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Alternative Career Readiness Measures for Small and Rural Districts in Texas

At the request of the Texas Education Agency, REL Southwest investigated college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) among recent high school graduates in Texas, with a focus on small districts and rural districts. The study examined the percentage of 2017/18 graduates who met CCMR accountability standards or one of five alternative career readiness options identified by the Texas Education Agency: career and technical education (CTE) completer, CTE concentrator, CTE explorer, CTE participant, and work-based learner. The study also compared graduates who met CCMR accountability standards and those who met the alternative career readiness options on college and career outcomes.

Key findings include:

  • More than 40 percent of graduates did not meet CCMR accountability standards. Nearly all graduates who did not demonstrate CCMR met at least one alternative career readiness option.
  • Among graduates who did not meet a CCMR standard, a higher percentage from small districts and rural districts were CTE concentrators, whereas the percentage who were CTE completers or work-based learners was similar across districts.
  • Compared to graduates who met a CCMR accountability standard, CTE completers and work-based learners had higher rates of college enrollment, and CTE completers had higher rates of credential attainment or persistence to a second year of college.

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