohio Core. Draft recommendations have been developed and will be discussed at the March 2008 meeting.

Dual Enrollment: Legislation directs the partnership to make recommendations on specific policy components related to dual enrollment. Draft recommendations were developed by a dual enrollment subcommittee, approved by the full council, and submitted May 31, 2007 to the governor, members of the state legislature (as specified in legislation), the president of the state board of education and the chairperson of the Ohio Board of Regents.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): Legislation establishes a STEM subcommittee of the partnership for continued learning, to include the superintendent of public instruction, the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, the director of development, and four members of the public with expertise in business or STEM fields. Legislation further requires the subcommittee to award grants to STEM schools serving students in any grades 6-12, and allows up to five STEM schools to be approved to open in the 2008-2009 school year (this limit for year one does not affect the number of schools that may be approved for operation in subsequent school years). The subcommittee must "determine the criteria for the proposals, accept and evaluate the proposals, and choose which proposals to approve to become a STEM school and to receive grants." In approving STEM school proposals, the subcommittee is required to "consider locating the schools in diverse geographic regions of the state so that all students have access to a STEM school." As of February 2008, two schools were selected to receive grants; the partnership will issue a second RFP for the other three submitted proposals to compete for up to three remaining grants.

Legislation also directs the STEM subcommittee to "award grants to support the operation of STEM programs of excellence" serving students in any grades K-8. The measure requires the subcommittee to "give priority to proposals for new or expanding innovative programs." As of February 2008, nine schools have been selected to receive "programs of excellence" grants.

The department of education is required to monitor the STEM schools approved by the subcommittee. If the department finds any school to be not in compliance with state law or with the proposal as approved by the STEM subcommittee, the department must consult with the subcommittee. The subcommittee may order the school to close.

Legislation authorizes the partnership for continued learning, through the STEM subcommittee, to "make recommendations to the general assembly and the governor for the training of STEM educators."

Legislation directs the partnership, through the STEM subcommittee, to "work with an Ohio-based nonprofit enterprise selected by the subcommittee to support the strategic and operational coordination of public and private STEM education initiatives and resources focused on curriculum development, instruction, assessment, teacher quality enhancement, leadership recruitment and training, and community engagement. The nonprofit enterprise selected by the STEM subcommittee shall have the proven ability to accumulate resources to enhance education quality across the educational continuum, from preschool to college, shall have experience in large-scale management of science and technology resources, and shall have a documented institutional mission to advance STEM education." As of February 2008, Battelle was selected as this "Ohio-based nonprofit enterprise," and the partnership is in the process of negotiating an operational agreement with the nonprofit. The nonprofit is not compensated by the state for this work.
Oklahoma Assessments: By statute, the steering committee must advise the state board on curriculum alignment of grade 3-8 and high school subjects tested by the end-of-instruction assessments that become the state exit exam effective with the Class of 2012. Statute also directs the steering committee to advise the state board on the review of existing and development of new assessments, determining cut scores on required assessments, and alternatives to end-of-instruction assessments that meet or exceed the rigor of end-of-instruction tests.

Oklahoma has reviewed, revised and recalibrated the ACE Algebra I end-of-instruction exam to align with the ACE Geometry and ACE Algebra II exams. The additional end-of-instruction exams implemented for 2007-2008 include ACE Geometry, ACE Algebra II, ACE English III with a writing component.

Remediation: By statute, the steering committee must advise the state board on "intervention and remediation strategies and delivery methods for students who do not meet" mandated standards, and on consequences for 8th graders who do not meet these standards. A subcommittee on remediation has been developing recommendations on interventions for upper elementary and middle grades students.

Legislation requires the ACE steering committee to provide an annual report of recommendations to the state board, legislature and governor.

Oregon Alignment of K-12/Postsecondary Standards and Assessments: The Unified Education Enterprise (UEE) committee is working to better align K-12 standards and assessments–and particularly those at the high school level–with postsecondary entry-level expectations. To this end, the UEE contracted with WestEd to evaluate the state's content standards and assessments, and the alignment of state assessments with K-12 content standards. The alignment evaluation and standards review have been completed. The alignment studies between K-12 and postsecondary assessments are under discussion by the state board of education (SBE) and other stakeholders.

