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P-16: The Last Education Reform 

Book Two: Emerging Local, Regional, and State Efforts 

Joseph A. Rochford, Ph.D. 


Partnership with the staff of the Stark Education Partnership 

©2007 Stark Education Partnership, Inc. • 220 Market Avenue South, Suite 350, Canton, Ohio 44702-2181 • • Phone 330-452-0829 

P-16: The Last Education Reform 

Book 2: Emerging Local, Regional, and State Efforts 

Joseph A. Rochford, Ph.D. 

with Adrienne O’Neill, Ed.D. 

Adele Gelb 
Kimberly J. Ross 

This is a web-published book by the 
Stark Education Partnership, Inc. 
Permission is hereby granted by the Stark 
Education Partnership to download and 
freely use this work for instructional or 
educational purposes. The work may be 
quoted with proper citation. 

The opinions expressed herein are 
primarily those of the principal author 
and do not necessarily represent the views 
of the Stark Education Partnership, its 
staff or board, nor that of the Stark County 
P-16 Compact and its membership. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

This Book is Dedicated to... 

Stephen Portch, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia, who 
many consider to be the father of the P-16 movement. If not the father, Stephen 
certainly attended to the birth. Our many conversations on P-16 issues over the 
years had added immeasurably to my knowledge and thinking. 

With Thanks to... 

The Timken Company Charitable Trust, Inc. for partial support of this project. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

About the Stark County P-16 Compact 

The Stark Education Partnership-in collaboration with educators from Stark 
County’s school districts including the Educational Service Center, postsecondary 
education leadership, business representatives, civic leaders and parents-established 
a P-16 Compact for Stark County in 2002. The purpose of the compact is to foster 
and sustain a community conversation on ways that Stark County can support and 
sustain all students in realizing their academic potential and achieving readiness to 
pursue and be successful in post secondary education. Additionally, the Compact 
seeks to sponsor research and promote the development of programs, such as Early 
College High School, which maintain high academic standards but which streamline 
completion times and foster successful transition from P-12 to higher education. 

About the Stark Education Partnership 

The Stark Education Partnership, Inc., is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization in 
Stark County, Ohio crossing the lines of 17 public school districts. It was founded 
in 1989 by the Deuble, Hoover, Stark Community and Timken Foundations. The 
Partnership-whose motto is “building excellent schools together”- is an independent 
organization that engages schools and school districts in fostering comprehensive 
education reform. It collaborates with educators and with business, community and 
civic leaders to create and respond to opportunities that will add substantial and 
measurable value to education and in doing so offers the county’s school districts 
and schools new and cooperative ways to transform education. 

About the Author 

Joseph Rochford is Vice-President of the Stark Education Partnership. Prior to 
going to Stark County, Dr. Rochford served as a University Fellow at Kent State. 

He has also served as a doctoral fellow with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and 
as research advisor to the Clinic’s Public Education Initiative with the Cleveland 
Municipal Schools. Before going to Kent State, Dr. Rochford was general manager 
of Ameri-rents, Inc. and spent several years in administrative positions at Baldwin- 
Wallace College. He is the author of both the “Class of 2021” and “Increasing 
College Access in Ohio,” white papers which have been extensively circulated both 
in Ohio and at the national levels, and is an adjunct professor of graduate education 
at both Walsh and Ashland Universities. Dr. Rochford has presented on education 
issues both nationally and internationally. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Table of Contents 

7 Preface 

9 Chapter 1: The Hows of State Level P-1 6s 

Culture of the States 10 

Framing P- 1 6 Efforts 12 

National Organizations Supporting P-16 Activities ....14 

18 Chapter 2: Senior State P-16 Efforts 

Georgia 18 

Maryland 22 

Nebraska 23 

Indiana 25 

Illinois 30 

Missouri 30 

Minnesota 32 

Oregon 33 

Tennessee 34 

Florida 37 

Louisiana 39 

Pennsylvania 39 

Kentucky 40 

42 Chapter 3: P-1 6 The New Wave 

Virginia 42 

Hawaii 43 

Arkansas 44 

Arizona 45 

California 46 

Colorado 47 

Delaware 47 

Kansas 48 

Nevada 48 

Rhode Island 49 

Maine 51 

Ohio 52 

59 Chapter 4: Regional and Local P-1 6s 

A Continuum of Approaches 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

63 Chapter 5: Some Established and Emerging Local 
and Regional Approaches 

Hamblen County 63 

Nashville 66 

Northern Kentucky & Cincinnati 69 

Kentucky 70 

Ohio 71 

Tennessee 72 

Georgia 74 

75 Chapter 6: What Makes for an Ideal State Effort? 

A Convergence of factors 

Highly Selective Institutions 

Dual Credit 

An Exit Exam that Means Something 

Don’t Make Them a Dumping Ground 

Beware the Executive Order: Legislate 

Forgo Program Orientation: Focus on Alignment . 

Council Makeup is Critical 

Learn from Elsewhere 

Possibility Thinking 

Forget Turf 

83 Chapter 7: What Makes for an Ideal Regional 

or Local Effort? 

A Community Process 84 

Local Data; Know What’s Significant 84 

A Highly Sophisticated Community Think Tank 84 

Informed Individual Action Within Goals 84 

Relationships, Access and Mutual Solutions 85 

The Psyche of a Community 85 

Continual Questioning and Ongoing Aspiration 85 












86 Chapter 8: The Future - State , Regional and 

Local P-1 6s : Toward a Theory of Convergence 
The Theory of Convergence 95 

100 Bibliography 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 


In 2005, 1 was afforded an outstanding 
opportunity. Through a grant from the 
Timken Company Charitable Trust, 

I was provided the time and finances 
to travel about the country to view 
exemplary emerging P-16 efforts. I 
was also given ample time to conduct 
internet based research, attend Ohio P- 
16 (Partnership for Continued Learning) 
meetings and to reflect on what all I had 
seen and learned. 

As the history of education goes, 

P-16 is still a new concept. Yet, 1 
was encouraged to find that given 
the cultural, historical, and political 
realities under which our states, 
communities, and systems of education 
operate, that more and more individuals 
are recognizing the inherent wisdom 
in aligning our systems. More and 
more individuals are also sharing the 
belief that all children can go on to and 
succeed in college. 

This book will not cover every effort. 
Hopefully, it will give the reader a 
view of what is possible both for their 
states and communities. This book is 

also entitled “P- 1 6” as I am still using 
the classic term, P-16 as it appears in 
the considerations and literature of 
others. PB-16 is a new term that I am 
suggesting for the future, meaning “pre- 
birth” and insofar as 1 can establish it 
is not used anywhere. The “P” in P-16 
has in the past stood for preschool. In 
many conversations with early child care 
providers and advocates, I have come 
to understand that preschool normally 
means those three and four years of age. 

These same providers have viewed 
the “P” as a negative. They feel that 
it excludes the important work which 
must be done, often in the prenatal 
days, to insure that all children have 
adequate support for proper brain and 
physical development. As I believe that 
early childhood care is indeed critical 
to what happens later in life, I would 
advocate that we now consider the use 
of this terminology to draw attention to 
this critical period in the development 
of a child. 

What did I find out in my year-long 
study? There are some short answers. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Even with accompanying legislation, 
P-16 efforts are heavily leader 
dependent, whether at the state, local, 
or regional level. Part of this is due 
to the fact that the inertia of separate 
preschool, K-12, and higher education 
systems is great and pervasive. We 
have “grown” these systems as 
individual, resource dependent entities 
which often place them in opposition 
to one another. Inspired, visionary 
and dedicated leadership is the key to 
actualizing new approaches. 

• The impact of P-16 approaches at 
the state level are often mitigated by 
issues of control and power between 
agencies and further exacerbated by 
the relative autonomy of institutions 
of higher education. Considerable 
tensions exist between the culture of 
“what has been” and often sketchy 
projections for “what should be”. 
Politics, perceived limitations and 
barriers, not “possibility thinking” 
tend to govern many efforts. 

•P-16 systems are fragile at best. 
Developments in this arena need 
to be encapsulated in larger global 
concerns dealing with the future 
competitiveness of locales, regions, 
states, and the United States as a 
whole. The necessity of transiting 
to a new world information-based 
economy makes this critical. At 
times, these concerns are ill-defined 
at the state P-16 level but remain 

• While there is an emerging sense of 
urgency generated by global concerns, 
that urgency, in and of itself, is seldom 
strong enough to overcome the inertia 
developed in separate systems over 

the years and the political influences 
which govern those systems. 

•P-16 approaches at the state level 
must be complemented by at the local 
or regional level by P-1 6s. These are 
the groups that “operationalize” any 
long term P-16 approach. Knowing 
their own locales and the politics of 
their own communities, they get the 
job done. 

• As an adjunct to leadership, every 
state, region or locality needs 

P-16 advocates. These are the people 
in the trenches who do the day to day, 
often difficult work. When political 
whim or practical reality changes 
the overt structure of state or local 
leadership, these people keep the 
notion of P-16 alignment alive. 

