P-16/20 School Governance

Historically, K-12 and higher education programs have operated independently, with little connection between them. P-16/20 models are a policy option to provide continuity from one level of education to the next.


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Executive Summary:

  • Only seven of 10 students graduate from high school in the U.S. Among those who do, many are academically unprepared for postsecondary education. Consequently, remediation rates are high and nearly half of all students in public four-year colleges fail to earn bachelors’ degrees within five years. Because of the need for more college graduates over the next 15 years, this lack of college readiness is widely viewed as a crisis needing the attention of policymakers.
  • P–16/20 councils have been created in 40 states. These councils are intended to create a unified governance system from preschool through postsecondary education— well beyond the traditional focus on K-12 education that goes only through high school. In theory, these councils create a seamless transition between all grade levels, particularly between high school and college, by aligning standards and curriculum so students leave high school better prepared for postsecondary education.
  • Despite their promise, nearly all P–16/20 councils lack authority to enact and implement policies. Observers also have criticized these councils for often having a lack of focus and for a failure to bring the right policymakers to the table. They also say these councils often are little more than communication vehicles, rather than policy tools to produce real and lasting results.
  • While some educational experts say no state has created an ideal P–16/20 or P-20 system that has, in fact, resulted in a seamless transition between high school and college, three states—Kentucky, Oregon and Rhode Island—have developed vastly different models to try to achieve the same objectives.

Inside the Report:

  • What are P–16/20 Councils?
  • The Case for P–16/20 Reform
  • A History of the P–16/20 Movement
  • A Look at Select P–16/20 Models
  • Kentucky
  • Rhode Island
  • Oregon
  • The issue of Sustainability
  • Qualities of Effective P–16/20 Councils.
  • Conclusion

  Download the Excel Version of the Table:  "P-16 / 20 Data in the States"

P16.xls23.5 KB
TIA_Focus_P16_Councils.pdf395.41 KB