March 3, 2014
State Schools Chief Torlakson Releases Guidance for Teachers
and Schools as They Prepare Students for Careers and College
SACRAMENTO—Twelve new standards—ranging from being able to apply technology effectively to working productively with a team—are designed to guide California's teachers as they help students achieve college and career readiness, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
Speaking Monday at the annual Educating for Career Conference sponsored by the California Career Pathways Consortia and the California Partnership Academies, Torlakson told some 2,800 educators that these "Standards for Career Ready Practice" describe in general terms what students need to succeed when they transfer to postsecondary education, career training, or the workforce—beyond academic skills.
"With Common Core, the new Smarter Balanced assessments, and more, we are recommitting to California's longstanding goal of college and career readiness for every student," Torlakson said. "Beyond academic knowledge lies a whole host of other skills students need to succeed outside the classroom, things like: whether they're financially literate, whether they can communicate their ideas effectively, and whether they can use technology safely and sensibly."
Torlakson said the new standards, though drawn in part from last year's Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards, are not exclusive to a career pathway, a CTE program of study, or a particular discipline or level of education. The standards themselves are general and broad in nature, but are intended to serve as the foundation for teaching and career preparedness from kindergarten through grade twelve. The full list can be found on the California Department of Education's Standards for Career Ready Practice (PDF) Web document.
"Educators know that the world is changing, and so our schools have to change, too," Torlakson said. "Students today need very different skills and knowledge than they did a generation ago."
The career ready standards fall under Torlakson's ongoing Career Readiness Initiative. Over the past year, other steps forward under the initiative have included:
- Administering the Career Pathways Trust, a $250 million grant program designed to support programs that build seamless pathways between schools, higher education, careers, and provide businesses with skilled workers.
- Putting into place sweeping updates to California's career technical education standards to reflect the changing face of technology and setting higher academic goals.
- Working with 63 school districts in an inaugural Linked Learning pilot program, which examines how this approach—which combines rigorous academics with technical training and work-based learning—can succeed and be replicated.
For more information on the Standards for Career Ready Practice and other programs within the Career Readiness Initiative, please visit the California Department of Education's CTE Model Curriculum Standards Web page.