• Failure to adopt new learning paradigms 
and simple lack of belief in the ability of 
all high school students to do rigorous 
coursework, particularly college 
coursework while still in high school, 
has greatly hampered operationalizing 
credit based transition programs and 
other strategies. 

• There is a “paradox of P” in effect. 
The major focus of P-16 efforts 
remain on the transition between 
high school and college, extending 
backwards to preparation for, and 
forward to retention and completion 
of college. In large part, this paradox 
is due to lack of state level funding 
for preschool efforts. 

• Transition to the workforce is 
growing in importance and giving 
P-1 6s an emerging role to play in 
economic development. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter One: 

The Hows of State P-1 6s 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor 
prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or 

to the people. - The United States Constitution, Tenth Amendment 

Despite the increasing financial, and 
hence policy, involvement of the 
federal government in education, P- 
16 activity at the governmental level 
remains almost totally the prerogative 
of the individual states. The movement 
at the state level is still relatively new 
and only originated slightly over a 
decade ago when Georgia Governor 
Zell Miller convened the first state P-16 
Council in 1995. 

Carl Krueger of the Education 
Commission of the States sums up some 
of the key questions surrounding state 
level P-1 6s: 

. . . (A)ssessing the impact of P-16 in 
most states is a difficult matter. While 
there is early evidence of success, more 

concrete and compelling evidence of the 
benefits of P-16 is needed. . . The bottom 
line is that a lack of data hinders our 
knowledge about the impact of P-16 in 
the states. As P-16 progresses into the 
21st century, several questions need to 
be answered: 

• Can a P-16 initiative be sustained 
without the implementation of a P- 
16 accountability model that links 
preschool, K-12 and postsecondary 
education in meaningful ways? 

• Does a successful P-16 education 
system require a governance change? 

• Should states develop P-16 funding 
systems that integrate early learning, 
K-12 and postsecondary education? 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• How can all states create data systems 
that follow a student from school to 
school, level to level? 

• Can P-16 initiatives survive a leadership 
change? Should states create a P-16 
structure that exists outside of the 
executive office or the legislature? 

• Should P-16 councils have the authority 
to implement recommendations, or is 
their only role advisory? 1 

State level P-16 approaches, while 
somewhat more obvious than local or 
regional efforts, are constantly shifting 
and often subject to the political views 
shared by current office holders. Some 
states even hesitate to call P-1 6s, P-1 6s. 

1 Krueger, C. (2006). The 
Progress of P-16 Collaboration 
in the States. Denver, Colorado: 
Education Commission of the 
States, p.5. 

2 The enrolled, or final version 
of the bill to create Ohio’s 
Partnership for Continued 
Learning presented to the 
governor for signature can be 
found at: http://www.legislature. 
state, oh. us/bills. cfm?ID= 1 26_ 

Ohio is a classic example here. In 
2005, the Ohio legislature created the 
Partnership for Continued Learning, 
in essence a state P-16 Council. 2 
The problem is that nowhere in the 
legislation is this partnership referred 
to as a P-16 Council though other state 
memos and documents often refer to it 
by those terms. 

Further, workable P-16 efforts at the 
state level may be more dependent, at 
least initially, on leadership and vision 
rather than legislation. Consider what 
Partnerships for Student Success (PSS) 
found in a four-state (Florida, Georgia, 
New York, and Oregon) study that 
analyzed K-16 educational governance 
and policies at the state level: 


Venezia, A., Callan, P.M., 
Finney, J.E., Kirst, M.W. 

& Usdan, M.D. (2005). 

The Governance Divide: 

A Report on a Four-State 
Study on Improving College 
Readiness and Success. San 
Jose, California: The National 
Center for Public Policy and 
Higher Education, p.38 

The complexity of state education 
governance, state context and history, 
and the politics of education reform 
defy any simplistic or readymade 
K-16 solutions for states. For 
example, our research found that 
strong leadership directed toward 
collaborative work— from elected 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

officials, from those in state 
agencies, and from those within 
and across state systems of higher 
education— appears to make a 
significant difference in terms of 
creating the support and energy 
necessary to move the agenda 
forward and create sustainable 
change. We found that leadership can 
help create opportunities for reform, 
set parameters, and embed policies 
in statute. Across the four states, the 
more innovative K-16 reforms were 
dependent on leaders with a vision . 3 

Culture of the States 

The authors of the study noted that 
the “culture” of individual states also 
played a key role in such determinations. 
Even when far reaching solutions are 
proposed, the culture of how “things 
are” can be great and pervasive. 

Somewhere in the dark recesses of a 
legislative limbo in Columbus, Ohio 
lies FIB 77. Entitled, as a “bill to 
reorganize the executive branch of state 
government” HB 77 would, among 
other executive changes, consolidate the 
existing Ohio Department of Education 
and Ohio Board of Regents into one 
department of education headed by an 
executive director who would serve at 
the pleasure of the governor. 

Though co-sponsored by 13 state 
representatives, no action has been 
taken on the bill since it was sent to 
committee on February 22, 2005. 

The chances of the bill ever leaving 
committee are remote for FIB 77 
supports a massive shift in the “culture” 
of state government in Ohio. 

The culture or how states “grew up” 
over time might be one of the greatest 
impediments to establishing P-16 

systems of education. In Ohio, the state 
superintendent of instruction is hired by 
an elected board of education and not 
answerable to the governor. The chancellor 
is appointed by a board of regents who are 
in turn appointed by the governor. 

Indeed, can we ever achieve what has 
now become the classic description of a 
P-16 system of education, first described 
by Gordon (Spud) Van de Water and 
Theresa Rainwater of the Education 
Commission of the States (ECS)? 

Imagine a system of education where 
every child enters school ready to learn , 
where all third graders read at or above 
grade level, where all students have 
taken algebra by the end of the 8th 
grade, where high school exit exams 
test students at the 12th-grade level and 
are aligned with college admissions 
requirements, where all young people 
graduate from high school prepared for 
college or work, and where every student 
who en ters college finishes college. 

The authors themselves state: such a system possible? Not in its 
purest form, perhaps, but approaching 
such an ideal is certainly worth pursuing. . , 4 



For this description and 
quote, see: (2001). What Is 
P-16 Education? A Primer 
for Legislators - A Practical 
Introduction to the Concept, 
Language and Policy Issues of 
an Integrated System of Public 
Education, on the ECS web site 

This was first published in State 
Education Leader, Volume 20, 
Number 1 in Winter of 2002. The 
document is still available on the 
ECS web site at: http://www.ecs. 

What characteristics might such a state 
model have if P-16 system was seriously 
pursued. The answer in part comes from 
another ECS document, P-16: the Next 
Great Education Reform, which first 
appeared in 2002. 

• Early childhood care and education 
programs, with well-articulated 
objectives that connect preschool 
to kindergarten, are available to 
all 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds and are 
supported through a variety of funding 
mechanisms, including parents, who 
pay what they can afford. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Students move through the education 
system as they meet established 
benchmarks in critical skill areas, 
e.g., grade 3 for reading; grade 8 
for writing and algebra; grade 12 
for higher reading, mathematics and 
citizenship skills. Students are not 
allowed to move on to more complex 
material in afield until they meet 
the benchmarks. All students receive 
additional help, as needed, beginning 
in preschool. 

• Annual performance-based assessmen ts 
tied to standards are required to 
diagnose students ’ needs ( teachers may 
carry out more frequent assessment). 

• Instead of grade 12, the end of basic 
education is grade 14, or two years 
of community college. 

• Standards are extended to grades 14-16 
(bachelor’s degree) and aligned with 
standards for grade 12 and below. 

• Governance is vested in a P-16 
governing board or a statutory 
coordinating board with P-16 
councils at the state and local levels. 
The board and councils focus on 

all levels of education, including 
vocational education. 

• An integrated P-16 data system 
that tracks individual student’s 
progress through the system and 
produces aggregated reports 

by classroom, building, district 
and state levels. The data system 
includes employment data and links 
student performance to workforce 
opportunities, providing another 
level of external accountability. 5 

Understandably, this is an ambitious 

agenda for any state. No state has yet 

to achieve all of these characteristics, 

though many are achieving some of the 
characteristics in part. 

The “why” of states being involved 
in P- 1 6 efforts is underscored by 
the following policy alert from the 
National Center for Public Policy and 
Higher Education. 

If current trends continue, the 
proportion of workers with high school 
diplomas and college degrees will 
decrease and the personal income of 
Americans will decline over the next 
15 years. Substantial increases in 
those segmen ts of America ’s young 
population with the lowest level of 
education, combined with the coming 
retirement of the baby boomers— the 
most highly educated generation in 
U.S. history— are projected to lead to 
a drop in the average level of education 
of the U.S. workforce over the next two 
decades, unless states do a better job 
of raising the educational level of all 
racial/ethnic groups. 6 

Despite all of this, the score card for 
state P- 1 6s has not really been all that 
good. The formation of a commission 
or board to examine P-16 or the 
issuance of an executive order by a 
governor does not constitute a true 
P-16. Hence, efforts have often risen 
and fallen in various states. 

Those of us in Ohio, for instance, who 
advocated the formation of a state level 
P-16 council, were painfully aware 

legislative desire to increase the original 
mandate by calling for several reports 
from the council. 