Dual Credit Opportunities: The Unified Education Enterprise (UEE) is in the process of reviewing the offering of dual credit opportunities in the state, including the standards used to evaluate program quality and student learning/success. OR. REV. STAT. § 340.085 also requires the department of education to annually report to the joint boards of education on the Expanded Options Program, the state's dual enrollment program.

Postsecondary Entry and Articulation: The Unified Education Enterprise (UEE) has established common policies across Oregon Community Colleges and the Oregon University System institutions for the amount of postsecondary credit to be awarded for Advanced Placement exam scores, and develop, as required in 2005 S.B. 342, "an outcome-based framework for articulation and transfer that is derived from a common understanding of the criteria for general education curricula."

The UEE is also improving state means to communicate the postsecondary options available to students, and the points of entry and transfer in the two- and four-year systems. This includes standardization of a two-year AA transfer degree for general education course work, a similar one-year transfer module, and development of several high-need pathway programs to increase enrollment in areas such as nursing and engineering.

Data Systems: The Oregon Department of Education is developing the KIDS, the Pre-K Through 16 Integrated Data System. As stated on the Oregon Department of Education Web site, the purpose of KIDS is "to provide the department of education and stake-holders with a single, accurate, and authoritative data structure that streamlines data acquisition and reporting within the enterprise of education in the state, while enhancing students’ transcript exchange across schools and districts, promoting operational efficiency, and satisfying key NCLB & AYP reporting requirements." The KIDS system creates an electronic student transcript that can be shared among K-12 districts as students transfer residency. A subset of that transcript is being used by Oregon Community Colleges and the Oregon University System as students move into the postsecondary environment.

Community Colleges and the Oregon University System have also been developing systems that permit the exchange of data. All public universities and community colleges now have the ability to send and receive electronic transcripts through a national system hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. The Integrated Data Transfer System (IDTS) also builds on this to allow high schools to submit electronic transcripts to universities. Currently, more than 20 high schools submit transcripts in this way. When the system is complete, all public high schools should be able to participate. Discussions is ongoing about the need for high school data connected to community colleges, but the best method for linking that data may not be the high school transcript, which currently is used only in specialized programs.

Planning is underway to provide feedback to high schools about the performance of their students as a result of participating in IDTS. Several sessions have been held to gather input on the appropriate kinds of data that would be useful to inform school improvement and college preparation. The currently published report, with more limited high school information, can be found at http://ir.ous.edu/hsprofile/getSchool.do.
 
The Joint Boards has played an active role in the development and implementation of these various efforts to improve student data and data transfer systems.

Pennsylvania STEM: The goal of the STEM PK-20 Leadership Team, Design Team and Regional Networks is to dramatically increase P-20 students (especially females, minorities and the underrepresented) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers while continuing the development of effective strategies to retain, recruit and retrain our incumbent workforce in these critical fields.

Short-term objectives are to:

1. Organize Five Regional STEM Networks that develop Regional STEM Strategies;

2. Create a long term (10 Year) Pennsylvania STEM Strategy;

3. Implement a Communication Strategy to promote the PA STEM Strategy;

4. Secure Resources to support and sustain the PA and Regional STEM strategies;

5. Publish an Analysis of the Critical Gaps between the demand for STEM education and skills in the future and the future supply of those same skills (called a Gap Analysis); and

6. Create an inventory of STEM Best Practices in P-20 education and workforce development.

PASSHE Regional Councils: The regional PK-16 councils have initiated efforts in the following areas:

Literacy and Math: Increased the emphasis on literacy and mathematics instruction in the PK-12 schools.

Technology: Enhance technology integration into both university and PK-12 curricula to increase student interest and improve student achievement.

State Standards and Course Redesign: Redesign courses at both the university and PK-12 levels to reflect the Commonwealth’s academic standards.

