Florida is making marked progress when it comes to preparing students for college and careers according to a new study. The Closing the Expectation Gap 2012: 50-State Progress Report from Achieve, an independent nonprofit education reform organization, shows that Florida is aligning policies and practice with the demands of college and careers. The report looks at progress on key college and career-ready policies, including how states match standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and data and accountability systems to the expectations of postsecondary institutions and employers.
“In today’s economy, jobs often demand specific skills, and there can be a gap between what employers are seeking and the skills people have,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Aligning Florida’s college and career goals with employer needs helps prepare our students to pursue higher education and join the workforce.”
In 2005, Florida was one of 13 states to join the American Diploma Project, an effort to address low graduation rates and students graduating from high school unprepared for the demands of college and careers. Since then, the Achieve-sponsored initiative has grown to include 35 states. Achieve surveys all 50 states and the District of Columbia annually to assess states’ progress toward meeting key college and career-ready goals intended to better prepare students for the future.
Highlights of the Closing the Expectation Gap 2012: 50 State Progress Report are below.
· Florida is making college and career readiness a priority for all students by adopting academic standards aligned with college and career-ready expectations, adopting the Common Core State Standards, and by adding college and career expectations to graduation requirements.
· Florida is one of only 18 states assessing students while they are still in high school to address college and career readiness gaps and to determine higher education placement decisions. Additionally, Florida has identified a score on state assessments that identifies student college and career readiness.
· Florida’s longitudinal data system satisfies all ten essential Data Quality Campaign elements, providing a foundation for strong student-level data collection and use.