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For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

New Task Force Formed to Address Career Readiness

Group charged with helping all students become ready for postsecondary education and viable career pathways

MALDEN - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education today announced a newly appointed task force comprised of local business, education, and community leaders that will develop recommendations on better integrating college and career readiness into K-12 education. The Patrick-Murray Administration has named closing the achievement gap a top priority, and college and career readiness is central to ensuring that all students are prepared for success in a 21st century economy.

Between now and 2018, nearly two-thirds of all jobs created will require at least some post-secondary education.** Recognizing the importance of providing students with early access to career education and multiple pathways to success in post-secondary education, the Integrating College and Career Readiness Task Force will explore ways to better engage students and employers in activities to boost career readiness.

The task force will be chaired by Board member Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, a one-year, intensive training program to provide urban young adults ages 18-24 with a unique combination of technical and professional skills, college credits, an educational stipend and corporate internship.

"We are in the unique position to bring together Massachusetts' top leaders in education, business, and workforce development to tackle a timely and incredibly important issue for our students," said Chertavian. "I am honored to serve as the Chair of this Task Force and know that with this talented group, we will be able to provide the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education with useful recommendations for preparing a skilled and career ready workforce."

"In today's world, students need to acquire the knowledge and skills to prepare them for career success at the same time they acquire mastery in core academic subjects" said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I will follow the task force's deliberations closely and eagerly await its recommendations on how best to integrate career readiness into the program of study for all Massachusetts students."

The task force will meet five times over the next six months. In June 2012, the group will present its report to the Board with recommendations around the adoption of a clear, measurable definition of career readiness, identifying "power" standards (knowledge and skills) inherent in a core career development program, identifying indicators of career readiness, and identifying and documenting successful policies and programs that provide students with multiple pathway options to integrate knowledge and skills for career readiness and readiness for postsecondary education.

Meetings will be held on the following 2012 dates: Tuesday, January 17; Tuesday, February 14; Monday, March 12; Wednesday, April 11; and Wednesday, May 16.

The task force members are:

  • Maura Banta, Chair, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education*
  • Dennis Berkey, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Francis X. Callahan, Jr., President, Massachusetts Building Trades Council
  • Harneen Chernow, Director, 1199 SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund*
  • Gerald Chertavian, Founder and CEO, Year Up*
  • Donna Cupelo, New England Regional President, Verizon Communications
  • Conny Doty, Director, Office of Jobs and Community Services, City of Boston Mayor's Office
  • Richard Freeland, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
  • Carlos Garcia, Chief of Staff and Chief of Corporate Affairs, Sovereign Bank
  • Charles (Chad) Gifford, Former Chairman, Bank of America
  • Gary Gottlieb, President and CEO, Partners HealthCare
  • Katie Gray, Liaison to Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts School Counselors Association
  • Paul Grogan, President, The Boston Foundation
  • Sheila Harrity, Principal, Worcester Technical High School
  • Lance Hartford, Executive Director, Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation
  • Nancy Hoffman, Vice President and Senior Advisor, Jobs for the Future
  • Joseph (Jay) Hooley, Chairman, President and CEO, State Street Corporation
  • Wendell Knox, Former President and CEO and Current Board Member, Abt Associates
  • Rich Lapan, Professor, School of Education, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • Ivana Maya, Nursing Student, Simmons College: School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • George Moriarty, Director, Massachusetts Department of Career Services
  • Linda Noonan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
  • Dan O'Connell, President and CEO, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership
  • The Honorable Alice Peisch, Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Education, The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education*
  • Robert Schwartz, Professor of Practice and Academic Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Neil Sullivan, Executive Director, Boston Private Industry Council
  • Andy Sum, Director, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University
  • William (Bill) Swanson, Chairman and CEO, Raytheon Company
  • Henry M. Thomas III, President and CEO, Urban League of Springfield, Inc.

* Member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Governor Deval Patrick's Gateway Cities Education Agenda, announced last month, also sets new expectations for college and career readiness, aligning the Commonwealth's educational system with those of our competitor nations around the world. A successful education system is one that introduces secondary students to multiple success pathways by exposing them, early in high school, to career options, meaningful field experiences, such as internships, assessing their career readiness and more tightly linking secondary school achievement with college and career readiness standards. Through this Agenda, the Administration will establish high school career academies in several Gateway Cities that will offer high school students the opportunity for early career exploration, more applied learning and a variety of motivating educational experiences.

"Our young people need a clear understanding of how they can put their knowledge and skill to work in our 21st Century economy which, in turn, gives them a sense of motivation, connection and hope for the future," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "Through the Governor's Gateway Cities Agenda, and the work of this task force, we will ensure that all students have access to that connection and are prepared for lifelong success in both post-secondary education and career."

** Center for Education and Workforce at Georgetown University



Last Updated: December 8, 2011
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