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ERIC Number: ED554578
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Career Readiness Assessments across States: A Summary of Survey Findings
McMurrer, Jennifer; Frizzell, Matthew
Center on Education Policy
The notion of what it means for a student to be "career-ready" is changing as a result of the recent push by the federal and state governments to ensure that all students are prepared for college and careers by the time they graduate from high school. While much attention has been paid to the "college-ready" aspect of college and career readiness, the term "career-ready" still means different things to different people. Although many state departments of education are currently engaged in defining career readiness and determining how best to measure it, the differences in the scope and complexity of those definitions are significant. Unfortunately, the information available about how states and school districts are defining career readiness and which assessments they are using to measure a varied set of career-related skills is scant and often confusing. It is equally difficult to obtain a coherent understanding of which kinds of career-related skills each assessment measures and how states and districts are using the results of the assessments to evaluate student readiness. This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) describes how states are defining career readiness and which assessments states and districts are using to measure this attribute. The report is based on a survey administered in the summer of 2013 to state directors of career and technical education (CTE) or their designees about career readiness assessments. A total of 46 states completed the survey. (The District of Columbia is counted as a state in the tallies in this report.) Key findings included: (1) Only 14 of the 46 states responding to the survey have a statewide definition of what it means for high school students to be career- or work-ready; (2) States and their school districts are using various assessments to gauge career readiness; and (3) In many states, school districts or students, not the state, pay the costs associated with taking CTE exams; (4) More states use student results on career readiness assessments to meet federal reporting requirements than use them to make school accountability decisions; (5) Nearly all (45) of the survey states reported facing challenges in assessing high school students' career education or their level of career readiness; and (6) The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have had little impact thus far on the way that career and technical education skills are assessed. An appendix discusses study methods.
Center on Education Policy. 2140 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Room 103, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-994-8859; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy