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ESEA Waivers Leading to Industry Certifications


September 5, 2012


ESEA Waivers Leading to Industry Certifications

Yesterday we discussed a few state applications for ESEA flexibility that introduced CTE measures into their broader school accountability systems. Today I’d like to introduce states that specifically require districts to report student participation and progress on industry certifications.

By openly asking for data on industry certification attainment, these states have suggested that industry certification is a significant part of true college and career readiness. The states taking this leap are Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Virginia.

Florida college- and career-readiness indicators are on-time graduation, participation and performance in advanced curricula and postsecondary readiness in reading and mathematics. Advanced curricula is further defined by the state as advanced placement (AP)and international baccalaureate (IB) courses, dual enrollment courses, advanced international certificate of education courses (AICE) and industry certifications.

Georgia will measure, in addition to other college readiness indicators, the percentage of students earning industry credentials, passing the ACT Work Keys assessment and completing career pathway courses.

Kentucky college- and career-readiness standards require that students meet one traditional college-readiness indicator, such as an ACT benchmark, as well as a career-academic-readiness indicator and a career-technical-readiness indicator.  Career-academic indicators are the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and the ACT Work Keys assessment. Career-technical indicators are the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards assessment and industry certificates.

New Jersey added a few traditional college- and career-readiness indicators, including advanced placement course participation and scores and SAT participation and scores. Additionally, on top of the traditional indicators, the state also accounts for the percentage of CTE students who pass an industry exam.

New Mexico measures five indicators on both participation and success to determine college- and career-readiness. Those include the PSAT, ACT, AP courses, dual enrollment and career and technical certification programs.

Oklahoma will measure schools by the number or percentage of students earning industry certifications, graduating, participating and completing AP courses and participating in dual or concurrent enrollment courses.

Virginia has set a goal for 48% of its graduating students to earn an “externally validated” college- or career-ready credential. Those credentials could include an industry recognized credential, state professional license or an advanced studies diploma.

These states have made a significant jump from their previous accountability systems, which mainly focused scores in mathematics and English. Now, states are finally looking at the whole education experience, and they are seeing that CTE can help students succeed.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at more states that may incorporate CTE measures into their ESEA accountability system in the future.

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