Framing P-16 Efforts 

To date, P-16 efforts in the states have 
emerged through three primary vehicles 
of formation. These are: 

• Executive Order 

• Interagency collaboration, and 

• Legislative Mandate 

Each avenue of creation has both pluses 
and minuses. The Executive Order, 
for instance, runs the risk of being the 
property of a sole governor and liable to 
fall into disuse once that governor’s term 
has expired. 

Inter agency cooperation remains 
largely effective insofar as specific 
agencies, and their heads, are willing 
to collaborate. Legislative mandates 
are also liable to be “frozen in time” 
and in instances where such councils 
are chaired by the governor or agency 
head(s), dependent on the willingness 
of key players to continue to utilize 
the system. 

If one properly considers the beginning 
of P- 1 6 at the state level as having 
originated with Maryland and Georgia 
in or about 1995, then the history of 
the movement is roughly 12 years old 
(interestingly, a case can be made that 
Oregon preceded both in 1992). The 

6 Income of U.S. workforce 
projected to decline. 
(November, 2005). Policy 
Alert. San Jose, California: 

The National Center for Public 
Policy and Higher Education. 

7 Ohio Senate Bill 6 

that despite the best intentions of any 
currently serving governor that such 
a council needed to be legislatively 
mandated. Even with this legislation 7 
the authority of the partnership remains 
largely recommendary though more 
current legislation concerning what 
is called the Ohio Core (modeled on 
Indiana’s Core 40) indicates some 

history of such efforts has been sporadic 
at best. Maryland and Georgia persist 
and even thrive with the notion. Other 
states, perhaps about 20, early adopted 
committees or tried to promote P-16 
arrangements and thinking. These were 
largely recommendary groups. Now 
in 2007, we are seeing a resurgence of 
the concept in many states, including 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

several whose earlier committees, 
such as Ohio’s Joint Council, largely 
became inactive. Even some states, such 
as Oregon, who demonstrably made 
progress with earlier approaches are 
considering major overhauls. 

A distinction needs to be made 
between states that have established 
P-16 structures and states that have 
implemented P-16 strategies or programs. 
As of April 2006, the Education 
Commission of the States estimated that 
at least 30 states had “...engaged in some 
kind of P-16 activity.” 8 

misconception. A family’s or student’s 
income and asset ceiling (adjusted 
annually) are a major determinant in 
qualifying for a Cal Grant. In 2005, a 
family of six would need to make less 
than $80,400 to qualify for most Cal 
Grants. Independent students would 
need to make less than $25,500. 11 

Georgia, however, is far more flexible 
through its HOPE Scholarship program. 
Begun in 1993, the scholarship has 
awarded over $3 billion to some 900,000 
students attending Georgia’s colleges 
and universities. 12 

While some of these efforts have begun 
by executive order, such as in Virginia, or 
exist as advisory or recommendary boards, 
such as in Ohio or nascent commissions, 
such as in North Dakota, the reality is 
that P-16 approaches or councils must 
be solidified by commensurate legislative 
activity to insure longevity. 

8 Krueger, K. (2006). The 
Progress of P-16 Collaboration 
in the States. Denver, Colorado: 
Education Commission of the 
States, p.l. 

9 From a news release issued 
by the National Governors 
Association Center for Best 
Practices: Education (www.nga. 
org) on 9/29/05, Delaware to 
Offer Free Associate ’s Degree. 

10 For a complete review of Cal 
Grants and the conditions 
which California students and 
families need to meet, see www. 

Two examples of legislated approaches 
are Delaware and California: 

On September 6, Delaware Governor 
Ruth Ann Minner signed legislation that 
will enable qualified Delaware students 
to pursue an associate’s degree free 
of tuition charge. The SEED (Student 
Excellence Equals Degree) Scholarship 
Program will pay tuition, after other 
financial aid is awarded, for qualified 
students pursuing an associate ’s degree 
at Delaware Technical and Community 
College or the Associate of Arts degree at 
the University of Delaware. The program 
will begin in the 2006-2007 school year. 9 



Per the California Student 
Aid Commission, 2005-2006 
Income and Asset Ceilings, 
available at: http://www.csac. 


California has long been thought of 
as the home of “free college” and 
indeed California’s Cal Grant awards 
are generous by most state standards. 10 
However, the notion of totally free 
college for all California residents is a 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Georgia, of course, works with a P-16 
structure under their university system. 
While the HOPE Scholarship preceded 
this original state council, it nonetheless 
remains a classic example of a legislated 
P-16 approach. 

Another example of programs with a 
legislated P-16 approach is the various 
credit based transition programs 
available in nearly every state. On 
the legislative end, these programs 
involve such efforts as Tech Prep, and 
post secondary or dual credit options. 
Additionally, non-legislated options 
such as Advanced Placement and 
International Baccalaureate also exist. 
The effectiveness of such programs 
has not been well measured in the 
past and their application has varied 
widely. Nancy Hoffman, writing in 2003 
expressed great hope for such programs: 

This explosion of options for studen ts 
to earn college credit in high school 
underscores our progress in creating 
a seamless education system from 
kindergarten through college (K-16). It 
also highlights the contributions stanclarcls- 
based reform plays in promoting higher 
levels of achievement in high school and 
readying students for college. These many 

possibilities add up to a small, but very real, 
invasion of the no-man ’s-land between 
high school and college . 13 

Today, that invasion still continues. 
Ultimately, more and more states are 
adopting legislative P-16 approaches on 
program options. At times, these emerge 
from deliberations of state P-16 councils, 
as in Indiana. Other times, they precede or 
emerge independently from the councils. 

In total, the approaches are positive. Yet, as 
our experience with credit based transition 
programs illustrates, the failure to provide 
adequate access may have the result of 
limiting such approaches. 

As Bailey and Karp found: 

...(G)iven that many programs have 
entrance requirements, it is difficult to 
discern whether measured outcomes 
result from the selectivity of the 
programs or the experience that the 
students have in the programs . 14 

In addition to legislative approaches, 
there are several states that have 

13 Hoffman, N. (2003). College 
Credit While in High School, 
Change, July/August, 2003, 

14 Bailey, T & Karp, M.M. 

(2003). Promoting College 
Access and Success: A Review 
of Credit-based Transition 
Programs. Washington D.C.: 
U.S. Department of Education. 
Available at: 

employed long term agency initiated 
P-16 programs. While these might not 
necessarily meet the more “classic” 
definition of a state P-16 council, the 
work has been positive and beneficial. 

A good example here is New York’s 
Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access 
Programs which was established 
in 1997. The New York’s Regents 
graduation requirements have also 
been instrumental in this long-term 
integrated approach in that state. This 
has resulted in a K-16 mentality. 
Consequently, New York has spawned 
extensive higher education and local 
group and council support. 


The North Texas P-16 Council 
web site is at: http://www.coe. 1 6/home .htm 

In North Carolina, an education 
cabinet was created by legislative 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

mandate in 1995. This cabinet involves 
the governor, state superintendent 
of public instruction, state board 
chair, and both the university and 
community college system presidents. 
The president of the state Association 
of Independent Colleges and 
Universities is also involved. Here the 
focus remains programmatic and on 
interagency collaboration. 

Oklahoma also has an agency initiated 
agreement focused on alignment of K- 
12 and higher education standards and 
extensive use of ACT’s EPAS testing 
system while Texas has (2005 HB 1) 
a legislative mandate requiring the 
Higher Education Coordinating Board 
and Texas Education Agency to work 
together on college readiness standards. 
To date, at least one regional P-16 
council has evolved in Texas. 15 

National Organization 
S upporting P-1 6 Activities 

There are five national organizations 
promoting the establishment and 
evolution of state level P-1 6s or P-16 
activities. Each varies in its approach 
and support but remains a critical 
player. Interestingly, the impetus for 
P-16 actions with these organizations 
arises from the need for high school 
reform, perhaps posing the question, 
“reform for what?” The answer is for 
entry into higher education or the 
workforce-hence an emerging P-16 
orientation. Only one organization, 
the National Governors Association, 
actually funds such approaches; the 
balance drive policy. In addition, 
there are also states that evolve such 
approaches separately. 

In 2005, the National Governors 
Association awarded ten states Phase One 
Honor States High School Grants, made 

possible with the support of the Bill & 

Melinda Gates Foundation. As a condition 

of those grants states were required to: 

• Set 10-year performance goals 
for improving the high school 
graduation and college readiness 
rates ( disaggregated by student 
race/ ethnicity and family income ), and 
publicly report the goals along with 
baseline and improvement data. 

• Commit to adopting a longitudinal, 
4-year cohort high school 
graduation measure that tracks 
individual students and permits valid 
comparisons among states. 

• Demonstrate an on-going commitment 
to an aligned governance structure for 
P-16 education. 

