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Spring 2012 In Brief: To Graduation and Beyond: College & career readiness in Duval County

Spring 2012 In Brief: To Graduation and Beyond: College & career readiness in Duval County

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This report by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund takes a look at college and career readiness among students in Duval County Public Schools. What does it mean to be college and career ready? And what steps is the district taking to better prepare our students for postsecondary education and the workforce?
This report by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund takes a look at college and career readiness among students in Duval County Public Schools. What does it mean to be college and career ready? And what steps is the district taking to better prepare our students for postsecondary education and the workforce?

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Published by: Jacksonville Public Education Fund on May 07, 2012
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Executive Summary 1What is College & Career Readiess? 2Class o 2011 4Studet Spotlight 6Recommedatios 10
College & career readiness in Duval County
Technological advances over the last few decades have revolutionized the way we live,work and interact at an unprecedented pace. As a result, the landscape of our economy hasalso experienced a rapid shift in the demand for highly-skilled workers possessing at least some advanced or specialized education beyond high school. In Northeast Florida alone, arecent study by the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI) reported that seven out of 
the top ten fastest growing elds in the Jacksonville metropolitan area right now requireat least some postsecondary education of qualied applicants.
 In this issue, we take a closer lookat what it means to be college and career ready, and what Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is doing to promote postsecondary readiness forall its students. We found a number of compelling statistics and critical areas of reform needed to create a strategic and supportive college access pipeline for all students in DCPS and beyond.
The good news is that postsecondary readiness rates o DCPS graduates have steadilyrisen over the past ew years, thanks in large part to higher curriculum standards andacceleration programs put in place to promote college readiness by DCPS. Howeverthere still remains a large number o students not making it to graduation, and too manygraduates not prepared or college success. At Florida State College o Jacksonvillealone, nearly 60% o enrolling DCPS graduates require some orm o academicremediation prior to beginning work toward their degree.
We ound that students who all behind in their course credits during the rst year o high school are at an extremely elevated risk or not graduating on time, and that Arican-American students in the district are disproportionately scoring below state collegereadiness benchmarks on the SAT.At the community level, we ound that there is no unied set o denitions, expectationsor inormation shared across institutions about what it means to be college and careerready. There is also no comprehensive system or tracking student outcomes rom K-12through postsecondary using one commonly dened set o goals and standards.Our recommendations include the use o a single, streamlined student progress monitoringsystem within the district to better identiy students at risk o alling behind early, dedicatedand staed college access resource centers at every high school, and a community-widecollege access coalition to get all entities currently working on this issue on the same pagein a coordinated eort to increase the education level o all students in Jacksonville.
 Postsecondary readinessrates have risen over the past few years, however too many graduates are not  prepared for college success.
How may Duval Couty Public Schoolsstudets graduate rom high schoolready or college ad the workorce? Thisis a importat questio that lays theoudatio or eorts to improve publiceducatio i Jacksoville.I this issue, the Jacksoville Public EducatioFud takes a i-depth look at what itmeas to be college ad career ready, adwhat Duval Couty Public Schools (DCPS) isdoig to promote postsecodary readiessor all its studets. We oud that readiessis measured i may ways, but a umber o compellig statistics idetiy critical areaso reorm eeded to create a strategic adsupportive college access pipelie or allstudets i DCPS.
Growing global demand for skilled workers, but America isunderproducing college graduates
 Increase in college-ready high school graduates would contribute millions to the local economy
 Deeper pool of skilled workers would attract better jobs and more innovation
How ready our public high school graduates are to succeed incollege and the workorce is not just important or those studentsand their amilies. It is also vital to the overall well-being o oureconomy as a whole. Nationwide, the unemployment rate orstudents without a high school degree is twice as high as it is orgraduates with at least an associate degree, and almost three timeshigher than it is or workers with a bachelor’s degree. This is not atrend that is likely to reverse in the uture.
A recent Georgetown University study on workorce education andthe economy concluded that America has been underproducingcollege-educated workers or decades with respect to the risingdemand or specialized skills and abilities and the global competitionor workers. As the study authors put it, “the growing demand ortechnical sophistication has been coupled with a reduced need,oten as the result o automation, or unskilled labor. As an outcomeo these technological changes, there has been a persistent andongoing demand or more postsecondary education and training.”
In Jacksonville, the impact o this change in the global economicmarketplace has been particularly acute. Over the past ve years,the largest employment sector o Northeast Florida’s economyhas been the service industry (jobs such as restaurant workers,healthcare workers, and administrative support positions), thesector typically comprised o the lowest wage positions.
Thesetypes o jobs typically come with limited pay and benets, limitedroom or growth or most employees, and, in turn, severely limitthe amount o disposable income and job creation returned to theeconomy by its workers. Without a deeper pool o postsecondaryeducated candidates in the local workorce, Jacksonville willcontinue to struggle in attracting higher paying jobs to the areaand changing this trend.A signicant increase in the number o postsecondary educatedworkers in the area would have positive ripple eects in the localeconomy or everyone. According to recent projections, about6,800 students dropped out rom the class o 2011 in NortheastFlorida (including Duval County students and surroundingcounties). I only 30% o those drop outs had graduated and goneon to earn a postsecondary degree, the projected impact to thelocal economy would have been:
in additional earnings over thosestudents’ lietimes
in additional annual spending
in additional home sales by the midpointo the students’ career
