The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University

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Mary Fallin

Dr. Tom Friedemann, Superintendent, FrancisTuttle Technology Center, who introduces Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; and Ronald Ferguson, Faculty Co-Director, Pathways to Prosperity Project

category: Practice

tags: Pathways, employment

Conference

March 2013

In her keynote remarks, Gov. Fallin argues that creating better pathways to prosperity is critical to the future economic security of our nation. Fallin recalls that when she grew up, a high school degree was often all it took to secure a well-paying job. But today, a post-secondary credential of some type is increasingly essential. At the same time, far too many students drop out of high school, and the US has clearly lost its position as an international leader in education. Fallin argues we need a comprehensive approach to meet this challenge, including improving our high schools so that graduates are truly college and career ready; working with business to identify the skills needed for today's jobs; and insisting on excellence in programs that equip students with industry-recognized credentials, such as Oklahoma's Technology Centers. Following Gov. Fallin's remarks, Ron Ferguson poses several provocative questions for participants to consider as they attend the afternoon conference sessions.


Getting Federal Policy Right

Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education; former Governor of West Virginia (Moderator); Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education; Dane Linn, Vice President, Business Roundtable; Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor; Alisha Hyslop, Assistant Director of Public Policy, Association for Career and Technical Education

category: Practice

tags: Pathways, employment

Conference

March 2013

This workshop focuses on a paradox. On the one hand, each panelist agrees there is unprecedented interest and support for both CTE and the broader issue of creating better pathways to the workforce. Yet at the same time, partisanship and paralysis has made it difficult for Congress to reauthorize legislation that is integral to this agenda, such as the Workforce Investment Act. Despite this gridlock on the Hill, two members of the Obama administration -- Brenda Dann-Messier and Jane Oates -- discuss how they are working to improve the efficacy of existing federal programs. Dane Linn describes the growing business support for pathways and notes that the top two priorities of the Business Roundtable are the Workforce Investment Act and Perkins (which funds CTE). Panelists then offer ideas about how we might move beyond the current impasse, including support for a major communications effort that informs parents and students about the value of high-quality CTE in today's economy.


Designing and Implementing Credentials

Richard Kazis, Senior Vice President, Jobs for the Future (Moderator); Ron Bullock, Chairman, Bison Gear and Engineering Corporation and Chairman, the Manufacturing Institute; Roger Tadajewski, Executive Director, National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3); Gretchen Koch, Senior Director, Workforce Development, CompTIA; Steve Greene, Vice President, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER); Arnold Packer, former Director of the SCANS 2000 Center, Johns Hopkins University.

category: Practice

tags: Pathways, employment

Conference

March 2013

This workshop features many of the nation's leaders in developing industry-recognized credentials and skills certifications. Moderator Rich Kazis notes that collectively, they bring more than 130 years of experience to the topic. Much of the session is devoted to panelists' descriptions of the work of their organizations and how it relates to the needs of their industries. There is also some discussion of challenges that must be met. Many industries have not developed the kinds of extensive credentialing systems represented on this panel, and many educational institutions (especially community colleges) have not achieved high quality standards. All agree that the gold standard is to equip students with credentials that are both portable (meaning that a credential earned in Kansas will be recognized by employers in Kentucky) and stackable, meaning that an entry-level credential opens the door to higher-level training.


Lessons from Abroad

Ursula Renold, Visiting Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education (Moderator); Kathrin Hoeckel, Policy Analyst, OECD; Robert Lerman, Fellow in Labor and Social Policy, Urban Institute; Professor of Economics, American University; Guarav Gujral, Global Lead, Delivering Public Service for the Future Program, Accenture; Michael van der Cammen, Head of International Relations for German Employment Services

category: Practice

tags: Pathways, employment

Conference

March 2013

As the Pathways Report points out, a number of other affluent nations have developed systems that do a far better job than ours at helping youth succeed, whether success is measured by degree attainment or employment. In this workshop, the panelists take a closer look at several pertinent foreign examples and examine the lessons they hold for American policymakers and practitioners. Kathrin Hoeckel begins by describing international best practices. Urusula Renold, the moderator, provides insights into the Swiss career and technical education system and Michael van der Cammen describes that of Germany. Robert Lerman considers the desirability and feasibility of replicating these systems in the U.S. Guarav Gujral then shares the strategies that leading public service providers use to deliver pathways to young people. In the Q & A, panelists discuss skills development programs in India and England as well as their thoughts on how the U.S. could pilot an initiative that draws upon international best practices.