Postsecondary Preparation: Encourage PK-12 students to improve their academic achievement in order to prepare for postsecondary education.

Teacher Recruitment: Encourage PASSHE university students to aspire to education careers in urban schools.

Teacher Preparation:

  • Modify and enhance courses for pre-service teacher candidates.
  • Increase opportunities for field placements of preservice teacher candidates and involvement of university faculty in PK-12 schools.
  • Increased the emphasis on literacy and mathematics instruction in the university teacher education programs

Teacher Professional Development:

  • Provide a variety of professional development opportunities for inservice PK-12 educators, including targeted courses and workshops offered at school sites and on university campuses.
  • Pair university and PK-12 faculty in study groups and action research projects based in PK-12 schools. 

Professional Development Schools: Many of the regional PK-16 councils are engaged to varying degrees in the establishment of professional development schools (PDSs). These are public schools in which universities focus special efforts and resources, including field placement and student teaching, professional development (including onsite coursework) for inservice teachers, assistance for school administrators, and joint PK-12-university study groups and action research projects. These relationships often lead to university program revisions based upon what is learned in the PDSs.

Rhode Island The quotes following each topic area are derived from the 2005 executive order establishing the council and reflect areas in which the council is directed to recommend policies to the appropriate board or agency.

P-16/Workforce Data System: "Create a unified data system to connect information between our elementary and secondary education system, post secondary institutions and workforce development programs[.]" Higher education has a fully functional unit data record system, while the K-12 data system is currently under construction. Links will be created between the courses students complete in high school (and student grades in those courses) and those students' subsequent postsecondary outcomes. It is not clear at this time that the state will ultimately create a unified data system, but the data system in development will provide key information on the impact of high school coursetaking and achievement on postsecondary entry and success.
 
In addition, an agreement has been made with labor and training to link the postsecondary data system with wage records. The state will issue a report on the link between graduates of higher education in the state and workforce outcomes. 

Mathematics/Science Achievement: "Support the recommendations of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Math-Science Achievement and track our State’s progress[.]" The governor's office has hired a staff person to review math and science metrics. A number of discrete programs have been launched in the state; the PK-16 council has been involved with the math/science initiatives noted on the governor's Web site.

College-Ready English/Mathematics/Science Standards: "Align standards for achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics so that students graduating from Rhode Island high schools are fully prepared for college-level work[.]" The council has developed college-ready standards for English language arts (encompassing reading and writing), mathematics and science. These standards have been evaluated and approved by Achieve.

Embedding College-Ready Standards in High School Assessments: To follow up on the standards alignment work, the state plans to embed the college-ready standards in the grade 11 assessments in reading, writing, mathematics and science first given in fall 2007. Higher education faculty are examining the assessment to determine the minimum level of student performance necessary for a student to avoid remediation at the postsecondary level.

Work-Ready High School Standards: "Link achievement standards with employer expectations[.]" Achieve's evaluation of the English language arts, mathematics and science standards included an evaluation of whether the standards adequately prepared high school students for entry into the workplace (see "College-Ready English/Mathematics/Science Standards" above). The council is now working to encourage Rhode Island business leaders to look at these subject-area standards.

Postsecondary Connections to K-12: A project to catalog connections between Rhode Island postsecondary institutions and K-12 schools has recently been completed, to determine the level of involvement institutions have with local school systems. Several hundred programs were counted; a report on these connections will be released in March 2008.

Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit: "Establish formal high school credit-based transition programs with higher education institutions[.]" In 2006, Jobs for the Future completed an analysis of current dual enrollment/dual credit efforts. With the assistance of the Statewide PK-16 Council, the state is now undertaking a major initiative to expand dual enrollment/dual credit programs, and allocated $400,000 in 2008 to build the infrastructure for a statewide program and expand program access for low-income students.

Low-Income Students' Access to Postsecondary: "Provide better pathways to higher education for low-income residents." The state convened the Task Force on Groups Underrepresented in Rhode Island Public Higher Education, from which a report was issued in November 2006. A team was charged with following up on specific recommendations made in the 2006 report.

