For the past two months NCC has been investigating a question posed by NYSED related to increasing graduation rates and career readiness. Specifically, the questions are:

  1. What policies and practices have other states implemented to support students who aren’t on track to graduate by the end of 10th grade?
  2. How can CTE policies and practices be modified so graduation is not “all or nothing” and inadequate credit accumulation does not push students to give up?
  3. What evidence is there on the benefits of starting CTE in middle school?

In response, NCC has assembled two matrices, one focused on alternative pathways to graduation and one on research on the impact of CTE in middle schools on the retention of at-risk youth in high school.

The matrices included information on states’ course policies (CTE course equivalency, flexibility in seat time requirements, credit recovery, dual enrollment, and transition courses), alternative diplomas/pathways to graduation (differentiated diplomas and competency-based pathways), alternative programs for over-age and under-credited students, stackable credentials, and programs with a CTE lens.

NCC has also pursued additional information on the course equivalency effort in Wisconsin, the alternative diploma being proposed in Indiana, the use of alternative measures to seat time, services for over-age, under-credited youth, stackable credentials, Ford Foundation’s Next Generation Learning work, transition courses, career academies/pathways, efforts to support ELLs, SWD, and low-SES populations, and work in Massachusetts at state, district, and school level to support and re-engage off-track students.

Findings to date were presented to NYSED on March 5, 2014.

Lee Rutledge,  Jack Schwarz, Adam Tanney, State of New York Team

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