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Revving the Education Engine - This new ECS paper engages education, policy and workforce leaders to explore how to effectively align education, workforce and economic development policy to meet state and regional workforce needs. It provides a comprehensive view of alignment that addresses the various pathways students pursue through the education system and into the workforce. The paper provides examples of promising policies and programs states are employing to create greater alignment, as well as practical steps that state leaders can take in their states to fully leverage their education assets to meet state workforce and economic development goals. (Bruce Vandal, Education Commission of the States, 2009)...

An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding Opportunity: Redesigning Remedial and Developmental Education MS Word PDF - This ECS Alert describes the various sources of ARRA funds and offers suggestions for how states and postsecondary institutions might use this funding for one-time investments in education technology and curriculum development. Such investments would help meet the education and training needs of the growing dislocated worker population while also increasing the long-term level of institutional productivity. (Bruce Vandal, Education Commission of the States, June 2009) ...

The Progress of Education Reform: Economic and Workforce Development PDF - One strategy for addressing the misalignment among postsecondary education, state workforce development programs and state economic development strategies is to create career pathways programs at community colleges where students are able to enroll in a defined track of coursework that leads to jobs in high-demand fields within a state or region. This issue of The Progress of Education Reform reviews four reports developed by the Workforce Strategy Center that make the case for states to implement policies that support the use of career pathways to increase college completion, and contribute to state and regional workforce demand. (Chris Spence, Education Commission of the States, August 2007)...

Career and Technical Education MS Word - This briefing memo is designed to provide policymakers with an overview of the issues surrounding career and technical education in the states, including governance structures, recent legislation and research highlights. (Carl Krueger, Education Commission of the States, October 2004)...

Keeping America's Promise: A Report on the Future of the Community College PDF - Community colleges are the critical access points of higher education and economic opportunity for half of the nation’s college students. A new ECS/League for Innovation in the Community College report shows, however, that while these institutions are affordable and effective, they are undervalued and underfunded. Reduced state financing and shifts in financial aid policies are sending well over a quarter million prospective students each year away from the nation’s community colleges. The report looks at the changing characteristics of the student population, the escalating demand for postsecondary education, the gaps among groups in educational access and attainment, and the implications for community colleges. (Katherine Boswell and Cynthia D. Wilson, editors, Education Commission of the States, League for Innovation in the Community College, July 2004)...

Progress of Education Reform 2003: Educational Attainment PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform offers a brief review of recent research findings on the correlation between educational attainment and economic and social well-being. It also provides links to Web sites that feature state rankings on health, crime rates, voting participation, workforce preparation, per-capita income and tax revenues, and other key indicators. (Suzanne, Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, vol. 4, no. 2, Education Commission of the States, September 2003)...

Help Wanted: Advanced Education and the Changing Workforce PDF - More than two-thirds of the jobs being created in the fastest sectors of the U.S. economy now require at least some education beyond high school. Creating enough college-educated workers to meet the demand will require smarter investment strategies for the dollars we now devote to postsecondary. If more is not done for the workforce of the future, the U.S. economy may face rough waters. Better skill-building, more funding, greater access to a college education -- an all-hands-on-deck approach to the education challenges of America's new century is required. (From: Briefing Papers, Transforming Postsecondary Education for the 21st Century, Anthony P. Carnevale, Education Commission of the States, June 1999)...

Education at a Glance 2012: Highlights - The 2012 edition of Education at a Glance: Highlights summarizes the OECD’s flagship compendium of education statistics. It provides easily accessible data on key topics in education today, including: education levels and student numbers; economic and social benefits of education; education spending; the school environment; and equity. (OECD, 2012)...

Education at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators - The 2011 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators enables educational policy makers and practitioners alike to see their education systems in the light of other countries’ performances. The indicators show who participates in education, how much is spent on it and how education systems operate. They also illustrate a wide range of educational outcomes. (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, July 2011)...

Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators - The 2010 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries' performance. The indicators show who participates in education, how much is spent on it and how education systems operate. They also illustrate a wide range of educational outcomes. The spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts are made available via the StatLinks. (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, July 2010)...

