Understanding the issues that face us
is the first step toward resolving them.
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issue_accountability

If the nation is to truly meet the goal of every child a graduate, it must hold schools responsible for that outcome. Accountability systems shine a light on school performance; create incentives for improvement; and direct resources where they are most needed.

Key Resource:

Data Dashboards: Accounting for What Matters

Going beyond a test score when assessing achievement provides more transparent and precise ways to continuously track performance, monitor accountability, and ensure the most at-risk students are not lost in the numbers.

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issue_adolescent-literacy

The majority of students leave high school without the advanced reading and writing skills needed to succeed in college and a career. According to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), more than 60 percent of twelfth-grade students scored below the proficient level in reading achievement, and 27 percent scored below the basic level in reading. Many other students who struggle to read and write make up a substantial portion of the 1 million students who leave high school without a diploma each year.

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Confronting the Crisis: Federal Investments in State Birth-Through-Grade-Twelve Literacy Education

Literacy is one of the most critical components of academic success, but the majority of students are leaving high school without the reading and writing skills needed to succeed in college and a career.

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issue_assessments

Assessments are critical in a highly effective education system. Assessments make standards concrete by providing students, parents, teachers and school leaders, and the public with a clear sense of the kinds of performances students need to demonstrate to show that they have met the standards. Assessment results also provide important information about the extent to which students and schools are meeting standards and what they need to do to improve.

Key Resource:

Principles for a Comprehensive Assessment System

Recognizing that no single test can fulfill all the needs for information by all stakeholders, this report suggests the need for a comprehensive system of assessments that needs to be coherent and cohesive and aligned to standards for college and career readiness.

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issue_careerteched

The traditional American high school has long represented a critical decision point at which students must choose to pursue college or a career. Yet there is growing recognition that to best prepare students for success in life, the twenty-first-century American high school needs to shift their focus from preparing for college or a career to achieving both college and career readiness for every student.

Key Resource:

Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006

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issue_collegereadiness

The increasingly global economy and complex world have changed the demands on the U.S. education system. Unlike in the first half of the twentieth century, a high school diploma is no longer sufficient to secure a good-paying job. In today’s knowledge-based economy, all students, no matter their background or career aspirations, need some form of postsecondary education.

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HELP WANTED: New Report Finds Nearly Two Thirds of All Job Openings Will Require Postsecondary Education by 2018

About 63 percent of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2018 will require workers with at least some college education, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

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issue_deeperlearning

Deeper learning is simply what highly effective educators have always provided: the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned. Rigorous core content is at the heart of the learning process; true deeper learning is developing competencies that enable students to graduate from high school ready for college and a career and then make maximum use of their knowledge in life and work.

Key Resource:

Considering a Deeper Learning Approach? Toolkits for Education Leaders

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Project 24 is an urgent call to action for systemic planning around the effective use of technology and digital learning to achieve the goal of college and career readiness for all students. It is a one-stop shop of comprehensive district-level planning tools, expert advice, creative ideas, and tangible suggestions from experienced education experts and nonprofit education membership organizations.

Key Resource:

Future Ready Website

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issue_EconomicImpacts

Nationally, more than 5,000 students drop out of school every school day. That calculates to more than 1 million students every year who do not graduate from high school with their peers. Without a high school diploma, these individuals are far more likely to spend their lives periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or cycling in and out of the prison system. But in today’s knowledge-based economy, high school dropouts are not the only ones affected when they choose to drop out.

Key Resource:

The Graduation Effect: The Economic Impact of High School Graduation

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No Child Left Behind

Originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the primary federal K–12 education law. Since 1965, the U.S. Congress has periodically “reauthorized” ESEA, a process in which Congress rewrites and renews the law. The most recent reauthorization was in 2015 when Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Key Resource:

Everything You Need to Know About the Every Student Succeeds Act

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issue_HighSchoolGradrateRate

At a minimum, every student should graduate from high school ready for college or a career. But how well are schools, states, or even the nation overall doing at getting students to graduation day? The answer can be seen through high school graduation rates. These rates are key for accountability because they show graduation gaps between student subgroups; these disparities in student success are both an economic and equity imperative.

Key Resource:

Five Toolkits to Help School Leaders Transform High Schools

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issue_internationalcomparisons

In a global economy, U.S. students are competing against peers from the rest of the world, as well as those from across the United States. How U.S. students perform academically relative to those in other countries matters for the future of the country.

Key Resource:

PISA Day Website

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Linked Learning

Linked Learning is an approach transforming education for California students by integrating rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Linked Learning ignites high school students’ passions by creating meaningful learning experiences through career-oriented pathways in fields such as engineering, health care, performing arts, law, and more. When students love what they are learning, they work harder, dream bigger, and learn more.

Key Resource:

Linked Learning Alliance

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issue_teacherleaders

Long-standing concerns remain about whether states have an educator workforce or the capacity to produce one with the training and skills needed to deliver high-quality content to all students. If the dominant teacher workforce policies and practices remain unchanged, the aspirations of the Common Core State Standards will simply continue a legacy of unfulfilled reforms. In order to transform the instructional core in support of the Common Core, teacher and leader preparation must be transformed.

Key Resource:

On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching.

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.