Every Child Succeeds Act: Changing the Policy of Standardization

Image captured by G. McGough
Image captured by G. McGough

As of December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Child Succeeds Act into legislation thus replacing the No Child Left Behind Act, President George W. Bush’s spin on President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965). After several decades of legislation, the federal government is finally retreating from educational policy management and is looking to States to take a more active role in the governance process of public education.

Education Week (January 4, 2016) published a wonderful article titled, Will States Swap Standards-Based Tests for SAT, ACT? One of the benefits of having a blog is the ability to take one’s musings publish them to start a virtual conversation. Take a moment to click the hyperlink and go read the article. I will wait…

Please feel free to leave comments at the end of the blog so that the conversation can continue.

The article claims that seven states are looking to abandon their current, high school standardized testing practices and sub-contract the process out to SAT or ACT, to determine college readiness. As a strong advocate for college and CAREER readiness, I wondered why states didn’t include other possible CAREER assessment measures like the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute. If states are truly been given the freedom to redefine what high-school testing looks like, why not begin to give credibility to CAREER readiness. Career assessments demonstrate student competency in the areas of job and task-based analysis.

In the hierarchy of academic disciplines, the label “career prep” has a connotation as being lesser than “college prep.” It is time to elevate “career readiness” at this critical change in educational policy.

Schools could be designed to have students demonstrate their college and/or career competencies in one of two tracks, SAT/ACT or NOCTI. This type of differentiation might trigger the type of education reform that allows all students to truly find success in the training of their vocational track.

Please leave comments, so that we can clarify our thinking about this groundbreaking topic and possibly push for reform.

Yours in Education,

Dr. Gregory M. McGough, Blogger & Podcaster

Wait! Having A College Degree Isn’t Enough?

There used to be a time when having a question diplomacollege degree was all you really needed in order to get a good job and begin a career. However, with more and more students attending college, completing the college program and receiving a degree simply isn’t enough anymore. The competition for jobs in certain career fields is incredible, compared to what it was years ago. What truly matters in today’s job market is not just getting the degree, but rather what you choose to study in college. It is also equally important to realize that some college majors do not lead to long-term successful careers.

It is critical to help students realize that this is the case in today’s job market. Perhaps more importantly, the time to help them realize this is not when they enter college; for many students, this will be too late in the process. Rather, these lessons can, and should, begin as early as elementary school and continue on throughout their secondary years. When students get to the secondary level, teachers and guidance counselors need to be sure that they are providing accurate guidance to students that reflect labor market trends. By helping students understand how to use and interpret labor market data themselves, they can assist students in making better-informed career path decisions.

This chapter of the handbook provides numerous resources for teachers and counselors to use in order to help students understand the connections between their career goals and various labor markets. For more information about appropriate career path preparation, and to read the entire chapter titled Are You Preparing Students For Viable Future Careers?.