Teacher/Leadership Quality: "Improve the quality of teachers and educational administrators who lead schools, districts, and school-related initiatives." The mandate from council has been to evaluate teacher standards and make changes to leadership programs. This has resulted in Rhode Island College's complete revamp of its education leadership program. The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has also revised its teacher certification standards as a result of the council's efforts.

Economic/Workforce Development: "Produce a more competitive workforce and promote economic development through quality education, research and workforce development[.]" The council has been very involved in revamping the state's adult literacy system, to raise the skills and knowledge of lesser skilled adults to meet the needs of the state economy. Members of the PK-16 council also sit on the Governor's Workforce Cabinet, the work of which is ongoing.

South Carolina The council has created six committees, each focusing on a different scope of work. More details on the council's efforts can be found in the council's Second Annual Report on the Implementation of the Education and Economic Development Act of 2005, issued December 2007.

At Risk Students: In response to S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-59-150, the At Risk Student committee partnered with Clemson University's National Dropout Prevention Center to identify over 40 "exemplary" and "promising" evidence-based models, initiatives and programs districts and schools can use to assist students at risk of dropping out or being inadequately prepared to transition to the next level of schooling or the workforce. The At-Risk Student Intervention Implementation Guide is a result of these efforts, as is a state board regulation.

Guidance and Career Counseling: The Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling, Career Clusters, and Individual Graduation Plans Committee has taken on a significant scope of work related to career clusters, guidance counseling and personnel issues, and Individual Graduation Plans (IGPs). The committee has helped develop materials (1) To help high school counselors in developing student IGPs (2) To evaluate the efforts of middle school career specialists; and (3) To assist the district-level career/counseling coordinators required by statute.

Regional Education Centers: The Regional Education Centers committee is assisting in the development of Regional Education Centers, described on the council Web site as "matchmakers" to help connect students, educators and the public with "providers of the services they need."

Articulation and Dual Enrollment, High School Graduation and Postsecondary Entrance Alignment: This committee is addressing the directives set forth in S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-59-210, which requires the Commission on Higher Education to convene the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs "to provide seamless pathways for adequately prepared students to move from high school directly into institutions of higher education" and to make recommendations on dual enrollment courses acceptable for postsecondary credit at institutions governed by the commission on higher education.

Communication and Marketing: Because S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-59-170(B) calls for the development of a statewide communications and marketing plan to promote statewide awareness of the provisions of the 2005 Education and Economic Development Act (Title 59 of the state code), the council's Communication and Marketing committee has contracted with and is guiding the work of a public relations firm. One result of these efforts is www.scpathways.org, a Web portal providing information about the state's Personal Pathways to Success initiative related to career majors, individual graduation plans, and other efforts to guide students' curricular and career decisionmaking during secondary school.

Information Technology: Since many of the efforts included in the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) and Personal Pathways are related to data collection, data sharing and integrated technology, the council has created an Information Technology Committee to assist in the development and implementation of the necessary IT systems, including virtual regional education centers and a statewide e-transcript system.
South Dakota Partnership for 21st Century Skills: The partnership is the primary focus of the council's efforts.

As of April 2008, the council is formulating a long-term agenda that will include additional components of work.
Tennessee P-16 Data System: The council serves as one of the agencies collaborating in developing the state's longitudinal data system, designed to connect student records from early learning through postsecondary education.

High School to Postsecondary/Work Transitions: Through its participation in the American Diploma Project (ADP), the P-16 council is working to align high school standards and graduation requirements with college and workplace expectations. Tennessee joined the ADP network in January 2007, agreeing to require high school graduates to take challenging courses that prepare them for life after high school, to streamline assessments to allow test students take in high school to serve as readiness tests for college and work, to hold high schools accountable for graduating students ready for college and careers, and to hold postsecondary institutions accountable for students' success once enrolled. As an early part of those efforts, the P-16 Council directed the work of the Math Curriculum Alignment Committee that focused on curriculum standards and expectations for high school math courses and their alignment with college entrance expectations. The completed work of this committee was provided to the Tennessee Diploma Project (TDP). With input from business and Achieve, Inc., the TDP has successfully revised curriculum standards for K-12 mathematics and English language arts and is continuing its work to align assessments. Work continues on alignment of university admission requirements with new high school graduation requirements and alignment of first-year college math and English general education courses with revised K-12 standards.