• Commit to actively participate in the 
National Education Data Partnership 

• Create and execute a communications 
plan to build and sustain public will 
for high school redesign. 16 

Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 
Though the focus of Phase II remained 
largely on high school reform, two 
states-Kentucky and Nevada- each 
received $150,000 to “build an 
individual student-unit, longitudinal 
data system that connects K-12 and 
postsecondary data systems.” 17 

Through this focus on P-16 systems, 

NGA has provided a substantial boost to 
the P-16 concept nationally. The extended 
grants, though not huge sums as state 
budgets go, nonetheless convey a certain 
prestige and provide focus. How any state 
commitments to P-16s persist after grant 
periods remains to be seen. 

Former Harvard President James 
Bryant Conant originated the idea of an 
interstate compact on education in the 
1960s. His vision later emerged as the 
Education Commission of the States 
(ECS). Endorsed by all 50 states, ECS 
provides a forum for consultation among 
the various states on education issues, 
technical assistance, and serves, perhaps 
most critically, as a clearinghouse for 
research on policy issues. 

]6 From: NGA Honor States 
Phase I at http://www.nga. 
1 f4 1 d49be2d3d33eacdcbeeb 
50 10 10a0/vgnextoid= 
2e42f68ff 8f870 1 0 VgnVCM 
100000 laOlOlOaRCRD 

States who received Phase I grants were: 
Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, 
Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Rhode Island and Virginia. 
Through a focus on high school graduation 
and college readiness NGA was providing 
a significant driver for states to at least 
begin exploration of a P-16 aligned system 
of education governance although the 
commitment of some, like Indiana, to a 
P-16 approach was already quite obvious. 


From NGA Phase Two: Develop 
a Statewide Longitudinal K-16 
Data System at http://www.nga. 
101 0a0/?vgnextoid=f4 1 ef68ff8 

In 2006, Phase II grants with similar 
objectives were awarded to: Alabama, 
Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, 
Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, 
Nevada, New Hampshire, North 
Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

While ECS neither originates nor 
funds P-1 6s at either the state or local 
level, it serves as perhaps the most 
comprehensive clearinghouse on P-16 
publications and research (www.ecs. 
org). It has also long been an advocate 
of establishing P-16 state approaches 
and monitors current developments at 
the state level. 

Long an advocate of “Thinking K-16,” 
the Education Trust through its allied 
organization the National Association 
of System Heads (NASH) has prompted 
further P-16 thinking and approaches 
at the state level. The approach here is 
through standards reform impacting both 
the K-12 and higher education sectors. 

NASH yearly sponsors a State Academic 
Leaders P-16 Team Institute, now in its 
ninth year. 

Establishing a stronger link between the 
secondary and postsecondary worlds is 
what Achieve, Inc. ; The Education Trust; 
and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation 
set out to do two years ago by launching 
the American Diploma Project (ADP). 18 

Together these organizations have 
created the American Diploma Project 
(ADP) Network, a coalition of 22 
states dedicated to aligning K-12 
curriculum, standards, assessments and 
accountability policies with the demands 
of college and work. ADP recommends 
several action steps for states with 
definite P-16 orientation: 

• Align high school standards and 
assessments with the knowledge 
and skills required for success in 
postsecondary education and work. 

• Administer a college- and work- 
ready assessment, aligned to state 
standards, to high school students so 
they get clear and timely information 
and are able to address critical skill 
deficiencies while still in high school. 

The project itself maintains the purpose 
of improving opportunities for all 
students to enter and succeed in higher 
education. This is done through a variety 
of means such as strengthening the 
alignment between higher education 
admissions-related requirements and 
K-12 curriculum frameworks, standards, 
and assessments. Over the years, the 
Bridge Project has developed research 
targeted at educational institutions and 
federal, state, and local agencies. Much 
of the research focuses on policies as 
well as disjuncture existing in the policy 
environment. Publications often include a 
detailed analysis of ways to improve the 
current system. The Bridge Project states 
the following objectives for this research: 

• Focus on three understudied but 
essential components of the K-16 
system-admissions policies, freshman 
placement or advising policies in 
community colleges and four-year public 
universities, and curriculum content and 
assessment standards in K-12 systems. 

• Examine regions in six states: 
California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, 
Oregon, and Texas to understand the 
dynamics within each state and to offer 
a comparative framework among states. 

• Require all students to take a college- 
arid work-ready curriculum to earn a 
high school diploma. 

• Focus on ways to improve the delivery 
of information and policy signals for 
all students. 

18 American Diploma Project. 
(2004). Ready or not: Creating 
a high school diploma that 
counts. Washington, D.C.: 
Achieve, Inc. 

• Hold high schools accountable for 
graduating students who are college 
ready, and hold postsecondary 
institutions accountable for their 
success once enrolled. 19 


Cohen, M. (2005, September 
14). Creating a High School 
Diploma That Counts. Power 
point presentation to the 
Ohio Partnership for 
Continued Learning. 

The Bridge Project based at Stanford 
University operates on the concept 
that reforms affecting K-12 and higher 
education must occur across systems in 
order to achieve the desired outcomes. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Include analyses of emerging reforms, 
such as the Proficiency-Based 
Admission Standards System ( PASS ) 
in Oregon, the development of P-16 
councils in Georgia and Maryland, 
and policy reactions to changes 

in affirmative action policies in 
California and Texas. 

• Include stakeholders' perspectives 
from all aspects of the K-16 system: 

students; parents; and educators 
and researchers at state agencies, 
higher education institutions, school 
districts, and high schools. 

• Formulate policy recommendations 
and a self-study protocol that 
other researchers, educators, and 
policymakers can use to assess such 
K-16 linkages in their own state. 20 

The next chapters are specifically 
divided these into two categories and 
will provide a brief synopsis on where 
some of the states have been with their 
P-16 approaches. In the relatively short 
history of the P-16 movement, those 
efforts which had their beginnings on 
or before the year 2000 will be called 
senior state efforts; those after the year 
2000 will be “the new wave.” 

20 From: The Bridge Project at: 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Two: 

Senior State P-16 Efforts: 

Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, 
Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, 
Pennsylvania, and Kentucky 


...(M)y great hope, my aspiration 
for this Council is that the heads of 
our public education systems will 
come together, work together and 
build upon the partnerships that 
already exist among them to create 
comprehensive educational reform, ” 
said Gov. Miller. “Please always 
keep your eye on the target, which is 
improving the academic achievement 
of our students at all levels. That 
must always be our goal -Georgia 
Governor Zell Miller 

Many believe that the history of state 
level P-16 efforts rightfully begins 
with Georgia for it was over ten years 

ago on July 26, 1995 that former 
Governor Zell Miller first convened a 
group of 38 members as the Georgia 
P-16 Council. 

Miller challenged this group to explore 
five areas in a quest to improve the 
academic achievement of students at 
all levels: 

1. New models of teaching — in both 
our teacher education programs and 
school classrooms. 

2. Strong professional development 
programs for teachers at all levels to 
improve their teaching strategies and the 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

incorporation of technology into their 
teaching methods, and assure greater 
responsibility for student learning. 

3. Challenging curriculum beginning 
in preschool and continuing 
through college or technical 
institute; including a strong system 
of student assessment. 

4. Higher academic standards for both 
high school graduation and for 
college admission while holding the 
doors open for studen ts who do not 
initially meet these high standards. 

5. Shared accountability among 
educators of all system levels and 
their communities. 21 

It’s early morning in Atlanta as I decided that the distance between the Hilton 
on Courtland Street, N.E. and the regents on Washington Street, S. W. was indeed 
walkable. As I approached the multi-story regents building, I was somewhat 
dismayed by the general lack of people on the street. After all, this was a state office 
building and should house several hundred employees. Trying the front and then 
the side doors, I found both sets locked. Finally, going back beyond a guard shack 
in the back of the building (I had noticed a loading dock there) I was challenged 
by a guard. I said, “I have a meeting with the state P-16 staff today. ” The guard’s 
quizzical look was followed by a request for my I.D. 

It was time to begin trying phone numbers, I thought as the guard made some calls 
himself to check on the veracity of my story. Finally, I got through and someone 
came down. “We’re sorry”, the staffer said. “We were wondering where you were 
and then we realized the place was closed up tighter than a drum. ” All of a sudden 
I also realized that this was Veterans Day. State offices were closed. Later, I found 
that this staff commonly worked many state holidays. It was a simple, but very early 
indication as to why P-16 has grown and flourished in Georgia; why the state is 
recognized as the leader. 



A view of the early history of 
the Georgia P-16 Council can 
be found at: http://www.usg. 
edu/p 1 6/about/index.phtml 

Indeed, today Georgia has not only the 
longest track record of P-16 successes 
but also the largest array of converging 
strategies of any state. Some of these 
successes have been very visible. 

Van de Water, G. & Krueger, 

C. (2002). P-16 Education. 
ERIC Digest 159. Available at: 
www. ERIC . uoregon . edu/ 
publications/digests/digest 159. 

Initially, Georgia leaders saw the 
percentage of high school students 
taking a rigorous core curriculum climb 
from 76 percent to 91 percent, average 
SAT scores rise from 980 to 1030, and 
remediation levels drop by 50 percent. 22 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Critics were quick to point out that 
SAT scores then proceeded to drop, but 
then began to rise again. By 2005, the 
average SAT score of Georgia’s seniors 
was 993, up from 987 in 2004. 

