Words of Support

“More than ever, students’ future success depends on an education that prepares them for success in college and careers. And while ensuring that students are ‘college ready’ has received much attention, it is only one component of the formula for ensuring the nation’s future economic prosperity. By clearly explaining what it means to be ‘career ready,’ the “Building Blocks for Change” document released by the Career Readiness Partner Council fills the growing gap between education and workforce preparation. It defines the academic, technical, and career knowledge and skills that today’s students need and provides the strategies and recommendations for how the nation can build a comprehensive education system that supplies them.”

-Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education and Former Governor of West Virginia


“Achieve believes that all students should graduate from high school with the academic preparation necessary for college, careers and life. While our mission has focused on ensuring that graduates have the necessary academic knowledge and skills they need to succeed, we also recognize that college and career readiness entails more than just  academic preparation. That is why Achieve has been pleased to serve as a member of the Career Readiness Partner Council and partner with organizations representing K-12 education, higher education, career and technical education, and the business community to create a platform for the critical policy and implementation discussions necessary to ensure all students graduate from high school prepared to reach their full potential.”

-Sandra Boyd, Senior Vice President, Achieve


“The globalization of the economy requires graduates from high school who are globally competent and ready for college and careers.  This new definition of career readiness release by the Career Readiness Partner Council aligns perfectly with this new imperative. The focus on critical thinking, communications skills, team work, and real-world projects and problem solving is essential to ensuring a globally competent, 21st century workforce.”

-Tony Jackson, Vice President, Education, Asia Society


“Building Blocks for Change: What it Means to be Career Ready concisely defines what it means to be college and career ready and underscores the critical connection between education and workforce preparation. The Career Readiness Partner Council’s work is closely aligned with AACC’s 21st Century Commission Report, Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future, which emphasizes the importance of collaborations between secondary and postsecondary institutions and with business and industry, to ensure that our nation’s students are prepared for success in learning, work, and life.”

-Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges


“The Association for Career and Technical Education has been actively engaged in the Career Readiness Partner Council since its formation. The coalition fosters the common vision, understanding and partnerships needed to ensure all students are truly career ready, a focus which is central to ACTE’s own mission and expands upon our past initiatives. We look forward to building on the foundation of the “What it Means to be Career Ready” definition so that all students and employers will be able to meet the challenges of today’s competitive and evolving work environment.”

-Association for Career and Technical Education


“States are working hard to ensure all students are college and career ready. The Career Readiness Partner Council’s document will inform states’ understanding of both the similarities and differences between college and career readiness. At a time when our ultimate goal is to ensure students of all ages are successful in the workplace, the Council’s leadership increases the chances that states will develop policy based on research and best practices.”

-Dane Linn, Executive Director, State Policy, The College Board


“We all know the story: Sweeping changes in the global economy are fueling demand for a more highly skilled and nimble American workforce, and our current national focus on college and career readiness is a necessary and encouraging response. But to meet this unprecedented challenge, we must have a firm grasp on what it means to be really ready to excel on the job. For years, Corporate Voices has studied employers’ expectations of their employees—and documented a troubling gap between the skills they require and what they are getting from applicants and new hires. We are pleased to bring these insights to our work with the Career Readiness Partner Council, whose diverse members have done the important work of crafting a consensus statement on the dynamic concept of career readiness in the 21st century.”

-John Wilcox, Executive Director, Corporate Voices for Working Families


“The Common Core State Standards (Common Core) articulate what students need to know and be able to do in English language arts/literacy and mathematics for success in college and careers. The college readiness benchmarks are the same as the career readiness benchmarks in the Common Core State Standards. The Career Readiness Partner Council’s statement contributes to the national dialogue on career readiness by affirming that career readiness includes the Common Core State Standards while painting the broader picture of the range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students must exhibit beyond literacy and mathematics. Implementation of the Common Core State Standards will be strengthened in schools, districts, and states by looking at the Common Core in the context of the career readiness definition outlined in this paper.”

-Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, CCSSO


 “In today’s knowledge economy, it is imperative that students are prepared to be lifelong learners, who are inquisitive and have a thirst for investigation and knowledge. We have to develop a system that allows them to experiment, learn and adapt and model for them the value of pushing forward through failure and seeing beyond success.”

-Cheryl Carrier, Director, Ford Next Generation Learning, Ford Motor Company Fund


“NAF is pleased to have been part of the development of the Career Readiness Partner Council’s definition of college and career readiness. NAF stands with other members of the planning group in leading the effort to integrate academics and career education and looks forward to working with the Council on seeing our shared vision realized.”

-JD Hoye, President, National Academy Foundation


“The notion of college and career readiness must be broadened, shifting from its primary focus on college entrance and completion to include a mastery of key knowledge, skills and dispositions that students must foster throughout the life of their careers. The vision laid out by the Career Readiness Partner Council brings the nation closer to developing programs that truly prepare students to compete in the global economy.”

-Kimberly Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium


“We need to ensure our students are prepared for the dynamic and global economy that awaits them. To be competitive and enjoy longevity in the workforce, students need a critical mix of academic mastery and career related skills. Defining what it means, specifically, to be career ready brings clarity to this new reality: technical and employability skills do matter. Deeming someone career ready is more than just a title; it describes a set of preparatory experiences, driven by knowledgeable educators and industry, from which any student could springboard into a variety of postsecondary options.”

-Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association


“In today’s economy, high school graduates must have the knowledge and skills to take their next step in life-whether that’s enrolling in college, beginning a career training program, or entering the workforce. A common career readiness definition gives policymakers, educators, parents, and students a clear understanding of what it takes to be prepared for a rewarding career. It’s a critical part of ensuring that all students have access to the high-quality instructional opportunities and real-world learning experiences they need to succeed.”

-Joe Willhoft, Ph.D., Executive Director, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium