The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to reshape public education so that 80 percent of high school graduates are college- and career-ready.
According to the foundation, by 2018 more than 60 percent of all jobs will require some level of postsecondary education and training. But data from the New England Secondary School Consortium shows that while more students are graduating from high school, only 50 percent of graduates overall and 32 percent of low-income graduates have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed after high school.
With the goal of driving college- and career-readiness for all students, the foundation will work over the next five years to accelerate the adoption and implementation of student-centered learning — personalized, competency-based learning that can take place anytime, anywhere — with a focus on raising public awareness of and demand for student-centered learning initiatives; increasing the tools and resources available to educators and school systems; and building a research base of evidence supporting student-centered learning.
"While we may be graduating more students, it's clear that graduation does not mean our students are adequately prepared for what must come next — success in some form of postsecondary education," said NMEF president and CEO Nick Donohue. "Like an old building, the public education system needs a twenty-first-century upgrade so that all learners have access to postsecondary education and career success. The good news is that there is a path forward, which includes the spread of student-centered learning and the remodeling of our public education system to support the delivery of these practices."