The State Board of Education (SBE) has modified its proposed change to the Statewide Accountability System to include the WorkKeys assessment as a career-readiness indicator in the College- and Career-Readiness (CCR) component. The public has until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 26, to provide feedback to the board before the final change is adopted.
At its February meeting, the SBE voted to send the issue back out for public comment with a modification of the proposed change, one that we believe continues to provide a lopsided evaluation of schools and districts that favors those with a higher percent of students on the college prep track.
While The Parents’ Campaign strongly supports the addition of WorkKeys to the CCR component, we oppose the modification currently being considered by the State Board of Education (SBE). We encourage you to submit your own comments to the board.
Email your comments to: Mr. Alan Burrow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 26
Your comments will be presented to State Board of Education members prior to their vote on this issue.
See The Parents’ Campaign’s comments on the proposed change.
The SBE proposes to require career track students who score at the Silver level on WorkKeys also to obtain an industry certification or career pathway to be counted as successful in the accountability system. Gold- and Platinum-level scores would stand alone as career-readiness indicators. This is at odds with the recommendation of the business community and the MDE’s Accountability Task Force that the national industry standard Silver-level score on the WorkKeys assessment be the stand-alone benchmark of success for career track students, just as the ACT national standard is the stand-alone benchmark of success for college prep students.
It is important to note that not all school districts have their own CTE programs. Some participate in coalitions, through which their students take CTE classes on other school districts’ campuses via coalition agreements that cap the number of CTE slots allowed for out-of-district students. Districts with their own CTE programs have no such limits, making completion of a career pathway an unfair requirement. Not all career tech areas have an industry certification, negating certification as a means of compensating for inequitable access to a career pathway.
We believe the SBE proposal is flawed in at least three important ways:
- It is inequitable, penalizing districts with a high percent of career track students, particularly districts that do not have their own career tech programs
- It reinforces negative stereotypes of the career tech track
- It ignores the recommendation of business and industry regarding the appropriate career-readiness indicator
Currently, the CCR component includes no assessment that measures the effectiveness with which school districts prepare students on a career track. All students are evaluated using the ACT assessment, a college-readiness indicator, as a measure of CCR success. The Parents’ Campaign supports the inclusion of the WorkKeys assessment in the College- and Career-Readiness component of the Statewide Accountability System as a measure of career-readiness for students who are enrolled in or have completed at least one CTE course, and the use of a stand-alone Silver-level benchmark on WorkKeys as the indicator of student career-readiness for purposes of the Statewide Accountability System.
Please take this opportunity to provide your input on this important topic. Together, we’ve got this!