Whether they're headed for college or a career, students need a solid foundation of academic knowledge combined with crucial thinking and learning skills.
The importance of all students being college and career ready is one of the most discussed issues in policy circles and secondary schools these days. But are college readiness and career readiness one and the same? The answer has far-reaching implications for how U.S. secondary schools are organized and how they educate students.
But First, A Look Back
Through most of the 20th century, college readiness and career readiness were more or less distinct, in part because what we now call career readiness was called job training and took the form of vocational education. In fact, from the 1920s on, large school districts had separate high schools for vocationally oriented students and those going on to college (Tyack, 1974). Even in the high schools themselves, vocational students were mostly separated from college-bound students. This model, with its assumptions about the separation of career and college preparation, remained strongly rooted in high schools throughout the 20th century.