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States and districts are increasingly turning to strategies that aim to improve their students’ readiness to enter the workforce following high school graduation. From the state’s perspective, there are various programs and initiatives being employed across districts, and likewise there are various outcomes to measure when deciding how best to include career readiness in states’ accountability systems, and evaluating how well schools are serving students’ needs. 

Achieve and Advance CTE have partnered to produce a series of reports called Making Career Readiness Count, first released in 2014 with an updated version released in 2016. These reports provide information on states’ use of career-ready indicators in their public reporting and accountability systems, including highlights from several states at the forefront of this work. The reports also offer guidance and recommendations for states on how they can take steps to ensure that the “career” in their college- and career-ready accountability and public reporting system is not an afterthought but a powerful lever to focus priorities, drive progress, and ultimately see more students succeed.

The most recent version of this report, Making Career Readiness Count 3.0, provides an analysis of how the 50 states and the District of Columbia are including and incentivizing measures of career readiness in their new accountability systems under ESSA, as well as an analysis of state-level accountability systems in states with dual systems. This report is the result of a collaboration among Achieve, Advance CTE, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Education Strategy Group (ESG) and includes key themes emerging in career readiness and a detailed state-by-state look at how measures of career readiness are included in each state.