Georgia also initially survived the most 
critical juncture for any P-16 created by 
executive fiat-a change of governors. 
Governor Roy Barnes renewed and 
expanded the state P- 1 6 in 2000. Yet, the 
current Governor Sonny Purdue has not 

convened the state council at all. Some 
of the local councils no longer meet on a 
regular basis. Despite this, P-16 is alive 
and well in Georgia. 

This is because what has now 
evolved in Georgia is a dynamic P-16 
Department led by Jan Kettlewell, 
Associate, Vice-Chancellor for P-16 
Initiatives, under the university system. 
The department “partners” with other 
agencies on a local, state, and national 
basis. The operative word here is 
partners. It is this department and 
Kettlewell’s leadership that advances 
P-16 in the state with its partners. 

Listed among the partners are: the 
Governor’s Office, Georgia Department 
of Education, State Board of Education, 
Georgia Department of Technical and 
Adult Education, Georgia Professional 
Standards Commission, Department of 
Early Care and Learning, Governor’s 
Office of Student Achievement, 

Georgia Student Finance Commission, 
Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia 
Partnership for Excellence in Education, 
business community, and the Georgia 
Public Policy Foundation. 

The P-16 Department serves as the 
outreach arm of the University System 
Office to other state education agencies, 
the Governor’s Office, P-12 schools. 
University System of Georgia institutions, 
and business partners in collaborative 
efforts to influence improvements in 
education for Georgia ’s students, 
preschool through college. The P-16 
Department has two strategic objectives: 

• To promote high school graduation, 
college readiness, college transition, 
and college success. 

• To promote continuous improvement 
in P-12 teacher, leader, and counselor 
recruitment, preparation, transition, 
development, and success. 23 

The key here is that the department, 
and the same dedicated staff referred 
to earlier, heralds a dedication to 
P-16 which is often shared in other 
departments and agencies in the state 
as well. What results is a series of 
converging programs embedded in the 
two strategic objectives. A view of these 
current initiatives is instructive. 


About P-16: Mission and 
Strategic Objectives at: http:// 

Partners are also local school districts, 
and local colleges and universities. 

At the national level are the National 
Commission on Teaching for America’s 
Future, Jobs for the Future, GO Alliance, 
NASA Mathematics - Science Data 
Initiative, Southern Regional Education 
Board, American Diploma Project Network 
(Achieve), Education Trust, Mathematics 
and Science Partnership Learning Network 
(National Science Foundation), Education 
Commission of the States, National 
Governors Association Center of Best 
Practices, and National Association 
of University System Heads K-16 
Network. Within this context, the P-16 
Department describes its role as follows: 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Current Initiatives in which 
the Georgia P-16 Participates 

• American Diploma Project: A state 
effort to raise expectations for 
high schools toward the goal of 
virtually all high school graduates 
being both college and work ready, 
by redesigning high schools “up” 
to meet college and workforce 
entrance requirements. 

• Early College: A blended model of 
high school and the first two years of 
college for students not well served in 
traditional high schools, implemented 
in six sites and studied for possible 
statewide replication. 

• Gateway to College: A form of Early 
College for high school dropouts that 
have the potential to succeed. 

• Georgia’s Leadership Institute for 
School Improvement: Leadership 
development programs, research and 
analysis, and policy influence focused 
on leadership for school improvement 
for both incumbent and aspiring 
district and school leaders. 

• Science and Mathematics: A 
comprehensive research and 
development initiative (Partnership 
for Reform In Science and 
Mathematics (PRISM) to increase 
and deepen student achievement 
and understanding in science and 
mathematics in the public schools and 
in college; and to increase the pipeline 
of studen ts pursuing careers in 
science, technology, engineering, and 
mathematics ( Mathematics-Science 
Data Initiative). 

• P-16 Data Marts: A series of 
“bridges” between Georgia 
Department of Education and 
University System of Georgia student 
informational systems to enable 
longitudinal reporting. 

• Teacher Quality: Strengthening 
preparation program quality in the 
University System of Georgia through 
the Regents’ Principles for the 
Preparation of Teachers, Leaders, and 
Counselors for the Schools; helping 
teachers improve their teaching of 
reading; raising expectations for 
teachers of children, birth-age 5; 

• Teacher Quantity and Diversity: 
Designing and testing multiple pathways 
for becoming a teacher; hosting the 
University System Teacher Career 
Center; coordinating the initiative to set 
institutional teacher production targets 
(over-all and for ethnic minorities) and 
strategies for reach ing them (Double 
the Number, Double the Diversity of 
Teachers Prepared in the University 
System of Georgia); and testing a teacher 
working conditions survey toward a goal 
of reducing teacher attrition. 

The P-16 Department states that it works 
primarily at the intersection between the 
educational systems. In this regard it seeks 
to “generate and connect opportunities 
and resources with state need”. Then 
it “collaborates in structures created to 
sustain effective practices”. The following 
chart illustrates their approach. 24 


The initiative descriptions and 
charts are also from the Georgia 
Office of P-16 Initiatives, About 
P-16 at: 

TReefull L Prepare, 
■nd Support 
Educators to Bring 
All P-12 Students 
to be 

College end 
Work Reedy 

Work at the Intereectlon 
Between the Syetame 

Generate and Connect 
Opportunitiei and 
Resources with State Needs 


Maximise Student 
Progression and 
Through College 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

The P-16 Department also successfully 
blends state resources with federal and 
private grant funding and opportunities 
to fuel the initiatives. P-1 6s also exist on 
a regional basis in Georgia. 


Heralding back to 2002, the Maryland 
Partnership for Teaching and Learning, 
K-16 is an alliance of the Maryland State 
Department of Education, the Maryland 
Higher Education Commission, and 
the University System of Maryland. 

The Maryland Partnership hence ranks 
as one of the oldest P-16 state efforts 
in the nation and is a classic model of 
interagency collaboration. 

A Memorandum of Understanding 
created the partnership with the 
specified vision of “achiev(ing) 
educational excellence through a 
statewide learning community.” 

As such, the partners committed 
themselves to: 

1. Creating seamless transitions 
and assuring effective articulation 
pre-kindergarten through college 
and beyond; 

2. Enabling students to meet 
high standards; 

3. Preparing faculties to teach to 
high standards; 

4. Aligning expectations for and 
eliminating barriers to student 
progress; and 

to further its work. This is the track 

record the Partnership relates: 

• National Science Foundation awarded 
USM a supplemental grant of $500,000 
for three years (2004-2007) to study 
Change and Sustainability in Higher 
Education (CASHE). The CASHE 
Project proposes to study a particular 
aspect of higher education institu tional 
change: change that results in STEM 
faculty strengthening their own 
teaching practices and expanding 
their work in K-20 mathematics and 
science education, including K-12 
teacher preparation and professional 
development. The project will focus 

on changes that have been supported 
by NSF MSP that expand and deepen 
the capacity in higher education to 
support the reform of science and 
mathematics education through the 
meaningful engagement of faculty in 
K-12 education. The project will also 
examine K-16 (P-20) partnerships and 
identify examples of promising practice 
that establish cultures of organizational 
support for sustainable partnerships. 

• U. S. Department of Education 
Teacher Quality Enhancement 
Grant: Education equals Mentoring, 
Coaching, and Cohorts ( E=mc 2 , 2003). 
USM was awarded its second highly 
competitive five-year $6.4 million 
grant to improve teacher quality and 
student achievement in the Baltimore 
City Public School System (BCPSS). 
The USM led the creation of new 
partnership relationships between 
University of Maryland - College 

25 The Maryland Partnership for 
Teaching and Learning PreK- 
16. (2002). Memorandum of 
Understanding, Maryland K-16 
Partnership at: http://mdkl6. 
us index . php?area_id= 1 

5. Identifying collective strategies that 
involve all partners in improving 
student achievement. 25 

To date, the Maryland Partnership has 
acquired an impressive series of grants 

Park, Coppin State University, Towson 
University, Baltimore City Community 
College, Baltimore City Public School 
System, and the Maryland Business 
Roundtable. This new partnership 
will draw from a host of resources 
and knowledge sources to improve 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

the educational opportunities for 
Baltimore City students. 

• National Science Foundation Math 
and Science Partnership Grant 
Vertically Integrated Partnerships 
K-16 ( Project VIP K- 16, 2002). The 
USM developed this $7.5 million 
K-16 partnership with UMCP, UMBI, 
Towson, UMBC, UMCES, Sea Grant 
College, Shady Grove Center, and 
Montgomery College, along with the 
Montgomery County Public Schools 
(MCPS). VIP K-16 serves all MCPS 
high school core science teachers 
over 5 years. Participants are 
organized in Professional Learning 
Communities consisting of high 
school science teachers, college 
faculty, undergraduate students, and 
graduate students (VIP Teams) 

• U.S. Department of Education Teacher 
Quality Enhancement Grant: Project 
Learning IN Communities (Project 
LINC, 2000). USM was awarded its 
first five year grant of $4.2 million 

to enhance the quality of the Prince 
George ’s County Public Schools 
(PGCPS). USM brought together 
UMCP, TU, BSU and PGCC to 
collaborate with the PGCPS toward 
three goals: 1) Increase the number 
of certified teachers at PGCPS; 2) 
Increase student achievement, 3 ) Build 
a strong induction program for new 
teachers to increase teacher retention. 



