Today, we announced the Alabama Department of Education plans to make CareerForward available to every student in the state as one way high school students can meet the new online learning graduation requirement there starting next year. CareerForward teaches globalization, career planning, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Readying our students for college and the workplace should be our number one priority because the competition for jobs and talent between the U.S. and other countries has never been more intense. You can read more about CareerForward and the resources available to roll it out to your schools and districts in my earlier posts here and here.
According to the latest McKinsey report, forty years ago the U.S. was a leader in high school graduation rates. Today, we rank 18th out of 24 industrialized nations. A January National Governors Association (NGA) report states that we have 3.8 million young adults out there without a diploma, and who are not in school and not working. And as I travel across the country and talk to young people, I am amazed at the number of students who have not declared a major in college – a phenomenon, I think, is uniquely American. We need to get kids thinking about their futures much earlier in life and taking action. CareerForward is just one way students can see the relevance of their school work and how that parlays into their future economic prospects.
Michigan was the first state to adopt an online learning graduation requirement, and the first to deploy CareerForward statewide. More than 18,000 students have committed to taking the course this year. We have a new video showing the success Michigan is having with the program. Check it out below…the students and their teacher are inspirational.