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April 29, 2015

New from ECS

A redesign for state financial aid
Changing demographics and shifting expectations for higher education create fertile ground for states to redesign and re-conceptualize financial aid programs. A new paper from Education Commission of the States advances the idea that such a redesign should be student centered, goal driven and data informed, timely and flexible, and broadly inclusive of all students’ educational pathways.

What States Are Doing

Specialized instruction, hands-on training, college credit
Fifteen Delaware high schools will share $500,000 in grants to implement career and technical education in biomedical science, computer science, culinary arts and hospitality management, and engineering beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The program, a partnership between districts, higher education and employers, is part of Gov. Jack Markell’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative.

Do well on PARCC and skip remedial
Illinois community college presidents joined several other states that will accept scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to determine a high school student’s readiness for college-level courses. This raises the possibility of students avoiding time and money spent in remedial classes for no credit, according to the Illinois Department of Education.

Good Reads

Condition of future teachers declining
A national study on future educators finds the number of students interested in becoming educators continues to drop significantly. Those students who are interested in going into education have lower-than-average achievement levels, especially in STEM areas. There is a general lack of diversity among future teachers and they tend to be female. Recommendations include recruiting high-achieving students who are undecided about their future careers, promoting alternative pathways to teaching and improving benefits. (ACT)

Data can better prepare students for jobs
Data can inform improvements to the variety of routes young people take through education and career pathways, according to this brief. By sharing information about how graduates fare as they move from education into the workforce, the K-12, postsecondary, and workforce sectors can identify best practices or make adjustments to programs or curriculum. Forty-three states link K-12 data with postsecondary data, 19 states link K-12 and workforce data and 27 states link postsecondary and workforce data. (DQC)

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