In addition, 2007 H.B. 99 authorizes local districts and public postsecondary institutions to create "cooperative innovative programs" such as early college high schools, which allow students to complete a high school diploma and two years of college credit five years after high school entry. The P-16 council serves as the "consortium" called for in the legislation to oversee cooperative innovative high school programs–including these programs' articulation, alignment and curriculum development–and to evaluate the success of students in such programs. The legislation directs the consortium "to develop a plan for the rollout of new cooperative innovative programs in a staggered manner and as quickly as possible so that by the 2009-2010 programs shall be available throughout the state."

2007 H.B. 99 also directs the consortium to "oversee the development of a high school to community college and technology center articulation agreement that will build on the existing technical preparation pathway and that will govern the articulation of courses between the public high schools of this state and the community colleges and technology centers." The bill authorizes the consortium to "undertake curriculum alignment and articulation itself or by appointment of a curriculum alignment committee or committees."

Postsecondary Access and Success: The council advises the state's GEAR UP state grant to foster college readiness and access among low-income students, beginning in the middle grades.
Texas 2006 legislation directed the P-16 council to recommend "a college readiness and success strategic action plan to increase student success and decrease the number of students enrolling in developmental" courses when they enter postsecondary education, and to report to state-level policymakers every other year on progress made in implementing the action plan. The first such progress report was issued December 2006.

The P-16 council also maintains subcommittees focused around the following areas of work:

Dual Credit
: Legislation directs the council to conduct a study examining the offering of dual credit opportunities in the state. In response to this charge, the Student Academic Preparation and Readiness committee issued recommendations in January 2007 on improving dual credit opportunities in the state (including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual enrollment).

Teacher Quality
: The Educator Quality committee addresses issues related to teacher recruitment, retention, preparation and professional development. A 2007 report provides detail on recommendations the committee made during the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Adult, Career and Technical Education: This committee is charged with making recommendations to the council on actions that would increase student participation and success in the workforce and higher education. In January 2007, the committee's developmental education subcommittee issued recommendations on developmental education.

Access to Information: The Texas P-16 Public Information Resource (TPEIR) committee oversees the Texas PK-16 Public Education Information Resource, which provides data on high school and postsecondary graduation, dual credit, transition from high school to postsecondary and teacher certification tailored for use by parents, legislators, educators and researchers.
Utah Rigorous High School Curriculum: The K-16 Alliance is sponsoring the Utah Scholars, the State Scholars Initiative (SSI) in the state. The program brings community and business leaders into secondary school classrooms to encourage them to complete a rigorous high school curriculum, and invites these leaders to partner locally "to provide ongoing academic and financial support to students in participating schools-everything from incentive programs for students, to mentoring and tutoring services, to scholarships and employment opportunities for students who obtain Utah Scholar status" ((Utah Scholars Web site) The K-16 Alliance is also encouraging all high school students to complete a rigorous high school curriculum called the Utah Scholars program. The student preparation and success committee is a key component of these efforts.

Guidance and Counseling: The guidance and counseling committee is spearheading efforts to reframe the information high school counselors provide students about going to college (and how that information is provided), in order that more students will have accurate information and ultimately choose to enroll in postsecondary education.

High School/Transitions to Postsecondary: The curriculum/assessment committee is considering methods of improving articulation from high school to postsecondary, especially in the areas of mathematics and composition.

Dual Enrollment: The concurrent enrollment committee is examining how concurrent enrollment programs in the state are funded and delivered.

