Building A System Of College And Career Pathways In New

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Building a System of College andCareer Pathways in New MexicoGary HoachlanderConnectED: The National Center for College and CareerFEBRUARY 2021

Building a System ofCollege and CareerPathways in New MexicoGary HoachlanderConnectED: The National Center for College and Career

AcknowledgmentsThe author thanks his Learning Policy Institute colleagues Ayana Campoli, Jee Young Bhan, PatrickShields, and Sharoon Negrete Gonzalez for their support, contributions, and thought partnership.The author gratefully acknowledges Daniel Espinoza’s skillful analysis of CTE participation in NewMexico data and gives a special thanks to Jeannie Oakes who, throughout this work, has been asupportive thought partner, advisor, and colleague. In addition, he thanks Erin Chase and AaronReeves for their editing and design contributions to this project and the entire LPI communicationsteam for its invaluable support in developing and disseminating this report. Without theirgenerosity of time and spirit, this work would not have been possible. Finally, he thanks theNew Mexico leaders and educators interviewed during the course of this research for sharing theirknowledge of and experience in education and policymaking in New Mexico.Support for this research came from the Thornburg Foundation as well as from the LearningPolicy Institute’s core operating support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Heising-SimonsFoundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Raikes Foundation, and Sandler Foundation.We are grateful to them for their generous support. The ideas voiced here are those of the authorand not those of our funders.External ReviewersThis report benefited from the insights and expertise of the following external reviewers:Cynthia Nava, former New Mexico Senator and former Superintendent of Gadsden IndependentSchool District; and Peter Winograd, Professor, University of New Mexico, former Director of theNew Mexico Office of Educational Accountability. We thank them for the care and attention theygave the report.The appropriate citation for this report is: Hoachlander, G. (2021). Building a system of college andcareer pathways in New Mexico. Learning Policy Institute.This report can be found online at cation.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 InternationalLicense. To view a copy of this license, visit ort originally published February 19, 2021 Document last revised March 5, 2021Revisions are noted here: iiLEARNING POLICY INSTITUTE College and Career Pathways in New Mexico

Table of ContentsExecutive Summary. vIntroduction.1Career and Technical Education in New Mexico: A Brief Profile.3What Does Research Tell Us? The Evidence Base for College and Career Pathways.7A Policy Agenda for High-Quality Systems of College and Career Pathways. 10Immediate Low-Cost Steps to Be Taken During the COVID-19 Recovery Period. 10Longer-Term Steps to Be Taken When Funding Recovers. 13Appendix A: Aligning Secondary and Postsecondary Programs. 16Appendix B: Work-Based Learning. 17Endnotes. 19About the Author. 22List of TablesTable 1Industry Enrollment in High School Career and Technical Education in New Mexicoin 2018–19.4LEARNING POLICY INSTITUTE College and Career Pathways in New Mexicoiii

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Executive SummaryThe Learning Policy Institute (LPI) conducted research in New Mexico to provide state leaders andstakeholders a research perspective on the challenges facing education and to identify evidencebased ways that state policy can address them. This report complements the main report, ImprovingEducation the New Mexico Way, and is one of a series stemming from this research. It focuses ondeveloping high school pathways that integrate college and career preparation and combineclassroom and work-based learning to make high school more engaging and relevant, while alsoadvancing opportunities to develop high-level cognitive skills in the core academic disciplines.New Mexico is committed to enabling all of its young people to graduate from high school readyto succeed at college and in careers. Yet, in 2018, statewide only 74% of New Mexico high schoolstudents were graduating on time, and the percentages were even lower for African American (69%)and Native American students (66%), as well as those who are economically disadvantaged (69%).Academic proficiency rates for high school students in English language arts and mathematicsare also stubbornly low. Career and technical education (CTE) could have an important role inimproving the academic outcomes and economic prospects of New Mexico students.While the state offers a rich array of CTE courses, our analysis indicates breadth often seemed totake priority over depth, with relatively few students enrolling in the second or third course ofa career pathway cluster—if one was even available. Further, data reveal significant patterns ofover- and underrepresentation of demographic groups in major industry sectors. For example,female students were significantly underrepresented in enrollments (26%, versus 49% of the totalpopulation) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as were Native Americanstudents (3.8%, versus 10% of the total population).There were, however, bright spots across the state. Particularly in some of the larger districts withmultiple high schools, we found Early College high schools, where students can simultaneouslyearn a high school diploma and an associate degree, as well as evidence of career academiesoperating within some of the larger comprehensive high schools. In 2019, the Legislature passedH.B. 91, intended to lay the groundwork for expanding and modernizing CTE in New Mexico. Thelegislation, among other things, called for professional development addressing project-basedlearning, integration of CTE curriculum, and attention to social and emotional learning. It alsofunded a 7-year pilot project to promote CTE programs. The state can meet the great need formore challenging, richer educational experiences for students across the entire curriculum, bothacademic and CTE, by building on the momentum of recent progress.A growing body of research supports making CTE an integral part of students’ larger secondary andpostsecondary educational experience through the design of local systems of college and careerpathways. This comprehensive approach connects CTE to core academics and offers students abroader, more coherent high school experience. Research finds that participation in CTE is mostlikely to produce positive effects on high school completion, postsecondary transition, and futureearnings only when students pursue a focused program of study consisting of three or more coursesduring their high school years. The effect of participating in these pathways appear to be strongestin technical fields such as information technology, advanced health professions, and engineering, aswell as select aspects of construction.1LEARNING POLICY INSTITUTE College and Career Pathways in New Mexicov

