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Guidelines for the Implementation of K-12 Career Preparation Education

A Component of the Comprehensive Education Plan

 

Purpose:

 

Maine statute (Title 20-A MRSA, Chapter 222: Standards and Assessment of Student Performance) specifies that each school system shall address in its Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) by the end of the 2002-2003 school year how it will implement Career Preparation Education for all students, including interim targets for partial implementation.  Title 20-A further specifies that each school system shall implement the Career Preparation standards of the Learning Results by the end of the 2006-2007 school year [delayed at least one additional year due to the proposed funding formula], contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The purpose of the Career Preparation Implementation Plan is to ensure that all students enrolled in Maine schools in grades K-12 have the opportunity to achieve the content standards in Career Preparation.  The plan is to be:

·        aligned with the system of Maine’s Learning Results

·        focused on the learning of all students

·        oriented to continuous improvement

 

Rationale:      

 

·        Career Preparation Education will impact all students and communities.

·        Career Preparation Education is included in the Maine Job Council’s Strategic Plan.

·        “The Blue Ribbon Commission on Postsecondary Educational Attainment” recommends Career Preparation Education as a key step in improving the aspirations of Maine Students.

·        The implementation of Career Preparation Education has the potential to enhance and align student aspirations such that they complement Maine’s Economic Development Plan, increase postsecondary attainment, and possibly decrease the out-migration of Maine youth.

 

Therefore, with respect to the above mentioned Maine statutes and after reviewing “best practices” for Career Preparation Education in K-12 schools in Maine and brainstorming and discussing concerns for students, educators, and schools, the Career Preparation Design Team makes the following recommendations for implementation of the Maine Learning Results Career Preparation content standards.

 

 

Plan development and certification

 

School districts in Maine are at varying stages of progress in the implementation of K-12 Career Preparation programs.  The manner in which a program of Career Preparation is implemented within a school district is a local decision, with each unit determining the format of its individual plan. The recommendations and considerations included in these Guidelines are offered as a resource to all school districts, regardless of the stage of implementation.

 

Maine Chapter 127: Instructional Program, Assessment and Diploma Requirements specifies the following timeline for implementing Career Preparation.  Those dates preceded by an asterisk (*) will be delayed at least one additional year due to the proposed funding formula of Essential Programs and Services: 

 

2002-2003:  Each school district shall address in its Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) a plan for the implementation of student learning in the content area of Career Preparation by the end of the 2006-2007 school year, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.  Each superintendent will certify to the Commissioner that this plan is included in the district’s CEP. 

 

Fall 2003:  Students in grade 6, who will graduate 2010, will be required to meet the standards of the Career Preparation Learning Results, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

*2003-04: Review Cycle for the System of Learning Results begins.  Each year one content area from each of the following categories will be reviewed:

A.     English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies; and

B.     Career Preparation, Modern and Classical Languages, Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts.

 

*2006-2007

    • By September 2006: The local curriculum (Pre-K-12) shall include Career Preparation Education for all students, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

    • School-Year 2006-2007:  Each school district shall implement the Career Preparation standards of the Learning Results, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The Superintendent shall certify to the Commissioner that the local assessment system meets the assessment system standards established in Chapter 127 for Career Preparation, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The Local Assessment System shall provide school results (grade spans PK-2 and 3-4) and student results (grade spans 5-8 and 9-12) for Career Preparation, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

2009-2010:  Achievement of the content standards in Career Preparation is a diploma requirement for all students, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

N.B. The phrase “contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent” means that these regulations will go into effect if money is appropriated by the Maine State Legislature according to a funding formula entitled “Essential Programs and Services” or an alternative but equivalent funding model, which defines the fiscal resources necessary to implement Maine’s Learning Results in all eight content areas.

 

Establish a team 

 

Effective implementation of Career Preparation will require the consideration of the needs and perspectives of a wide range of interested parties.  A diverse and representative team of key players in grades K-12 could include:

Business Educators

Business stakeholders

Classroom teachers K-12 (academic and vocational)

Curriculum coordinators

Family and Consumer Science Educators

Guidance Counselors

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates Specialists

Parents and other community members

Regional Maine Career Centers (DOL)

School to Work/Career Coordinators

School administrators

Students

Tech Educators (Industrial Arts)

 

Examine the current status of K-12 activities within the district regarding Maine’s Learning Results for Career Preparation

 

Conduct a needs assessment to determine the current status of Career Preparation programs across the district and to identify the projected needs in terms of human and materials resources (e.g., staff, curriculum, instructional materials, instructional space, technology).