Minority/Disadvantaged Students and Postsecondary: The minority and disadvantaged committee is examining how to increase the number of minority and disadvantaged students who enter postsecondary institutions in the state.

Access and Participation Committee

Postsecondary Retention: The retention committee is evaluating how the state might improve efforts to keep students in postsecondary programs until graduation/program completion.

Teacher Recruitment and Quality: In March 2007, the K-16 Alliance received a report from its Special Task Force on Teacher Shortages. The report provides five sets of recommendations, upon which the teacher education committee is building its work, seeking to improve teacher recruitment through competitive teacher salaries, using efficiency models to expand the number of days teachers are employed, and enhancing teacher recruitment in such high-need areas as math and science.

K-16 Data Collection System: The alliance has participated in efforts to develop and implement a K-16 data collection system with a common student identifier.

Workforce
Virginia Postsecondary/Workforce Readiness: During the P-16 council's first year of work (2005-2006), the chairman appointed a committee to develop recommendations on issues related to improving students' readiness for postsecondary education and the workplace. The council's 2006 report presents these recommendations, which address (1) Developing common statewide postsecondary readiness standards for secondary and higher education institutions; (2) Aligning high school course content with postsecondary/workforce expectations; (3) Preparing middle grades students for high school work through specific activities; (4) Increasing the number of high school students who complete rigorous coursework, including dual enrollment, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, by completing the Advanced Studies Diploma, industry certification, or other measures of career/technical proficiency, and implementing the Commonwealth Scholars program; (5) Improving student transitions through K-12 and postsecondary through various specific activities designed to improve high school graduation and postsecondary entry and completion.

The council's 2007 report likewise provides recommendations on how the state might improve high school graduates' readiness for postsecondary education and the workplace.

In 2006-2007, the council chair solicited feedback from the postsecondary and business community on whether the American Diploma Project (ADP) English and mathematics benchmarks for college/work readiness reflect the skills and knowledge needed for entry-level postsecondary and career success. Faculty teams at 30 postsecondary institutions reviewed the benchmarks. The teams concurred with the ADP benchmarks, identified the most critical areas of knowledge and skill, and offered insight into the most widespread academic shortcomings of entering college students. The council has also identified other benchmarks of readiness for successful postsecondary/work entry that will guide the development of a common state definition of college and workforce readiness.

The council is also working to compare the alignment of the Standards of Learning (SOL) against existing nationally validated college-readiness standards. An Alignment Team is in the process of comparing the SOL against ADP benchmarks. Once the alignment studies are complete, the council will issue recommendations to the state board to include in the scheduled review of the math SOL beginning in 2008 and English/language arts and science SOL beginning in 2009.

The council provides some oversight of the Commonwealth Scholars Program, Virginia's version of the State Scholars Initiative, which requires participating students to complete a rigorous high school curriculum and invites business leaders to make presentations to eighth-grade students on options available to them after high school and the level of education they must achieve to reach their goals.

Honor State Work: The Honor State work began in 2005 and concluded in 2007. The council commissioned the International Center for Leadership in Education to provide a report on high-performing high schools in the state, and the policies and practices that support these schools' success. The council also commissioned a report on remedial courses at Virginia community colleges, including the number of students in such courses, the subjects in which students were enrolled in developmental courses, methods colleges used to determine student need for remediation and ways for high schools to address deficiencies before graduation.

The council is working to create a communications plan to better inform the public about the state's Honor Schools efforts in 30 schools across the state. The council contracted with a public relations firm in August 2007 to begin developing a public communications campaign to build public support for changes in education policy and to encourage students to complete challenging coursework and diploma options. As of April 2008, this work is still underway.

