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College and Career Pathways

The traditional American high school represented the decision point at which students chose to pursue college or a career. However, in today’s global economy and complex world, a high school diploma is no longer sufficient to secure a good-paying job. The twenty-first-century American high school must shift its mission and prepare students to succeed in both college and careers. All4Ed identifies and advocates for policies and practices to ensure high schools provide all students—and especially historically underserved students—engaging, rigorous experiences that prepare them for success in college, work, and life.

High School Graduation Requirements

All4Ed believes high school graduation requirements should align with expectations for entering higher education and the workforce. However, as states adopt more rigorous diploma requirements, they often introduce flexibility in how students can demonstrate they are ready to graduate. The result is an increasingly confusing system to navigate, including states with multiple diploma pathways where students must opt-in to the college- and career-ready choice. All4Ed works to ensure these pathways do not close doors to postsecondary opportunities, particularly for historically underserved students.

Rigorous High School Coursework

Because we believe race- and income-based disparities in postsecondary outcomes are caused, in large part, by inadequate preparation and inequities in K-12 schooling, we seek to expand access to high-quality college and career pathways, such as early college high schools. Check out some of All4Ed’s work promoting rigorous high school coursework below.

Career and Technical Education

All4Ed supports high-quality college and career pathways that bring together districts, colleges and universities, and employers to prepare young people for high-skill, high-wage careers. At the federal level, the reauthorized Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) includes provisions to ensure career and technical education (CTE) programs meet the demands of the twenty-first-century economy. At the state and local levels, All4Ed supports leaders in aligning and integrating education with workforce opportunities and redesigning high schools to promote postsecondary readiness.

Federal Flash

Federal Flash is All4Ed’s video series on important developments in education policy in Washington, D.C., including ESSA implementation, funding, and oversight from the U.S. Department of Education and Congress. To view or read a transcript of our most recent episode, click “Watch Now” below. For more frequent updates on education news and policy, follow @All4Ed on Twitter or check out our “New In Policy” page.

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