Preparing pennsylvania s youth for success in a 21 st century economy
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Preparing Pennsylvania’s Youth for Success in a 21 st Century Economy. Who is PPC?. Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children Advocacy organization Independent, non-profit Prevention-focused, research-based

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Who is PPC?

  • Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

    • Advocacy organization

    • Independent, non-profit

    • Prevention-focused, research-based

  • Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a strong, effective and trusted voice for improving the health, education and well-being of the Commonwealth’s children.

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Ready By 21™

Ready By 21™ is committed to youth-centered public policies and programs designed to ensure that all Pennsylvanians aged 12-21 have equitable access to high quality education and support services that meet their needs and builds on their aspirations; that prepares them to earn a family-sustaining wage, be active citizens, lifelong learners, and enjoy healthy physical,

social and emotional health.

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Ready By 21™

1. Secondary academic success

2. Positive use of out-of-school time

3. Career preparation and workforce development

4. Comprehensive services with linkages to appropriate health and human services

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Youth Demographics

  • One in 7 Pennsylvanians (1,688,643) is a young person (age 12-21)

    • 1 in 3 lives in poverty

    • More than 12,000 are in foster care

    • More than 40,000 are in juvenile justice

    • More than 26,000 teens are mothers

    • 1 in 50 has limited English proficiency

    • 14% have a disability

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Adolescents to Adulthood

  • An education that prepares them for the rigors of college or a competitive labor market with skills that enable them to earn a family-sustaining wage one day

  • Avoidance of risky behaviors such as illegal drug use in order to become healthy, well-adjusted adults

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Adolescents to Adulthood

  • Strong interpersonal relationships with friends and family who support their growth and achievements

  • Strong connections to the community that forge a sense of belonging

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Risk & Protective Factors

  • A survey of about 75,000 PA teens shows many of them do not feel supported or protected by their schools, families, neighbors and communities.

  • The Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) conducted in 2003 obtained data from a representative sample of 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders in urban, rural and suburban communities across the state.

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Protective Factors Buffer youth from harm…

  • 25% of respondents said their parents do not express pride in their accomplishments or that they enjoy spending time with their parents.

  • 45% said they are not praised by teachers for good work, that their teachers do not tell parents about good work, and that they do not feel safe in school.

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Risk Factors Increase likelihood of risky behaviors

  • Three in 10 teens (31%) reported it would be easy to obtain alcohol, tobacco, drugs or handguns, including twice (65%) as many 12th graders.

  • Young people need family guidance, but 10% reported poor family supervision, lack of clear rules or knowledge of the student’s whereabouts.

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Why Education Matters

  • In order to compete in a 21st century global economy, Pennsylvania needs a highly-educated and proficient workforce.

  • By the year 2010, the U.S. will face a shortage of 12 million qualified workers for the fastest-growing job sectors including health care and computer technology. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • This will make it imperative that all youth - both enrolled and out of school - have the skills and education to meet this shortage.

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Why Education Matters

  • Lifetime earnings are linked to education level. Earnings estimates show the median PA income by educational attainment to be:

    (Source: Pennsylvania Workforce Development, 2004 CPS)

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The High School Diploma

  • 2 out of 5 urban 9th graders fail to graduate from high school in the same district four years later

    • 1 in 6 rural 9th graders

    • 1 in 8 suburban

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The High School Diploma

  • High school graduates earn three times more than those who did not graduate.

  • College graduates earn six times more.

  • Dropouts have higher rates of teen pregnancy

  • High school dropouts have a higher rate of substance abuse and crime

  • 80% of those incarcerated are dropouts

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The High School Diploma

  • Dropping out of high school is a gradual process

  • Kids who are at highest risk include: teen parents, youth who have been in the delinquent and dependency systems, young people with LEP

  • Males are more likely to dropout than females and Latinos are more likely to drop out than any other group

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Early Detection Systemin Sixth Grade

  • As early as sixth grade, the four risk factors for dropping out of school:

    • Attendance

    • Behavior

    • Failing math

    • Failing English

  • Need to create early detection system to identify at-risk kids in sixth grade to ensure student success.

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PSSA Scores (2005/06)

  • 48.1% of 11th graders statewide scored below proficient in math

  • 34.8% of 11th graders statewide scored below proficient in reading

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Preparation for college or work is the same

  • Young people who are preparing for college or work require a similar foundation.

