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Posted on: January 18, 2012

Summit on career readiness focuses on improving opportunities in education

More than 600 Kansans -- either in person or online -- took part in the Governor’s Summit on Career Readiness today, hosted by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. The summit highlighted the importance of Kansas high school students graduating with the skills and credentials necessary to succeed in the workplace and giving local and national education leaders and other stakeholders an opportunity to discuss strategies for improving career readiness.

“Career and Technical Education programs are a win-win for Kansas,” said Brownback. “They help us meet the workforce needs of growing businesses. They also provide our high school students with real-world knowledge and skills that will help students immediately – whether that’s to begin their career after high school or to get a job that will help pay their way through college.”

During the summit, Brownback announced the metric his administration will use to track his Road Map for Kansas goal to increase the percentage of graduating high school students who are career or college ready. It will be “college ready students plus career ready students, divided by the total number of juniors and seniors in high school in Kansas.”

--Definition of “college ready”: Number of high school students who score 21 or higher on the ACT, an admission standard set by the Kansas Board of Regents.
--Definition of “career ready”: Number of high school students who receive a technical certification.

Brownback told the group the metric for 2011 was 23 percent.

Brownback also announced that a task force, led by the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Board of Education, will continue the work on the ideas and solutions discussed during the summit.

“Today’s summit brought together those in our state who can make the necessary changes to our K-12 educational system that will ‘remake’ high school, so the curriculum offered impacts our students today and develops our workforce for the future. I want to make sure we follow through on the discussion,” Brownback said.

Last week, Brownback laid out his proposal to set aside more than $20 million for Career and Technical Education (CTE). The proposal would provide funding for:

--Student tuition.
--School transportation costs.
--Marketing to increase student participation.
--Incentives for high schools who increase the number of students earning an industry –recognized credential in key occupations.

The summit included presentations and a roundtable discussion that included questions from attendees. Those in attendance included state legislators, teachers, and members of the Kansas State Board of Education, Kansas Board of Regents, Kansas Tech Education Authority, Kansas Post-Secondary Technical Education Authority, and Kansas Career and Tech Ed Advisory Council, as well as presidents from the state’s universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

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