From: University System of 
Maryland K-16 Overview at: 

Nebraska P-16 Initiative. 
(2006, May 23). Roundtable 
for Seamless Development of 
Talent for the 21st Century at: 
http://p 1 6. 
information, shtml 

• AACU Grant (2001). Maryland is 
one of three states (with Georgia and 
Utah) collaborating on a “Student 
Transfer Project” to address general 
education outcomes for two- and four- 
year colleges. 

• The PK-16 Partnership looks 
forward to exploring new 
opportunities to improve public 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

education in the State of Maryland 
and to serve as a national role model 
of other educational reform efforts. 26 


Is there any reason why Nebraska can ’t 
see a five-point gain in our college- 
going rate over the next four years? 
That’s the span of one high school class. 
If we start with today’s high school 
freshmen, couldn 't the class of 2009 
be in a position to compete with our 
neighbors to the east when it comes to 
pursuing a college education? - Dave 
Heineman Governor of Nebraska 27 

Nebraska is another example of an 
agency initiated P-16 approach. In 1997 
the University of Nebraska Board of 
Regents Academic Affairs Committee 
met with representatives of the State 
Board of Education to discuss common 
interests including standards, teacher 
preparation, and a P-16 partnership. 
That led to a retreat in 1998 and the 
endorsement of the P-16 concept by 
the regents. In 1999, a P-16 Steering 
Committee and a Statewide P-16 
Advisory Council were formed. 

Over the years, Nebraska worked on a 
variety of issues. The focus for P-16 was 
largely maintained by educators alone. 

In their own words, the initiative: 

• Increased the dialogue among 
Nebraska ’s education sectors. 

• Sponsored five statewide conferences. 

• Distributed literature promoting 
rigorous high school coursework to 
eighth-grade students and parents. 

• Produced curriculum-alignment 
materials in math, language arts and 
world languages. 

28 Nebraska P-16 Initiative. 
(2005, November 16). 
Refocusing Nebraska P-16 at: 

29 Nebraska P-16 Initiative. (2005). 
Report of Preschool through 
College {P-16) Activities of 

the University of Nebraska: 

A Response to Legislative 
Resolution 75 of the Nebraska 
Legislature 2005 Session at: 
http ://p 1 6 . nebraska. edu/ 

30 Nebraska State Legislature. 
Ninety-Ninth Legislature 
First Session, Legislative 
Resolution 75. 

• Participated in regional and national 
activities that support P-16 efforts. 

• Collaborated with a variety of 
other organizations to help improve 
education at all levels. 28 

Then in 2003, the Nebraska Legislature 
became increasingly concerned about 
education and the future economic 
security of the state. Passing LR 174 and 
creating a legislative review committee, 
that committee found, that: 

...(U)nprecedented collaboration 
and cooperation among educational 
institutions and sectors (would) be 
necessary to develop community, regional 
and statewide strategies to achieve 
progress toward these priorities. 29 

The legislature then posted a follow-up 
resolution (LR 75) in 2005 that created a 
legislative evaluation task force, citing that: 

...( Expansion and diversification of 
Nebraska ’s economy is necessary in 
order to sustain essential public services 
sponsored or aided by the state. ” 

The state’s system of postsecondary 
education is integral to the highest 
possible levels of educational attainment 
for Nebraskans..? 0 

Then, in October of 2005, Nebraska 
Governor Dave Heineman announced 
the creation of the Nebraska Education 
Leadership Council. 31 

the chair of the legislature’s education 
committee, the new 13 member council 
integrates business and agriculture 
representatives with education leaders. 

The focus of the council will be to 
“engage in broader policy discussions 
referring specific proposals and ideas to 
the reinvigorated P-16 initiative work 
group. ” 32 This new broader approach 
brings the potential of strengthening 
financial support for Nebraska’s P-16 
efforts. The reconstituted P-16 now 
stands with the following goals: 

• To help more students achieve success 
in their educational careers so that 
they can gain the benefits that accrue 
from being well-educated individuals 
and can also contribute to the 
economic well-being and quality of life 
of their fellow Nebraskans. 

• To communicate to students and 
their parents the benefits of getting a 
good education and the need to take 
rigorous courses to properly prepare 
for college or career. 

• To develop and implement new and 
more effective means of informing 
students and their parents about the 
true costs of postsecondary education 
and the planning tools and financial 
assistance that are available. In this 
process, special attention must be 
paid to the needs of Latino and other 
minority and low-income groups. 

31 For more information on 
Nebraska’s P-16 efforts, see: 

The resolution had the impact of 
bringing business and government 
leaders into the state P-16 arena and 


State of Nebraska, Office of the 
Governor. (2005, October 18). 
News Release. Gov. Heineman 
Announces Formation 
of Nebraska Education 
Leadership Council. 

refocusing efforts into a larger Nebraska 
Education Leadership Council to help 
set the policy agenda for Nebraska P-16. 
In essence, this placed a superstructure 
over the existing P-16 interagency 
agreement. Chaired by the governor and 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• To help ensure that all students 
have well-prepared teachers and 
administrators at every level of 
education and that students’ transitions 
from each level of education to the next 
are seamless. 

• To improve the college-going rate 
of Nebraskans and their persistence 

through degree completion with 
the intent of increasing the overall 
education level of the state’s 
population and workforce. 33 


33 Refocusing Nebraska P- 
16. (2005). Nebraska P-16 
Initiative. At: http://pl6. news/refocusing, 

34 Middle School Algebra 
To A Science, Technology, 
Engineering and Math-Ready 
Graduate, State of Indiana, 
Honor State Grant Proposal 
to the National Governors 
Association. Updates available 

35 Data from the U.S. Census 
Bureau 2004 American 
Community Survey. 
Massachusetts ranks as the 
top state with 37.4% 

36 From Indiana’s Education 

In today’s world, as technology 
contributes inexorably to the 
productivity demanded by financial 
and intellectual capital to justify 
investment; as use of technology is 
exploding and climbing its way up the 
functional ladder in virtually all aspects 
of work and is embedded in virtually 
every occupation; as the computer and 
its relatives inside machines constantly 
push human work to higher orders of 
thought; as information moves at light 
speed, communication is ubiquitously 
enabled and work can be done by 
anyone from anywhere for anyone 
anywhere else; as knowledge increases 
exponentially many times over within 
the span of a teacher’s career - in 
today’s world, it is beyond dispute that 
the education level required to seize the 
opportunities and meet the challenges 
of these developments is rising. 34 

Traveling along Interstate 70 through 
western Ohio and eastern Indiana, there 
is an impression that the farmlands will 
never end. The bustling metropolis of 
Columbus is left far behind; Dayton 
is visible only as a northern exchange, 
seemingly always under construction. 
Stopping at a rest area or for gas, 
one seems strangely out of place not 
wearing overalls or a John Deere cap. 
Indianapolis creeps up on you fast. A 
modern and proud city skyline suddenly 
juts up on the landscape. Soon, you are 
in big city congestion worthy of any east 
coast metropolis. 

Roundtable P-16 e-Newsletter. 
June 2005. Available at: www. 

This is the new Indiana and it is coming 
fast. Like its next door neighbor Ohio, 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Indiana has long been in the basement 
in terms of four year degrees. The U.S. 
Census Bureau ranks the state 45th 
in the nation with only 21.5% of the 
population with a Bachelor’s degree 
or higher. 35 From all indications, this 
state of affairs for a lower ten state is 
about to change. The following excerpt 
explains why: 

A recent report by Postsecondary 
Education Opportunity confirmed the 
progress that Indiana has made in 
sending more of its students to college. 

In the space of just ten years, Indiana 
has jumped from 34th to 10th in the 
nation in sending its students to college 
directly after high school. Currently, 
Indiana sends 62% of its high school 
graduates to college the next fall. With 
more than 460,000 students participating, 
Indiana’s higher education enrollment 
has continued to set records over the past 
several years. Over the past two decades, 
Indiana ’s progress in this area has out- 
paced the growth in other mid-western 
states as well as Indiana ’s own modest 
population growth. 36 

Indiana realizes that the future lies 
not only in how many degrees a state 
has, but also in its capacity to send 
increasing numbers of its high school 
students well-prepared into college. 
Acting on the notion that rigorous high 
school coursework is the best indicator 
of success in college, early in 2005 the 
Indiana General Assembly passed a bill 
to require a Core 40 curriculum for high 
school students by 2011. 

In doing so, Indiana became one of a 
handful of states with a default high 
school curriculum. 

Core 40 began with the Indiana 
Education Roundtable and the story 
of P- 1 6 in Indiana is the story of 

37 The text of this act can be found 
at: www.edroundtable. state, 


the Roundtable. Members of the 
Roundtable are appointed by the 
governor and superintendent of public 
instruction, who co-chair the group. 