    • Same skills

    • Solid academic skills – especially math and language arts skills

    • Appropriate soft skills

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Life After High School

  • In 2004-05, 75% of high school graduates statewide said they planned to pursue further education

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College Remediation RatesEntering Freshmen, 2000

Source: NCES, Remedial Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000,

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College “Drift-out” Rates

Students not returning for year 2

  • 4-year colleges: 26%

  • 2-year colleges: 45%

    (Source: Mortensen, T.; November 1999. Postsecondary Opportunity as presented by The Education Trust.)

    Of high school graduates nationwide entering four-year institutions, just over six in 10 earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.

    (Source: National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2006)

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How do youth in America stack up?

  • USA falls near middle of the pack in academic literacy scores of 15-year-olds.

  • Finland, France, Canada, Poland, Australia and Japan all scored better. (PISA, 29 participating countries, 1999)

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U.S. Ranked 24th out of 29 OECD Countries in Mathematics

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA 2003 Results, data available at

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Losing Our Edge?

  • NAEP 2002 Math Assessment

  • 12th Graders Scoring “Below Basic”

  • 35 percent of all students

  • 56 percent of Hispanic students

  • 69 percent of African-American students

  • 60 percent of low-income students

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Losing Our Edge?

  • NAEP 2002 Reading Assessment

  • 12th Graders Scoring “Below Basic”

  • 26 percent of all students

  • 39 percent of Hispanic students

  • 46 percent of African-American students

  • 40 percent of low-income students

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2002

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International Competition

  • New Participants in the World Economy

  • China, India and Russia = 3 billion people

  • 10% highly educated = 300 million people

  • USA = 300 million people

  • 25% highly educated = 75 million

  • Competition for jobs = 375 million people

  • USA students/adults will face greater competition in the future than anytime in history

Craig Barrett, INTEL CEO 2004

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Changing Economic Times

“High school graduates must be prepared for a 21st century global economy. Traditional metrics are no longer sufficient indicators of student preparedness. A more meaningful, ambitious high school reform agenda can only be reached when high schools succeed in preparing every student for today’s global challenges by aligning their improvement efforts with results that matter – mastery of core subjects and 21st century skills.”

(Source: Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and G. Thomas Houlihan, exec. director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, in Education Week, May 17, 2006.)

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Elements of 21st Century Learning

  • The capacity of young people to be successful in the 21st century goes well beyond reading, writing and computing skills.

    • They need to know how to apply knowledge in the context of modern life.

  • To accomplish this, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (a public-private partnership of key federal education officials and leading national corporations) has identified six fundamental elements for 21st century learning.

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Elements of 21st Century Learning

1. Emphasize core subjects (English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics, economics, arts, history & geography);

2. Emphasize learning and soft skills (information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and self-directional skills);

3. Use 21st century tools to develop learning skills (digital information and communication technologies);

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Elements of 21st Century Learning

4. Teach and learn in a 21st century context- students need to learn academic content through real-world examples, applications and experiences both inside and outside of school;

5. Teach and learn 21st century content (global awareness, financial, economic and business literacy, civic literacy);

6. Use 21st century assessments that measure 21st century skills – sophisticated balance of assessments. (Source: Learning for the 21st Century)

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Employment Change by Education; 1992-2002

Source: Employment Policy Foundation tabulations of Bureau of Labor

Statistics / Census Current Population Survey data; MTC Institute.

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Skill Level Changes















National Summit on 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs

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“Gold Collar” Workers

  • Many of the fastest growing high-skill/high wage occupations are being filled with what are called “gold collar” workers.

    • Resourceful problem solvers

    • Job appropriate training

    • Need additional education after high school, but not necessarily a 4-year bachelor’s degree

    • Each PhD scientist requires 8 technicians

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Public Policy Strategies

  • Adequacy and equity and education finance

  • Investments in pre-K, FDK and reduced class size

  • 6th grade early detection and action for struggling students

  • Improve guidance and career exploration

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Public Policy Strategies

  • Enhance professional development for teachers

  • Assign the best teachers to the struggling students

  • Expand afterschool and youth development programs

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Public Policy Strategies

  • Increased high school rigor and relevance

  • Standardized, statewide graduation requirement

  • Model statewide curriculum aligned with academic standards

  • Expand Project 720

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Public Policy Strategies

  • Improve the quality and value of career and technical education

  • More opportunities for work-based learning

  • Alternative education options expanded

  • Pathways to re-engage out of school youth

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Public Policy Strategies

  • Expand dual enrollment

  • Conduct a marketing campaign to inform parents, students, education professionals and the community at large about 21st century careers and required education

  • Engage the community to drive local solutions

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PPC Vision

By 2014, PPC has helped Pennsylvania move into position as one of the top 10 states

in the nation to be a child

and to raise a child.

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Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children


Bill Bartle

Youth Policy Director