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from the Education Commission of the States
 

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December 17, 2014

New from ECS

The more things change …
“Here we are in the 1990s, witnesses and actors in one of the great dramas of this century. ... Wouldn't it be ironic if at this wonderful moment the United States could no longer participate as a world leader because we were not well-enough educated?” Frank Newman, highly regarded former president of ECS, included these words in a memorable commencement speech in 1991. Prior to beginning a new year, it seems like a good time to read and reflect on what Newman had to say nearly 24 years ago. (published by Worcester Polytechnic Institute — WPI, May 1991)

What States Are Doing

Graduation rate ahead of schedule
Alabama’s high school graduation rate rose to a record high of 86 percent, the State Department of Education announced this week. PLAN 2020, the state’s plan for public education reform, which calls for a graduation rate of 90 percent by the year 2020, expected to reach 86 percent by 2018. The 90 percent goal will not only help youth become college and career ready, but also contribute to the state’s economy.

Two high school and college programs to launch in 2015
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that two more integrated high school and college programs will open next year. Called Connecticut Early College Opportunity (CT-ECO), the Grade 9-14 experiences will allow students to earn an associate degree in addition to a high school diploma. Located in Windham and New London, the Eastern CT-ECO programs represent partnerships among local school districts, two community colleges, and the Eastern Manufacturing Alliance.

Good Reads

Aging out
Some 26,000 youth in foster care will turn 18 and “age out” annually, facing such obstacles as homelessness, unemployment, difficulty accessing higher education and financial instability. This brief highlights best practices and policies and makes recommendations to support youth in transition from foster care in three areas of need – sustainable social capital, permanency supports and access to education. (American Youth Policy Forum)

New teachers unprepared to get students college and career ready
This edition of the NCTQ’s Yearbook finds states haven't done enough to prepare new teachers responsible for teaching to the college and career standards states adopted. A state-by-state review is provided, as well as a policy issues overview. In overall ratings, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas led the pack. (National Council on Teacher Quality)

Postsecondary enrollment continues decline
At a time when policymakers are trying to ratchet up the number of college graduates, university enrollment continued to drop, led this fall by private, for-profit colleges. Overall, the skid down was about 1.3 percent from a year ago and included two-year colleges; part of their slide occurred because some were reclassified as four-year institutions. (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center)

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