The mission of Indiana’s Education 
Roundtable is to improve education for 
all students and the group is composed 
of diverse stakeholders including 
key leaders from K-12 and higher 
education, business, industry and 
labor, parents and community, and the 
Indiana General Assembly. The purpose 
is to focus collectively on critical 
issues in education and in the words 
of the Roundtable, to set and maintain 
a vision for educational change and 
student success in Indiana. 

The Roundtable is composed of equal 
representation from business/community 
and education, along with representatives 
from the General Assembly. Roundtable 
members are appointed for their 
commitment to improving the state of 
education in Indiana and as leaders in 
their respective fields. The Roundtable 
often relies on national experts in an 
effort to determine informed decisions 
and recommendations. The Roundtable 
is notable in that it actively seeks the 
thoughts and opinions of the public. 
Roundtable meetings are open to the 

public and additional input is encouraged 
via the Public Comment section on its 

In itself, the Roundtable exemplifies the 
power of a truly collaborative “think- 
tank” structure which consistently 
reviews the education performance of a 
state. The Education Roundtable is not a 
new construct for Indiana. In many ways, 
it is indicative of how long it sometimes 
takes to change the culture of a state. 

The Roundtable was formed in 1998 
by then Governor Frank O’Bannon and 
Superintendent of Public Instruction 
Dr. Suellen Reed. It was formalized by 
legislation in 1999 (Senate Enrolled Act 
235, 1 1 1th session) 37 which charged the 
group with making recommendations 
on improving student achievement to 
the Governor, Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, General Assembly, and 
the Indiana State Board of Education. 
Working in conjunction with the State 
Board of Education, the Roundtable has 
repeatedly focused on this challenge. 
Over the years, Indiana’s academic 
standards have been raised and are now 
recognized among the best in the nation. 
Now the state is preparing to embark on 
even more ambitious plans. 

Just beyond the Indianapolis Arts Garden, a huge glass and steel saucer shaped structure 
which towers over a whole city intersection, lies the Indiana state Capital and the 
downtown Hyatt Regency. Built in the late 70s, the Hyatt is a curious blend of hotel 
and commerce. Flanked on one side by a National City Bank and offices, the hallmark 
Hyatt lobby soars nearly twenty stories as glass lined elevators soar above an artificial 
waterfall. Bridging the lobby are small shops and stores including, in what must be a rarity 
for Hyatts, indoor McDonalds and Subway restaurants. It is as though fast food heaven 
has met elegant lodging. The refined and the modern together and it is all very egalitarian. 
Perhaps that is fitting and proper for today the Hyatt is the site of the November meeting of 
Indiana’s Education Roundtable and the Roundtable is very egalitarian. 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

As I take my seat I am joined by an attractive lady whose exuberance is difficult to 
miss. “I want to sit towards the back ” she says. “Because, I have to leave early. 

You see, I have to leave early but I want to hear what these guys have to say. I think 
they’re crazy.” I ask why. “Obviously they’ve never been in an inner city school if 
they think every child can go to college.” In turns out that the young lady is a PTA 
mom considering a run for the state senate. Present are also persons representing a 
multiplicity of interests, such as civil rights and the state charter school movement. 

The meeting drones on, like countless education meetings. First comes a discussion 
of the state ’s NAEP scores. Children in Indiana are above the national average in 
both math and reading at the 4th and 8th grade levels. The state superintendent 
points out that even though this is so, the reading scores are flat. Forget that they 
parallel a national trend since 1992 of being flat. This is not good enough for 
Indiana. “What does this say if our scores are not changing over time, ” says the 
superintendent. A few states, like Delaware are dramatically increasing. She is 
checking with her counterpart there to see what they are doing differently. 

In another report, Indiana is moving to an e-transcript program. Student high 
school transcripts will be able to be sent electronically to Indiana colleges. This 
will save counselor time and both students and parents money, perhaps about $40 
per student. Maybe this is not too much money in the scope of state and personal 
expenditures, but significant nonetheless. It is refreshing to hear about a state 
concerned about saving its citizens dollars. 

Matt Gandal from Achieve, Inc. discusses what they have learned with specific 
instructions for Indiana. He is the epitome of the “national expert” trying to inform 
a state and Indiana makes use of national and local experts. Gandal tells them that 
Indiana, like all states, has a problem with high school graduation rates. It is an area 
the state knows it has to work on. What he says is instructive. “ Integrate your data 
systems. Seek longitudinal data. Allow high schools to know what happens, institute 
“end of course exams, ” etc. It is a national think tank reply to a local situation . 
Indiana succeeds not because of the solutions of others. It succeeds because of itself. 

Time is running out on the two hour limit for the meeting. A discussion of Indiana’s 
grant from the National Governors Association is tabled. At the end, Governor 
Mitch Daniels notes that no state will be able to succeed in the future without 
attention to technology and math. This state gets it-the future is now. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

38 Indiana’s Education Roundtable. 
(2003). Indiana’s P-16 Plan for 
Improving Student Achievement 
Phase I. At: www.edroundtable. 

39 Ibid, pp. 10-11. 


One thing the Roundtable achieves is 
focus. As with any P-16, results begin to 
show in a variety of ways as awareness 
builds throughout the state. While some, 
lik e our senatorial hopeful, might disagree 
with what the Roundtable deliberates, the 
focus is still there. The national average for 
completion of a four year degree on time 
(six years) is 18%. In Indiana, this average 
is now 21%. One might ask “is this is 
a direct result of what the Roundtable 
has done?” While it may not be a direct 
result of any one program, per se, it is a 
result of a new focus in Indiana- a focus 
the Roundtable has helped promote. 

Also in 2003, the Roundtable adopted 
a Phase I of a P-16 Plan for Indiana 
which included over 70 strategic 
recommendations centers in ten areas: 

• Academic standards, assessment, 
and accountability 

• Teaching and learning 

• School and district leadership 
and governance 

• Early learning and school readiness 

• Eliminating achievement gaps 

and ensuring academic progress for 
all students 

• Ensuring college and workforce 

• Drop out prevention 

• Higher education and continued 

• Communication 

• Effective use of technology and 
efficient use of resources 38 

The Plan all at once represented 
a comprehensive road map for 
action in Indiana. The specificity of 
recommendations in the plan can be 
clearly seen in the following section 
which deals with early learning and 
school readiness: 

1. Involve parents in planning and 
implementation of all early learning 
and school readiness efforts. 

2. Provide parents, pediatricians, and 
others who work with children with 
information regarding cognitive 
(brain) development and the 
importance of reading to infants 
and children. 

3. Guarantee access to appropriate 
health screenings and high-quality 
developmen tal checkups for all 
children birth to age 7. 

4. Focus on reading. 

5. Make sure every child has access 
to high quality programs that help 
prepare them for school. 

6. Ask Indiana employers to invest in the 
state’s future workforce by providing 
or partnering to provide high-quality 
child care options for employees. 

7. Make high quality Kindergarten 
available for all children. 

8. Establish an Early Learning and 
School Readiness Commission for 
coordinating birth to age six early 
learning and school readiness 
experiences, giving greater priority 
to children and family issues, and 
working to increase the efficiency and 
effectiveness of programs that serve 
children and families . 39 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

This type of specificity has provided 
a unique focus for Indiana and its 
Education Roundtable. 

There will be a phase II to Indiana’s 
P-16 Plan, one dealing with the 
implementation of recommendations. 
Here, Roundtable members are not 
“starry-eyed” optimists. The plan itself 
lays out an ambitious charge for the state. 

recommendary power and works 
extensively through resolutions. A listing 
of the resolutions adopted by the group 
over the last several years gives an 
indication of the scope of the Roundtables 
interests and recommendations. A full 
listing is included on the Roundtable 
website and provides a chronology 
for one of the longest lasting and most 
effective state P-16 efforts in the nation. 

In crafting the P-16 Plan, the Education 
Roundtable is fully aware of the difficult 
financial circumstances facing our 
state, our schools, our colleges and 
universities, our local communities, 
and our citizens. Faced with these 
challenges, some may have concerns 
about the breadth and anticipated costs 
of steps outlined in the P-16 Plan. The 
Roundtable believes that lack of money 
should not be an excuse for a lack of 
strategic planning. It is imperative 
that Indiana have a strategic plan for 
improving student achievement. The 
plan should not be just a list of good 
ideas - but a highly focused framework 
to guide the state. To implement this 
strategic plan, it will be necessary to 
evaluate current expenditures, realize 
efficiencies, leverage resources, 
prioritize strategies, and make critical 
investments to bring about the student 
achievement outcomes the state desires . 40 

Indiana, however, may not be immune 
to issues of politics which surround 
many P-16 efforts. Homeschoolers in 
particular seem to have many emerging 
issues with the P-16 Plan. Yet, the state 
has been well served by the Roundtable. 
Though its membership is large by most 
state standards, representatives here truly 
represent individuals of influence in state 

Indiana’s P-16 score card to date 
remains impressive. The Roundtable 
effort has survived a change in 
governors and has been established 
in legislation. It continues to involve 
leaders across sectors and maintains 
close linkages to state legislators. 