Educational Attainment, "Brain Drain," and Self-Employment: Examining the Interstate Mobility of Baccalaureate Grades, 1993-2003 - This paper looks at the issue of employment and location ten years after a baccalaureate degree is awarded. In general, the findings are consistent with the existence of "brain drain" from many states. The self-employed appear to have the same motivations as their wage and salary counterparts, suggesting that the choide to become self-employed is entirely different from the decision whether or not to relocate. (Chad Moutray, U.S. Small Business Administration, December 2009)...

Getting Ahead--Staying Ahead: Helping America's Workforce Succeed in the 21st Century - Viewing the recession, soaring unemployment and underemployment and the reset of the global economy are throwing longstanding U.S. problems with education and training into high relief. The Business Roundtable felt it was apparent that the U.S. lacked a strategy to help workers of America get the skills they they and our businesses need and decided to convene the Springboard Project, an independent commission of 26 of the nation's best thinkers from different sectors. The members worked together to recommend strategies for closing the gap between workers' present skills and those that employers need now and will need in the future. (Springfield Project, Business Roundtable, December 2009)...

Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions - The Panel was established by the UK's Prime Minister to advise on how to make a professional career truly open to as wide a pool of talent as possible. Although progress has been made the UK retains a "closed shop" mentality, closing out minorities, women, and low socio-economic citizens. There is evidence that entry into the professions has become more socially exclusive over time. The report lists 80 recommendations on the changes which must take place. (Cabinet Office-United Kingdom, July 2009)...

Transforming America's Community Colleges: Federal Policy Proposal to Expand Opportunity and Promote Economic Prosperity - A four-part federal policy agenda to significantly transform the potential of community colleges nationwide to help their students, and thus society, achieve greater prosperity. (Sara Goldrick-Rab, Douglas N. Harris, Christopher Mazzeo, and Gregory Kienzl, Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, May 2009)...

Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16- to 24-Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School - Primarily statistical, this report covers poverty status, living arrangements, educational attainment and employment status for at-risk young adults. (Congressional Research Service, April 2009)...

Education at a Glance: 2008 - This publication examines the quality of learning outcomes, the policy levers and contextual factors that shape these outcomes, and the broader private and social returns that accrue to investments in education. The report addresses the needs of a range of users, from governments seeking to learn policy lessons to academics requiring data for further analysis to the general public wanting to monitor how its nation's schools are progressing in producing world-class students. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2007)...

Education and Tech Entrepreneurship - This portrait of American-born founders of technology companies follows an earlier study which revealed that between 1995 and 2005, 25.6 percent of U.S. technology startups were founded by immigrants highly educated in STEM-related fields. The Americans, too, tended to be well educated; 92% had bachelor’s degrees. However, a third of the degrees awarded American founders were in business, accounting and finance. Their average age when they started their companies was 39. Twice as many were older than 50 as were younger than 25. Nearly half of them created companies in the states where they received their educations. (Vivek Wadhwa, Richard Freeman and Ben Rissing, The Kauffman Foundation, May 2008)...

Higher Education for the Workforce: Barriers and Facilitators to Employer Engagement - This research explores links between academic and employer workforce agendas within higher education institutions and suggests ways of developing the Department's employer engagement policies. The work is a synthesis of views received from 38 interviews and discussions, 90 survey responses and a variety of reports that seek to ascertain facilitators, barriers, good practice and suggestions for the development in policy and practice. (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, January 2008)...

Education and Public Safety - The United States leads the world in the number of people incarcerated in federal and state correctional facilities. This report compares state-level education data with crime rates and incarceration rates and finds that those states that have focused the most on education tend to have lower violent crime rates and lower incarceration rates. Research suggests that increased investments in quality education can have a positive public safety benefit. (Justice Policy Institute, August 2007)...

Can California Import Enough College Graduates to Meet Workforce Needs? - California’s labor market has changed dramatically because of rising demand for highly educated workers. This report finds it extremely unlikely that the projected need for such workers will be met mainly through the increased migration of college-educated workers. However, increases in college participation and graduation among California’s residents could help meet these future demands. Such increases will be at least partly induced by the wage growth that will occur as highly skilled labor becomes relatively scarce. (Hans Johnson and Deborah Reed, Public Policy Institute of California, May 2007)...

Emerging Policy Triangle: Economic Development, Workforce Development, and Education: Updated Profiles for All 50 States and Including International Comparative Data - The planning and policymaking associated with K-12, higher education, adult basic education and workforce/economic development are by and large activities running on separate tracks. In some states the state policymakers are beginning to realize progress within the P-16 framework requires the separate tracks to work together. (Dennis Jones and Patrick Kelly, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, May 2007) ...

Hitting Home: Quality, Cost, and Access Challenges Confronting Higher Education Today - The multi-year Making Opportunity Affordable initiative aims to provide research, tools, and support to help states and institutions transform how they deliver postsecondary education to serve more students without reducing quality. This report touches on changing workforce demands, underlying problems with higher education, the degree gap and what needs to be done to improve higher education systems. (Travis Reindl, Making Opportunity Affordable, March 2007.)...

Hidden Benefits: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth - Several recent reports have highlighted the earnings gap between high school graduates and dropouts; however, earnings tell only part of the story. Families rely on income from salary for regular expenses, but real economic security requires accumulated wealth. Household wealth, also known as “assets,” is broadly defined as the accumulation of investments that appreciate over time. Education can be the key to higher earnings, but it is even more importantly linked to the accumulation of assets. On average, households headed by a high school graduate accumulate 10 times more wealth than households headed by a high school dropout. (Alliance for Excellent Education, February 2007) ...

America’s Perfect Storm - The authors of this report document and describe the confluence of three powerful forces that are having a considerable impact on America: (1) divergent skill distributions among U.S. population groups, (2) a changing economy and (3) demographic trends of a growing and more diverse population. The report also projects the impact of these interactions on the nation 25 years into the future. The authors warn that the U.S. must change course and take effective action or “gradually lose ground in relation to other countries, becoming more divided both socially and economically in the process." Consequently, America must equip its citizens with the ability to perform highly-valued work and with opportunities to renew their skills as the nature of that work evolves. (Irwin Kirsch, Henry Braun and Kentaro Yamamoto of ETS, and Andrew Sum of Northeastern University. Educational Testing Service, 2007) Executive Summary ...

Career Pathways, Academic Performance - This brief summarizes results of a recently published study that examined the effects of career and technical education (CTE) transition programs on student matriculation from secondary to postsecondary education. The study was divided into two components: (1) secondary institutions’ CTE transition programs and their effects on secondary student performance and college transition as well as student perceptions of the transition programs; and (2) the postsecondary effects of selected CTE programs on student transition and postsecondary outcomes, compared to non-participants from the same sampled high schools. (Debra Bragg and Collin Ruud, Office of Community College Research and Leadership, 2007)...

College Learning for the New Global Century - While college enrollment is at an all-time high, an important consideration about college education has been ignored. Are students learning the skills they really need for use in the real world? Does getting a degree actually prepare the student for the challenges they will face? This report, with input from employers, colleges and universities, and other professional and educational experts makes recommendations to foster the aims and best practices of a twenty-first century education. (Liberal Education and America’s Promise, Association of American Colleges and Universities, January 2007)...

Education at a Glance: 2007 - This publication examines the quality of learning outcomes, the policy levers and contextual factors that shape these outcomes, and the broader private and social returns that accrue to investments in education. The report addresses the needs of a range of users, from governments seeking to learn policy lessons to academics requiring data for further analysis to the general public wanting to monitor how its nation’s schools are progressing in producing world-class students. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2007)...

Innovation America: A Compact for Postsecondary Education - This paper focuses on how states can better align postsecondary education with their economic needs, which will position them to compete in the global economy by producing a highly-skilled workforce and by unleashing postsecondary education institutions’ power to innovate. (National Governors Association, 2007) ...

Setting a Public Agenda for Higher Education in the States: Lessons Learned from the National Collaborative for Higher Education Policy - The National Collaborative for Postsecondary Education Policy, a partnership between the Education Commission of the States, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, was created to investigate and recommend new strategies for improving postsecondary education. The final report summarizes lessons learned from intensive work in five states and offers guidance to policymakers interested in pursuing a new agenda for higher education to meet the needs of citizens and communities in a more globally competitive economy. (Gordon K. Davies, National Collaborative for Higher Education Policy, December 2006)...

Healthier and Wealthier: Decreasing Health Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment - According to this report, if every student in the class of 2005-06 graduates from high school, the nation could save $17.1 billion in lifetime health costs. Since healthcare costs are highest for the least educated, the authors calculated savings by combining the lifetime costs of Medicaid and expenditures for uninsured care, then multiplying this total by the number of students who drop out of the nation’s high schools. If these students were to graduate instead, the nation would realize a significant benefit. The report argues that higher educational attainment improves a student’s future income, occupational status and social prestige, all of which contributes to improved individual health. The brief cites several reasons why, including the fact that Americans with higher educational attainment have more insurance coverage, individuals who lack health insurance receive less medical care and have poorer health outcomes and lower education levels generally lead to occupations with greater health hazards. (Alliance for Excellent Education, November 2006) ...

Measuring the Moment: Innovation, National Security, and Economic Competitiveness - Leadership in the high-tech economy is the bedrock of the U.S. economy and its competitiveness. Across many sectors of the economy, signs of trouble for the United States are showing up in areas important to national security, technological leadership and industrial capacity. This document updates The Knowledge Economy. It provides the latest available information on earlier benchmarks, and it establishes new ones as well. It makes clear that problems – in areas that include federal support for basic research in the physical sciences and engineering, Ph.D.s in the natural sciences and engineering, students' interest in pursuing science and engineering studies, and the trade balance in high-tech products – have not disappeared. They are longterm trends that the new figures confirm. (Task Force on the Future of American Innovation, November 2006) ...

The Competitiveness Index: Where America Stands - This presentation examines how the nation is performing on a number of indicators, including household wealth, educational attainment, job creation, foreign investment, imports, world-class universities and more. (Michael E. Porter, Council on Competitiveness, November 2006) ...

Economic Impact of the Nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities - This study documents the economic role of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by estimating the short-term economic impact that each of these institutions has on their local communities. In 2001, the combined initial spending associated with the nation’s 101 HBCUs totaled $6.6 billion. Public HBCUs accounted for 62% of the total amount. The total economic impact of the nation’s HBCUs was $10.2 billion. This amount would rank the collective economic impact of the nation’s HBCUs 232nd on the Forbes Fortune 500 list of the United States’ largest companies. Additionally, the total employment impact of the 101 HBCUs included 180,142 total full- and part-time jobs in 2001. The report includes templates that can easily be used to update impact estimates for subsequent years as new Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data become available. (Jeffrey Humphreys, National Center for Education Statistics, October 2006) ...

The Career Pathways How-To Guide - Career pathways are distinct from most educational efforts in their dual focus on advancement to higher levels of both education and employment. The goal of this report is to share knowledge of the “why and how” of career pathways projects currently up and running. It sets out a step-by-step protocol for building career pathways on the local level and discusses how state-level officials can support local efforts.(Davis Jenkins and Christopher Spence, Workforce Strategy Center, October 2006) ...

Measuring Up Internationally: Developing Skills and Knowledge for the Global Knowledge Economy - Although the United States continues to rank among the leaders in comparisons of performance in higher education, its leadership position has eroded. No longer the clear-cut top performer in participation and completion rates, the United States has been joined by other countries that have expanded access to and completion of higher education programs. This paper examines U.S. performance relative to other countries with advanced economies. (Alan Wagner, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, September 2006) ...

Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy - This paper discusses career pathways, a framework or approach by which regions can better align publicly supported systems and programs to build a knowledge-economy workforce customized to the needs of local labor markets. Career pathways are a series of connected education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in that sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed explicitly to prepare the participant for the next level of employment and education. The first in a planned series of reports, this report lays out the economic justification for career pathways, describes the process involved and sets the stage for the remaining reports. (Davis Jenkins, Workforce Strategy Center, August 2006) ...

Arkansas Department of Education Business Leader Research on Preparedness of High School Seniors for Entering the Workforce - In May of 2006, two focus groups were conducted for the Arkansas Department of Education. This research was meant to explore the needs of Arkansas business leaders with regards to hiring Arkansas high school graduates. Some of the themes explored in the research were: skills perceived to be lacking in the graduates, strong suits of recent high school graduates, current workforce needs and overall perceptions of recent high school graduates. (Arkansas Department of Education, May 2006) ...

The Community College as a Nexus for Workforce Transitions: A Critical Essay - This article examines horizontal and vertical workforce transitions and how a global economy and the need to train new subpopulations of future workers will cause community colleges to approach their roles in workforce training differently. There are too little hard data at present to guide either practice or policy for new realities. The authors recommend that community colleges address these critical information shortages by documenting both the inputs and outcomes of programs and activities that facilitate horizontal and vertical workforce transitions. (James Jacobs and Richard A. Voorhees, Community College Research Center, Spring 2006) ...

