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In response to a greater demand for high-school degrees that emphasize skills and include a more rigorous curriculum, Indiana high schools can expect to see a revised diploma system within the next few years.
In 2014, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation (HB 1213) to evaluate the state’s existing three-diploma system and explore a possible new graduation path for students, one focusing more on career and technical education. The Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Board of Education will decide whether to approve the changes.
Any changes to state statute would then be voted on by the legislature during its 2016 session. The draft proposal, released this summer, would establish three new types of diplomas: Workforce Ready, College & Career Ready, and Indiana Honors.

New York Sen. Carl Marcellino understands the evolving conditions as business and industry work to fill vacant jobs with skilled employees.  “The workplace is changing rapidly, making it imperative that we develop innovative ways to educate and prepare our students for the demands of an increasingly diverse and global culture and economy,” said Marcellino, the 2015 national chairman of The Council of State Governments.

Sharing a story about one of his constituents, West Virginia state Sen. John Unger told the audience at a recent CSG Policy Academy on Innovative Delivery Models in Postsecondary Education that a young mother told him, “I have three jobs and two children. I don’t need another job; I need a good job,” 

Many education officials are turning to the business community to spark conversation about regional hiring needs, deficits in worker skills and the training necessary to allow for family-sustaining wages and for continued industry growth.

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A year after they have left high school, 58 percent of Wisconsin students with disabilities report that they have not yet worked, participated in a job-training program or taken a postsecondary course. Rep. Robert Brooks, a first-year legislator in the state Assembly, believes the state and its schools can do better for this population.
His plan, introduced at least initially as a budget resolution, calls for new pay-for- performance incentives for school districts to improve their career- and college-readiness programs for students with disabilities.

How can states better ensure that soon-to-be high school graduates are leaving their K–12 education systems ready to succeed in college or the workforce? For states, finding answers to that policy question has never been more important because of a continuing economic trend—jobs are demanding more and more skills and increasingly requiring some level of postsecondary training.

CSG Director of Education Policy Pam Goins outlines the top five issues in education policy for 2015, including school readiness, experiential and work-based learning, academic success for at-risk populations, innovative state accountability systems, and advance attainment of degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials. 

State officials and policymakers have been focused on college- and career-readiness for several years yet challenges still exist to graduate students with the skills and competencies necessary to obtain sustainable employment. 2015 promises to be another busy year concentrated on implementing best practices and enacting innovative policies that prepare America's youngest students for entry into school, create environments for all students including those at-risk, and offer a variety of experiences so students participate in work-based opportunities. In order to ensure a world-class education for all students, leaders will likely address these top 5 issues facing states this year.

On Thursday, Nov. 20 a group of state legislators and education officials met with staff from the White House Intergovernmental Affairs and representatives from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.  An update on the Administration's priorities, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and critical early education initiatives were discussed.

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Over the past two years, a big change has occurred in high schools across the state of Kansas. More and more students are getting a head start on their future careers and their postsecondary studies — by enrolling in and completing courses in career and technical education, or CTE. The rates of growth in the state are striking.