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Home Publications Alternative Career Readiness Measures and Rural Districts in Texas

Alternative Career Readiness Measures and Rural Districts in Texas

by Susan Burkhauser, Lynn Mellor, Marshall Garland and David Osman
Alternative Career Readiness Measures and Rural Districts in Texas

Texas House Bill 3 established a college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) outcomes bonus, which provides extra funding to districts for each annual graduate demonstrating CCMR under the state accountability system. Some small district and rural district leaders expressed concern about the ability of their graduates to meet the career readiness component of the CCMR accountability standards due to a lack of career and technical education (CTE) program or course resources. In response to a request from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), this study examined whether graduates from small districts and rural districts who did not demonstrate CCMR demonstrated career readiness via five possible alternative career readiness options identified by TEA: CTE completer, CTE concentrator, CTE explorer, CTE participant, and work-based learner. The study used a statewide cohort of 2017-18 high school graduates to examine the percentage of graduates in each of four mutually exclusive CCMR accountability standard categories: met a college ready accountability standard, met a career ready accountability standard, met a military ready accountability standard, and did not meet CCMR accountability standards. For graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards, the study examined the percentages of graduates who met each of the possible alternative career readiness options. Finally, the study explored whether graduates who met the alternative career readiness options (but did not demonstrate CCMR) performed comparably on postsecondary college and career outcomes with graduates who met CCMR accountability standards. Key findings include: (1) More than 40 percent of graduates did not demonstrate college, career, or military readiness; (2) No substantive differences were identified between small districts and large districts or between rural districts and major suburban districts in the percentages of graduates who met a career readiness accountability standard; (3) Nearly all graduates who did not demonstrate CCMR met at least one alternative career readiness option; (4) Among graduates who did not demonstrate CCMR, a higher percentage from small districts and rural districts were CTE concentrators, whereas the percentage from small districts and rural districts who were CTE completers or work-based learners was similar to large districts and major suburban districts; (5) CTE completers and work-based learners had higher rates of college enrollment than graduates who met a career readiness accountability standard; and (6) CTE completers had higher rates of credential attainment or college persistence than graduates who met a career readiness accountability standard.

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