Estimating the Economic Impact of College Student Migration From Illinois - This paper examines the effects of the migration pattern of college students in the United States, particularly within Illinois. Some states send most of their best and brightest to in-state schools, while others send a larger portion out of state. A set of winning and losing states is created in the migration pattern and ensuing economic benefits that follow those workers that are highly educated. Illinois exports many more high school graduates to colleges in other states than it imports. This migration pattern is important because college students who attend college in other states are far less likely to live and work in their home state after graduation. Thus, when Illinois loses a college student, its ability to build a competitive workforce – human capital – is diminished. An executive summary is also available. (Ryan Smith and Andrew E. Wall, Illinois Education Research Council, 2006) ...

Three Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports - Labor Projections 2004-2014 examines predicted demographic changes and their possible implications. Labor Output and Employment Projections 2014 examines predicted changes in labor and output. Occupational Output Projections examines predicted industry and sector growth. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006) ...

Declining Share of Adults Receiving Training under WIA are Low-Income or Disadvantaged - The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) replaced the Job Force Training Partnership Act and substantially altered federally funded job training and other employment-related services for adults, dislocated workers and youth. This brief presents evidence that among adults participating in training, a declining share is low-income and disadvantaged. The authors consider possible explanations for the decline and make recommendations for WIA reauthorization and state local action to increase the share of training and resources directed to this population. (Abbey Frank and Elisa Minoff, Center for Law and Social Policy, December 2005)...

Income of U.S. Workforce Projected to Decline IF Education Doesn't Improve - This brief examines data showing that: (1) the U.S. workforce is becoming more diverse and (2) the racial/ethnic groups that are least educated are the fastest growing. The brief concludes that if current population trends continue and states do not improve the education of all racial/ethnic groups, the skills of the workforce and the incomes of U.S. residents are projected to decline over the next two decades. Individual state profiles are available for: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Texas. (The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, November 2005)...

Building Skills, Increasing Economic Vitality: A Handbook of Innovative State Policies - Globalization means that economies have to compete through innovation and quality instead of cost, requiring states to become inventive in the way they train workers. The states are well positioned to serve as laboratories of innovation in meeting this challenge. This report identifies innovative state policies, drivers of change and challenges to innovation. Additionally, the appendix describes five case studies of states where approaches stand out as exemplary in their scope and innovation. (Radha Roy Biswas, Jack Mills and Heath Prince, Jobs For the Future, January 2005)...

Labor Force Participation in Formal Work-Related Education in 2000-01 - This report examines how adults in the labor force use formal education and training to acquire and maintain their workforce skills. The report examines: (1) labor force participation in work-related education, (2) the role of postsecondary education in work-related education, (3) employer support for work-related education and (4) the role of employment-related inducements to participation. Participation in work-related education was fairly common, with 47% of adults engaging in one of six types of learning activities, with training courses being the most common, followed by postsecondary courses and programs. (Lisa Hudson, Rajika Bhandari, Katharin Peter and David B. Bills, National Center for Education Statistics, September 2005)...

Why Quality Matters in Education - Higher quality education results in greater earnings for individuals over a lifetime and societies with more educated workforces can expect faster economic growth. This article argues that for countries sticking to a path of real school quality improvement, investments in education have the potential to deliver truly large economic and social gains. (Eric A. Hanushek, Finance & Development, June 2005)...

Education Pays 2004: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society - Too often, postsecondary education is thought of as a private, personal benefit. This line of thinking obscures the broader societal benefits that come with high levels of educational attainment – the increased vitality of a state’s economy, greater levels of civic participation, less dependence on welfare and other forms of state support, and lower crime rates. This report from the College Board describes both the personal and societal benefits of postsecondary education through the use of government statistics and academic research. It also documents how uneven access to higher education creates unequal distribution of wealth and resources and ultimately prevents states from running more efficiently. (Sandy Baum and Kathleen Payea, The College Board, 2004) ...

Job Outlook by Education: Measuring Demand for High School and College Graduates - According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, millions of job openings will be available between 2002 and 2012 for people who don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and many of these jobs will be in high-paying occupations. This brief identifies the occupations projected to have the most openings for people who do not have a bachelor’s degree along with career fields – including construction, healthcare, education and computer work – that are expected to provide good opportunities for new workers. Tables identify projected openings and 2002 earnings for occupations in each of these career fields. (Roger Moncarz and Olivia Crosby, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Winter 2004)...

