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Leading Policymakers Launch Education Group to Address School/Jobs Mismatch

Top state and local officials joining the Alliance for Excellent Education to identify solutions to better prepare young people for successful careers

Washington, DC – Innovative state and local officials from across the country are coming together Thursday, November 21, to launch an education initiative that will develop and implement a state and local policy agenda that better prepares students for college and careers. In the wake of evidence, like recent scores on the National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP), which show too many students falling behind, the NewDEAL Forum Education Policy Group will leverage the expertise of public and non-profit thought leaders to identify the most effective, actionable solutions to graduate more students on track for success in the workplace.

A report of policy recommendations produced next year will be followed by support from the group to implement those solutions across the country. The group will consider topics at the intersection of education and workforce, including access to career pathways, reimagining career and technical education, and better linking K-12 and higher education systems, as well as a range of other key issues affecting the quality of education available to all young people.

The group will be co-chaired by West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Georgia State Senator Elena Parent, who are members of the NewDEAL network of 180 carefully-selected state and local officials below the level of Governor, from 47 states, who are chosen for their innovative and forward-thinking approaches to governing. (The NewDEAL Forum is the NewDEAL’s sister organization.) They will announce the initiative in Washington, DC at this week’s annual NewDEAL Leaders Conference, which focuses on solutions for the future of work, climate change, education, housing, and more.

“Our economy is changing at an accelerating rate,” said Mayor Cabaldon. “Good jobs require more skills than ever before, yet the NAEP results show that our young people – particularly low-income students and students of color – are not making the progress they need to succeed.  We must do better, and we cannot wait for the federal government to lead. State and local governments must find new and better ways to expand high-quality college and career pathways, and to link workforce and education systems.”

“We have much work to do to prepare more of our young people for the future, but the good news is that many of our colleagues are finding innovative ways to make progress,” said Senator Parent. “We must break down the silos of our current systems and get K-12 and higher education, employers, labor organizations, and economic development to come together around a common plan to better prepare young people so that they can succeed and so that our economy can thrive. We need a shared vision and a set of proven, actionable solutions that we can use to advance the vision in our home communities.”

Support for the group will be provided by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national non-profit policy and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC whose mission is to ensure that every young person graduates from high school prepared for success in careers and in life. Funding from the Joyce Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will support the group’s work.

“We are thrilled to be supporting this group of innovative state and local elected officials committed to improving outcomes for students,” said Deb Delisle, President and CEO of the Alliance for Excellent Education. “We must do better at preparing our young people for the future, particularly historically underserved students who need our help the most. We cannot think of a better way to make concrete change than by working directly with policymakers to develop an agenda of evidence-based, actionable recommendations, and then working with those same policymakers to implement them. Too often policy recommendations sit on shelves; in this partnership with the NewDEAL Forum, we are confident that real change for students will result from our work.”

The group will build on recommendations produced by the NewDEAL Forum Future of Work Policy Group.


About the NewDEAL Forum

The NewDEAL Forum is a Washington-DC based non-profit organization which identifies and promotes innovative, future-oriented state and local pro-growth progressive policies that can improve the lives of all Americans. By facilitating the identification and spread of policy ideas, the NewDEAL Forum seeks to foster economic growth, reduce barriers to opportunity, and promote good government in communities, cities and states throughout the country.

 About the Alliance for Excellent Education

The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization committed to improving educational outcomes—and lives—of students, with a focus on those in middle and high school. We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and specifically advocate on behalf of all students who are historically underserved or marginalized.