An analysis of the Linked Learning District Initiative in California, a multiyear effort to design andimplement districtwide systems of comprehensive “Linked Learning” college and career pathways,indicates the promise of the pathways approach. Research shows that students in high-qualitycollege and career pathways experienced a range of positive outcomes compared to peers intraditional high school programs. They were better prepared to succeed in college, career, and life;earned more credits in high school; were less likely to drop out and more likely to graduate on time;had greater confidence in their life and career skills; and reported experiencing more rigorous,integrated, and relevant instruction. Students who had low achievement scores in earlier gradesmade significantly better academic progress when they participated in pathways in high school.2In this report we offer both short- and long-term recommendations intended to build onNew Mexico’s recent efforts to expand career and technical education. These recommendationsfocus on making CTE a fundamental part of secondary and postsecondary education in New Mexicoby creating a system of college and career pathways that integrate CTE and core academiccurriculum, combine classroom and work-based learning, and align secondary and postsecondaryprograms to prepare all students for postsecondary education and career success.Immediate, low-cost steps to be taken during the COVID-19 recovery period: Develop CTE curriculum and work-based learning experiences that can be deliveredvirtually and build the capacity of academic and CTE teachers to teach remotely. Convene a task force to develop a state college and career pathways framework andestablish quality standards that can guide the launch of pilots and the eventual design ofthe new system. This framework should include four essential components:1. College preparatory core academics (math, science, English language arts, socialstudies, world language, and the arts) emphasizing real-world application, project-basedlearning, and performance assessment2. A cluster or sequence of four or more challenging CTE courses embracing industrystandards in the sector that is the theme of the pathway and, wherever possible, offeringrelated dual enrollment and industry certifications3. A continuum of work-based learning experiences, beginning with career awareness,mentoring, or job shadowing in grade 9 and evolving into internships and/or schoolbased enterprise by 12th grade4. Personalized student supports including college and career counseling, acceleratedinstruction in mathematics and English language arts, and attention to socialemotional learning Establish state standards for pathways that ensure quality and equity of access,participation, and success. Adopt a system of metrics that can be used to monitor pathway implementation and qualityand to support continuous improvement, both locally and statewide. Integrate data fromthe pathway assessment system with New Mexico’s existing data systems at the state andlocal levels to promote pathway quality and continuous improvement in integration.viLEARNING POLICY INSTITUTE College and Career Pathways in New Mexico

Amend New Mexico’s Graduation Requirements Statute (§ 22-13-1.1) to encourage andsupport students’ participation in high-quality college and career pathways.In the longer term, the state can adopt policies and make new investments that create a systemof college and career pathways that prepare all students for postsecondary education andcareer success. As part of the continuing implementation of the H.B. 91 CTE pilot, create a demonstrationof college and career pathways systems in 6 to 10 districts throughout the state. Incentivize k–12 to postsecondary articulation and alignment of college and careerpathways with both 2-year and 4-year institutions by ensuring an appropriate distributionof state funding to participating institutions for dual credit courses that are part ofpathways, without double-funding these courses. Incentivize employer engagement and work-based learning, including industrycertifications and entrepreneurship. Build the capacity of educators, district leaders, and communities to implementwell-designed, high-quality college and career pathways. Such an effort could includeprofessional development for site leaders and both academic and CTE teachers as well asincentives for teachers to earn dual academic and CTE credentials. Local communities couldalso develop graduate profiles defining what graduates of their schools should know and beable to do to guide the design of each college and career pathway. Establish a College and Career Pathways Trust as a public–private partnership among thestate, the business sector, and philanthropic organizations to fund and implement a systemof high-quality college and career pathways. This joint effort would integrate CTE and coreacademic curriculum, combine classroom and work-based learning, and align secondary andpostsecondary programs.LEARNING POLICY INSTITUTE College and Career Pathways in New Mexicovii

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IntroductionNew Mexico is committed to enabling all of its young people to graduate from high school readyto succeed at college and in careers.3 Yet, in 2018, statewide only 74% of New Mexico high schoolstudents were graduating on time, and the percentages were even lower for African American(69%) and Native American students (66%), as well as those who are economically disadvantaged(69%).4 Moreover, while data are not available for New Mexico specifically, if the state mirrorsnational patterns, of those graduating, many lacked sufficient academ