Job Outlook for College Graduates - This brief examines the benefits of college graduation for workers and includes projections on which occupations are likely to see demand for college-educated workers and the median incomes for those fields. Between 2002 and 2012, more than 14 million job openings are projected to be filled by workers who have a bachelor's or graduate degree and who are entering an occupation for the first time. On average, college graduates earn more money, experience less unemployment and have a wider variety of career options than other workers do. In 2003, the median weekly income for workers with a bachelor's degree was $900, compared to $554 for high school graduates. For workers with a master's, doctoral or professional degree, median earnings were even higher. (Jill N. Lacey and Olivia Crosby, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Winter 2004)...

The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills - This report presents a demographic portrait of adults in the United States with limited English proficiency and their situation in the workforce and society. The authors identify workforce training program components that have had a positive impact on these adults’ job and income prospects, and provide recommendations on developing programs to meet the unique needs of this sector of the workforce, as well as recommendations for state and federal policy. The appendix offers brief descriptions of different types of local programs nationwide that are effectively serving the needs of adults with limited English skills. An eight-page policy brief also is available. (Heide Spruck Wrigley, Elise Richter, Karin Martinson, Hitomi Kubo and Julie Strawn, Center for Law and Social Policy, August 2003)...

Standards for What? The Economic Roots of K-16 Reform - Baby-boom retirements and flat educational attainment rates mean the United States could face a substantial shortage in skilled workers that have at least some postsecondary education, according to this report. Greater alignment throughout the K-16 education system will be needed to prepare the next generation of workers, the report finds. (Anthony P. Carnevale and Donna Desrochers, Educational Testing Service, 2003)...

The Economic Imperative for Improving Education - Improvements must be made to the U.S. education system if the United States is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The nature of work is changing rapidly, making the development of knowledgeable and flexible workers an imperative. The development of this “human capital” will be a crucial task for the nation’s schools. A majority of the fastest-growing and best-paying occupations will require some form of postsecondary education. Challenges facing the United States include academic underachievement — which is exacerbated by the undemanding classes high school students frequently take — and persistent dropout rates for segments of the U.S. population. Dropouts face a bleak future in this new economy and will result in greater societal costs, as they are more likely to end up on welfare or in jail. (Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, March 2003)...

Building a Career Pathways System: Promising Practices in Community College-Centered Workforce Development - Community colleges are the best conduits for helping low-income people out of poverty, but state policymakers, and even the institutions themselves, often hinder training that leads to lucrative careers, according to this report. The authors contend that community colleges need to restructure to eliminate departmental divisions, that state and regional workforce programs need to make better connections with the colleges, and policymakers need to redirect funds. The report argues that creating lasting career opportunities for low-income people hinges on an education integrated with academic and vocational training. (Julian L. Alssid, David Gruber, Davis Jenkins, Christopher Mazzeo, Brandon Roberts, Regina Stanback-Stroud, Workforce Strategy Center, October 2002)...

The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings - This report illustrates the economic value of an education, that is, the added value of a high school diploma or college degree. It explores the relationship between educational attainment and earnings, and demonstrates how the relationship has changed over the last 25 years. Additionally, it provides, by level of education, synthetic estimates of the average total earnings adults are likely to accumulate over the course of their working lives. (Jennifer Cheeseman Day, Eric C. Newburger, Current Population Reports, Bureau of the Census, July 2002)...

The Missing Middle: Aligning Education and the Knowledge Economy - According to this report, economic and demographic changes are going to increase the need to align curricula with work requirements and to create stronger relationships between high schools and colleges, communities and employers. The authors argue that strengthening the relationship between education and work requirements begins with a stronger focus on the "missing middle" in education policy: the years when academic and applied learning overlap between the completion of basic academic preparation and the completion of occupational or professional training. (Anthony P. Carnevale and Donna M. Desrochers, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, April 2002)...

So You Want a GED? Estimating the Impact of the GED on the Earnings of Dropouts Who Seek the Credential - GED holders had higher incomes than employed dropouts without a GED. However, individuals with a GED were only slightly more likely to have a job than dropouts who did not obtain the credential, and both groups still averaged incomes close to the poverty line. (John H. Tyler, Brown University Department of Economics Working Paper No. 01-34, May 2001)...


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