The council also served as the fiscal agent for various other activities supported by NGA Honor State funds: (1) The Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals provided Breaking Ranks II training to 22 principals of Honor Schools in the state, teaching them strategies to mentor and provide technical assistance to teachers in their buildings; (2) Training for 100 Advanced Placement and dual enrollment teachers; (3) Teacher training in the Strategic Instructional Model, which equips teachers with "content-focused instruction and research-validated instructional strategies," which especially benefit special education students; (4) Additional training and endorsements for math and science teachers in Honor Grant schools and feeder middle schools; (5) Supplemental Project Graduation opportunities at Honor Schools; (6) Expansion of the Algebra Readiness Initiative; (7) Stipends to cover PSAT fees at all 30 Honor Schools; (8) Supplemental workshops and training for high school counselors at Honor Schools and other high schools; (9) Training and placement of Career Coaches to guide students in Honor Schools; More details on these activities can be found on pages 26-30 of the 2006 report and page 15 of the 2007 report the P-16 council issued to the governor and general assembly.

Workforce Readiness: The council hosted a workforce readiness policy forum in November 2007, convening human resource educators, economic developers and other stakeholders to develop recommendations on the issue. More details on pages 9-10 of the council's 2007 report.

Data Systems: In 2005-2006, the P-16 council chairman also called for a data systems working group to create recommendations to facilitate the development of a P-16 data system; identify existing data and uses for data; and identify data gaps and potential solutions. The P-16 council's 2006 report and 2007 report provide the council's recommendations on the development and enhancement of a P-16 data system.
Washington The council was created to follow up on the work of Washington Learns, which completed a comprehensive review of Washington's education system, from early learning through postsecondary. The results of this review were released in November 2006. As stated in the executive order creating the council, the charge of the P-20 council is "to track progress on the Washington Learns long-term goals ... [using] existing and new measures to collect data and track changes."

English Language Learners: The council's English language learners work group is tasked with exploring means of better serving ELL students in the state. In December 2007, the work group issued recommendations and action steps. As of February 2008, council members are asking the agency/organization they represent for commitments on action steps the agency/organization can commit to participating in. The April 2008 council meeting will include a presentation on which commitments each agency is making, and when the agency will take those action steps.

Mathematics: The council has expressed an interest in an effort focused around mathematics. Staff supporting the council are researching which math efforts are underway in the state, with the goal of developing a compendium of current math initiatives; the compendium will allow the council to determine where on the education continuum (preschool through postsecondary) the state is effecting change. This compendium will be provided to council members for their April meeting.

Key Indicators: A major focus of the council's work is developing education indicators, a set of 12-15 indices that will show how well the state is doing in moving students through the system, from early learning to K-12 to postsecondary. The council hopes to use these indicators as a management tool, to identify areas in which the system needs to put more effort (as opposed to allowing individual education "silos" to work independently of one another).

It is anticipated that the list of indicators will be a continuous work in progress.
West Virginia Curriculum Transformation: Building on the findings and outcomes of the Governor's "West Virginia Competes" Forum in fall 2005, the Jobs Cabinet sought to ensure that West Virginia students were prepared to compete in the global economy and society. A major part of this preparation depends on academically challenging coursework. Therefore, the Cabinet has endorsed and helped to facilitate West Virginia's participation in the Partnerships for 21st Century Skills. These skill areas include life and career, learning and innovation, and information, media, and technology, and they build upon core academic subjects such as reading, math, science, history, and the arts. Four additional, interdisciplinary competencies are stressed: global awareness, financial and economic literacy, civic literacy, and personal health awareness.

Public Outreach: The 21st Century Jobs Cabinet is supporting a public communications campaign about the importance of graduating from high school and going to college. The Cabinet supports the creation of a college-going culture in West Virginia, which has a low postsecondary degree attaintment rate among adults. This outreach campaign employs a variety of strategies, including increasing student and parent awareness of financial aid opportunities, simplifying the in-state application process for postsecondary admissions, and providing more college and career counseling to students in earlier grades.

Teacher Quality: Recognizing the fundamentally important impact teachers have on student achievement, the Cabinet is promoting teaching quality through expansion of the National Board Certification program across the state. The Cabinet has also worked on expanding the Partnerships for Teaching Quality Initiative, a statewide network of all 10 public colleges of education, colleges of arts and sciences, and K-12 schools to increase teachers' content knowledge, pre-service clinical experience, and a system of shared governance between higher education and K-12 education.