in additional annual vehicle sales
created locallyClearly, accelerating the transormation o Jacksonville’s labororce to one that oers a deeper pool o highly-skilled workersand innovators to attract higher-level jobs in a globally competitivemarketplace is o critical importance. Beore we can make thathappen here, we need to have a better understanding o just whatbeing “college and career ready” means and where our studentsstand today in relation to that goal.
Understanding the path to graduation in Duval County
Basic standardized test requirements for graduation and 
college entrance
 Benchmarks for postsecondary readiness
To understand the graduation and postsecondary readiness rateso DCPS in proper context, it is rst necessary to understandwhat is required o students to graduate in the district. The corecurriculum requirements that students must meet between 9th and12th grade in order to graduate with a standard diploma include:
4 credits in English/Language Arts
4 credits in Mathematics (including Algebra I, Geometry,and Algebra II)
4 credits in Science (including Biology and eitherChemistry or Physics)
3 credits in Social Studies (including World History,American History, U.S. Government and Economics)
2 credits in Foreign Language
1 credit in Career Education or the Arts
1 credit in Physical Education
5 additional Elective creditsFor students enrolled in accelerated or specialized progressionplans or with specically granted exceptions, there may be somevariations to these requirements.
But or a general understandingo the path to graduation or most students in DCPS, the 24-creditcurriculum laid out above provides the core ramework o requirements that students must meet.In addition to the coursework requirements, there are also basicstandardized test requirements that must be met or graduation aswell. For students up through 2011, the basic testing requirementor graduation has been passing the 10th grade FCAT or,alternatively, achieving a concordant score on the
For students aspiring to continue their education beyondhigh school, there are also additional
postsecondary readiness 
To become a globally competitivemarketplace we need to have a better understanding of what being “collegeand career ready” means and where our students stand in relation to that goal today.
benchmarks to be met. Postsecondary readiness benchmarkstypically involve meeting higher achievement levels on the ACT,SAT or other accepted college placement test than the minimumthat would be required or high school graduation.
Table 1
shows the dierences in test score benchmarks between what isrequired to graduate versus what is required to also be consideredpostsecondary ready by Florida’s state denition.Now that we have a better idea about the path to graduation inDCPS and what it takes above and beyond that to be consideredpostsecondary ready, we want to take a closer look next at what DuvalCounty is doing to promote meeting these standards among its graduates.
 DCPS has raised curriculum standards beyond state
 An increase in student participation and performance inacceleration programs
 More career academies and technical programs
One major step DCPS has taken to promote postsecondary readinessamong its graduates is to hold all students to higher curriculumstandards than the minimum required by state law. As a result, theDCPS graduation curriculum outlined on the previous page has,or the past several years, been more rigorous than what has beenrequired in many other counties. Course requirements such asBiology, Algebra II and Chemistry or Physics, which only recentlybecame mandatory or all students entering high school throughoutFlorida in 2011, were instituted as mandatory requirements in DuvalCounty as early as 2007.DCPS also requires an additional Science credit and two ForeignLanguage credits above and beyond what are mandated by statelaw. From a coursework perspective, Duval County’s graduationrequirements are more aligned with the minimum admissionrequirements o the State University System
than with theminimum state high school requirements, indicating a concertedand laudable ocus on postsecondary readiness within the district.
DCPS also oers a number o high school acceleration programsdesigned to allow students to begin taking college-levelcoursework in high school, many o which can count directlyas credits towards their degree in college. Every high school inDCPS oers at least one acceleration program option, including
 Advanced International Certifcate o Education (AICE) 
programs atour schools,
Early College 
programs at our schools,
InternationalBaccalaureate (IB)
diploma programs at six schools, and
 AdvancedPlacement (AP) Honors
programs at ten schools.A recent increased ocus on student participationin accelerated coursework at the state level overthe past ew years has led to a signicant jumpin the numbers o students taking some orm o accelerated placement tests and courses in DCPSover the past ew years. From 2007 to 2011, thenumber o students passing AP, IB, or AICE examsdistrict-wide has risen by over 53%, rom just over5,000 students to nearly 7,800.
It is important tonote, however, that some o this increase in the rawnumbers o students passing may also simply bedue to the act that more students are actually takingthese exams. According to state reports, while the raw numbers o students taking and passing AP exams specically has risen over thepast ew years, the actual rates o students passing the exams hasremained proportionately about the same, around 25%.
 Many o the courses in these programs are dual enrollmentcourses, which means students are earning credit towards highschool graduation and a college degree or career certicate at thesame time. The number o students enrolled in dual enrollmentcourses through FSCJ has grown by nearly 60% in the past twoyears (rom 1,573 students in 2009 to 3,829 in 2011) to becomethe largest dual enrollment program in the state.
Career and Technical Education programs (CTE), including
, are specialized programs o study and elective oeringsdesigned to provide students with practical, career orientedskills to prepare them or both the workorce and more rigorouspostsecondary education in their chosen eld o study.The programs oered through the DCPS CTE and career academyprograms are varied and cover, at least somewhere, each o the 16nationally recognized
career clusters
Figure 1
shows the increasein CTE course enrollment as programs have been expanded overthe past ew years, with nearly 2,000 more students enrolled inCTE courses in 2012 than in 2009.The top clusters or student enrollment in DCPS in 2011-2012were health science (982 students), inormation technology(936 students), business management and administration (920students) and hospitality and tourism (742 students).
For some CTE and career academy students, ollowing throughon a specialized program o study can result in an industrycertication that can be taken directly into the workplace, or
 Test (Subsecti)Mi. HS raduati(as FCAT at.)Mi. PstsecdaryReadiessMi. State UiersitySystem Admissi
ACT (Reading)181819ACT (English)---1718ACT (Math)151919SAT (Critical Reading)420440460SAT (Math)340440460
Source: Duval County Public Schools

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