As part of this process, a district will identify at each grade span the Career Preparation Content Standards and Performance Indicators that currently are being taught and assessed (and how) in each grade level and/or specific course in the grade span.  Depending on the size of the district, this analysis may include multiple teachers at each grade span.

Examine “best practices”

 

Various models, programs and curricula for Career Preparation have been developed nationally and statewide.  The planning team should carefully review and examine these programs and materials, which can be located through state departments of education, national, regional and state organizations, and local school districts with exemplary programs.

 

Set goals for full implementation in K-12

 

Through goal setting, it will be important to recognize and address the requirements and associated timelines for a sequential, articulated application of the Career Preparation standards for all students in grades K-12. The plan should describe the district’s vision for full implementation.   

 

Develop interim targets for partial implementation K-12

 

Depending on the size and number of schools within a particular district, a timeline for full implementation of Career Preparation may take a number of years to accomplish.  Additionally, the first class of students required to meet the Career Preparation standards as part of its high school diploma requirements will graduate in 2011, i.e. students entering grade 5 in the fall 2003 (a delay of at least one year from the original legislated date, based on the proposed funding formula of Essential Programs and Services).  Planning backwards from 2011, interim target dates and program descriptions for partial implementation at various grade levels and/or schools within a district recognize this reality and will allow for incremental progress and adjustment to the plan as it develops.

 

Plan for professional development

 

School district decisions and budgets will dictate the professional development opportunities afforded to teachers and administrators within a district.  In order for full implementation to occur, identify prospective plans for training opportunities and other professional development activities necessary for the establishment, maintenance, improvement or expansion of Career Preparation  (contingent upon funding).  Examples might include reading, research, conference attendance and/or school site visits.  Include this information in the implementation plan. 

 

Curriculum Development K-12

 

Curriculum development for Career Preparation in grades K-12, based on Maine Learning Results (contingent upon funding), will be necessary to implement the requirements of the law.  

Each school district should review, revise and develop curriculum and associated instructional activities aligned with Maine’s Learning Results within each grade span in order to form a sequential, well-articulated program in Career Preparation. The curriculum will constitute a large part of the effort to implement Career Preparation and should be addressed in the district’s implementation plan.  As school districts review, revise and develop curriculum materials for Career Preparation, they should refer to Guidelines for The Curriculum Development and Review Plan, A Component of the Comprehensive Education Plan (Maine Department of Education, May 1, 2003) and the school district’s individual plan for curriculum development/review of all content areas.  Additionally, the plan for curriculum development in Career Preparation should be closely connected to both instruction and assessment of this content area within the district.

 

Local Assessment Development

 

Based on the LAS Guide: Principles and Criteria for the Adoption of Local Assessment System (Maine Department of Education, June 2003), each school district may develop, pilot and implement assessments to measure achievement of Career Preparation at three grade spans (PK-4*, 5-8, secondary).  It is anticipated that districts will also have the opportunity to use model assessments, based on the Maine LAD (Local Assessment Development) framework, which may be developed and piloted under the leadership of the Maine Department of Education.

Additional assessments in Career Preparation will be developed during an Assessment Development Institute (summer 2004), contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent, for use in a school district’s local assessment system.

Each district’s implementation plan should include a plan for the development of local assessments in Career Preparation.

*The PK-2 and 3-4 grade spans are combined in the LAS Guide: Principles and Criteria for the Adoption of Local Assessment Systems.

 

Determine methods of documentation

 

Each school district must make decisions as to how individual student achievement of the Career Preparation standards within each grade span will be documented consistent with Local Assessment System requirements and protocols used in other content areas.

 

The Career Preparation Design Team recommends a Career Portfolio Process as a significant form of documentation and assessment and as a means to integrate all Career Preparation Standards work, in addition to its required use in Career Preparation Standard B: Education/Career Planning and Management in grade spans 5-8 and 9-12.