Education/Business Partnerships: The 21st Century Jobs Cabinet is working to create and strengthen strategic partnerships between education and business. SEEDS (Student Educational and Economic Development Success) brings the best and brightest of West Virginia’s business leaders into public schools to work hand-in-hand with principals as mentors and advisors. Its objective is to transform struggling schools through the use of well-established business practices such as innovation, time management, goal setting and measurement of performance. SEEDS is a voluntary program for principals who are open to change and enthusiastic about the program’s infusion of new thinking and strategies. Principals who participate in SEEDS will receive special grant funds, provided both by the state and by private donations, and have the opportunity to work with their corporate mentor for a period of three years to design and implement innovative projects to improve the school’s overall performance and, most importantly, student achievement.

Online Educational Portal:
 A state online educational portal is under development.
Wisconsin The council does not set an action agenda. Rather than taking on its own scope of work, the council aims to add value to the work taken on by participating entities by providing input on participating entities' activities. The council focuses its input on the areas of:

Early Childhood and Kindergarten Readiness

Senior Year of High School/Transitions to Postsecondary

Teacher Training and Professional Development

Economic Development and Education

The PK-16 Leadership Council Web site provides background papers on each of these areas of focus.

In addition, the council strives to disseminate best practices across the state through the annual Program of Distinction award. To be eligible for an award, a program must be a collaboration across two or more sectors, have a documentable impact on student learning and/or teacher performance, help students make successful transitions, reflect "innovation, appropriate use of technology, research-based practice, and sensitivity to issues of diversity," and be replicable.

K-12/Workforce Alignment: In 2007, the council sponsored a Business Summit with Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (the leadership of business and organized labor in the state) for state dialogue among business leaders and educators to formulate joint goals for education and workforce development, and to shape and promote the development of new educational standards as part of the state’s participation in the America Diploma Project and Skills for the 21st Century initiative.

Wyoming Common Course Taxonomy: The council is supporting the development of a taxonomy that will ensure that districts statewide adhere to the same curricular content in courses with the same names. This effort aligns with the state department of education review of state K-12 standards, which must be conducted every five years. As of April 2008, the common course taxonomy is just an emerging component of the council's work.

Rigorous High School Curriculum: One of the council's stated goals is to encourage students to complete more challenging high school courses. The state's "Hathaway Success Curriculum" sets forth courses students must complete to be eligible for a Hathaway Scholarship. The State Scholars Initiative Core curriculum is nearly identical to the Hathaway Success Curriculum. The council advocates that students complete the more rigorous combination of these two curricula (referred to on the council Web site as "Hathaway Plus"). As stated on the council Web site, "Students who take the Hathaway Plus curriculum could be eligible for federal scholarships and grants above and beyond Hathaway scholarship money."

The council also administers the state's State Scholars Initiative grant.

Grades 9-14 Curriculum: The council is evaluating transitions from high school to postsecondary, in particular the biology curriculum across grades 9-14. These efforts to date have impacted curriculum, in the way that many high school and two- and four-year faculty consider biology.

P-16 Data Systems: The council is advocating for the full implementation of the Wyoming Transcripts Center. According to the council Web site, the center "will track students and their coursework from grade school through college. This data system is key to fulfilling the reporting requirements in the Hathaway legislation and will help provide better information for policymakers. For example, it will point out which schools, school districts or classes may have shortcomings. Likewise, it will highlight very successful schools that can be held up as models for lower-performing institutions. It will also give us a better handle on such things as dual enrollment, in which students are concurrently enrolled in a high school and a college course, and getting credit at both levels."

Sustainability: The council has established a "sustainability" committee to work towards the goal of securing council funding from three sources: (1) State government/legislative contribution; (2) Foundation support; and (3) Private business.

Communication: The council is in the process of developing a communications plan to better convey to legislators, other policymakers, educators, the business community and the general public more effectively the work and goals of the council. As of April 2008, the council aims to have the communications plan completed by August 2008.


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