Here, as in Georgia and Tennessee, the 
Roundtable is favored with competent 
and knowledgeable staff coordination 
in the person of Cheryl Orr. Orr, like 
Kettle well in Georgia, is the focal point 
for P-16 efforts in the state. While 
Indiana’s governor, unlike in Georgia, 
is quite involved with the roundtable, 
Orr does the challenging staff work and 
maintains the institutional memory. 

Perhaps most importantly, the 
Roundtable has historically sought 
and invited public opinion. While the 
Roundtable and the P-16 Plan may 
not be dinner conversation at every 
house in Indiana, it is clear that many 
know, appreciate, and even oppose 
actions of the group. Web-based input 
is printed and distributed to members. 
The following illustrates the importance 
and visibility of the Roundtable to one 
particular student: 

I am a high school student that excels 
in the area of mathematics. Currently, 

40 Ibid, p.2. 

government, education and business. 

Codified by legislation (IC 20-1-20.5-1 
et seq.,) the Roundtable has extensive 

I am doubling up on my math classes, 
Geometry and Algebra Two. I would 
be interested in taking math courses at 
the honors level. I recently asked our 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

math chair why the school doesn ’t offer 
them; and she responded that they can 
just offer what is approved by the state ’5 
DOE. I can tell that the math teachers 
want to be able to teach more advance 
versions of math courses for students 
that can handle the challenge and 
preparing AP Calculus. Why should AP 
English have Pre-AP classes and not the 
math department? Please consider my 
plea for allowing enough preparation 
for AP Calculus. 41 

If students like this and the public in 
general continues to identify with the 
Education Roundtable, then Indiana’s 
long term effort will continue to succeed. 


The Illinois P-16 Education Collaborative 
is a cooperative effort among Illinois 
educators to improve teaching, learning, 
and achievement statewide. 42 

41 Indiana’s Business Roundtable. 
(2006). Public Comment 
November 29, 2005— January 
17, 2006. Indianapolis: author. 

42 Illinois Educator/Illinois P-16 
Collaborative. P-16 in Illinois 
at: http://www.pl6.illinois. 
edu/P 1 6_in_illinois.html 

43 The spring 2004 update can be 
downloaded from the P-16 in 
Illinois site. 

44 A listing of P- 16 collaborations 

Illinois maintains a P-16 collaborative 
which has largely focused in the past 
on teacher development and school 
leadership issues. Largely formed 
of both K- 1 2 and higher education 
representatives, the collaborative 
has included business representation 
such as the Civic Committee of the 
Commercial Club of Chicago in the 
past. The original P-16 Partnership 
was formed in 1999 by the State Board 
of Education, the Illinois Community 
College Board, and the Board of Higher 
Education (IBHE). 


across the state can be found 
at: http://www.pl6.illinois. 

Illinois Board of Higher 
Education. (N.D.) Academics 
> P-16 at: http://www.ibhe. 
org/Academic%20 Affairs/ 

Progress of the collaborative is 
often difficult to ascertain though a 
rather comprehensive summary of 
accomplishments to date and future 
challenges was published in 2004. 43 
Much of what happens in P- 1 6 in Illinois 
takes place at the agency or university 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

level and several local initiatives are in 
place. 44 As IBHE notes: 

Illinois higher education holds a 
responsibility to support and improve 
Illinois’ entire educational system 
from preschool through college. In 
collaboration with ISBE, ICCB and the 
business community, the staff works to 
address the transition of high school 
graduates into college and their 
success and persistence in college, 
teacher shortage areas, quality of 
teacher and school leader preparation 
and professional development 
programs, the development of degree 
programs, and procurement of federal 
resources to advance educational 
reform across the state. 45 

A recent document on the progress in 
implementing an Associate of Arts in 
Teaching degree can also be found on the 
IBHE web site. While Illinois still lacks a 
legislated P-16 Council, the state remains 
one of the few in which P-16 language 
and thinking has been present for an 
extended period of time. This thinking 
has impacted a wide spectrum and has 
been reflected in continuing deliberations 
on college readiness and even in the 
state’s K-12 system of assessment, the 
Prairie State Assessment. 


Missouri is another example of a 
senior state P-16 approach created by 
an interagency agreement. In 1997 in 
order to promote high standards and 
smooth transitions for all students, 
Missouri formed a K-16 Coalition. 

The Coordinating Board for Higher 
Education (CBHE), the State Board of 
Education (SBE), and the University 
of Missouri Board of Curators (UM) 
were cosponsors. 

The first project of the coalition was 
the publication of Mathematics in 
Missouri in 1999. This report focused 
on teacher quality as one of several 
critical strategies for improving 
mathematics learning in Missouri 
schools. The report also called for the 
continued use of performance funding 
incentives to support high entrance and 
exit standards for teacher education 
programs. Math has remained a major 
focus of the coalition. 

In 200 1 , the coalition created another 
major initiative by appointing a K- 
16 Task Force on Achievement Gap 
Elimination (K-16-TAGE), The 
Task Force on Achievement Gap 
Elimination, chaired by former Missouri 
Commissioner of Higher Education 
Charles McClain. The task force made 
several key recommendations which are 
worthy of note: 

Primary Recommendations 

• Design a financial incentive of at 
least $10,000 annually per teacher 
to attract the highest-quality new 
and continuing teachers to low- 
performing schools and retain them 
at these schools. 

• Hold teacher preparation programs 
that admit under prepared students 
accountable for the performance of 
their graduates and implement new 
teacher certification policies for 
graduates of out-of-state institutions. 


Missouri Department of Higher 
Education. Achievement Gap 
Elimination: Report of the 
Missouri K-16 Task Force 

• Establish standards for the quality of 
teaching in a building and the quality 
of building leadership in a district. 

• Assess the content knowledge of 
teachers in low-performing schools 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

and provide content-based professional 
development for those with deficiencies. 

• Implement an effective accountability 
system for Regional Professional 
Development Centers (RPDCs). 

• Design teacher education programs 
to increase understanding of urban 

Secondary Recommendations 

• Develop a coordinated K-16 data 
collection process for analyzing 
student performance. 

• Use the results of research to align 
teacher education programs and 
certification requirements and to 
enhance the state’s ability to evaluate 
teacher education programs. 

• Reward professional development 
with higher pay on school district 
salary schedules when professional 
development is directly relevant to an 
individual’s school district position. 

• Design fast-track teacher certification 
programs that target quality mid-career 
and retired professionals for recruitment 
into the teaching profession. 

• Develop a statewide, competency-based, 
articulated teacher education curriculum 
for the first two years of college. 

• Increase public recognition and 
prestige of leaders of schools or 
school districts that make significant 
academic improvements. 46 

This report was presented in 2004, 

since that time, activities of the 

coalition are unclear. 


NGA’s Honor Grant program has 
instilled new life into the Minnesota 
P-16 effort which began in 2001, 
when Education Minnesota, a 
statewide association of educators, 
invited several groups to consider 
ways to improve professional 
development for teachers. Soon the 
idea was expanded to other areas of 
collaboration, and more partners. In 
2003, the partnership was formalized. 

In addition to Education Minnesota, 
the partnership included the Minnesota 
State Colleges and Universities system 
(MnSCU), the University of Minnesota, 
the Minnesota Department of Education, 
the Minnesota Private College Council, 
the state Higher Education Services 
Organization, the Minnesota Career 
College Association, the Minnesota 
PTA and several other K-12 and 
teacher education groups. Early on, the 
partnership launched three initiatives: 
an “e-mentoring system” with skilled 
teachers utilizing Internet technology, to 
mentor beginning teachers; a research 
project examining why many students 
needed “developmental” or remedial 
math when entering college; and 
a study of possible strategies to “align” 
high school and college math tests, using 
one test as a high school assessment and 
a college placement exam. 

At this point, Minnesota had put into 
place some laudable but fairly standard 
goals for a state interagency agreement. 
When in 2005, Minnesota received 
their Phase I Honor States Grant one 
of the specified project outcomes 
was to strengthen the Minnesota P- 
16 Education Partnership in order to 
improve system-wide coordination 
of high school and post- secondary 
education. Included in this was work- 

readiness, certification and training 
programs, and two-year and four- 
year college and university programs. 
Another goal was to establish a 
comprehensive reporting program to 
monitor P-16 system effectiveness and 
public accountability 

Governor Tim Pawlenty also launched 
an education council in October of 
2005 with the specific goals of: Setting 
statewide goals, benchmark targets for 
P-16 student achievement; receiving 
regular reports will be made on the NGA 
grant project outcomes measures; and 
promoting a minimum education level of 
K-14 is being promoted for all students. 
In this renewed state, Minnesota’s P-16 
Partnership in 2006 was focusing on the 
following objectives: 

• A feasibility study and implementation 
plan for one P-16 system to better- 
track student achievement and 

• Drafting of student college and work 
readiness knowledge and skills for 
reading, writing, and mathematics 
which are to be folded into standards 
revision process 

• Iden tification of options to align 
the state mathematics assessment 
with postsecondary needs for 
implementation in 2006-07 

• Plans to reduce student remediation 
in postsecondary 

• Recommending effective college access 
programs to all high schools 

• Coordinating and linking web sites for 
career and postsecondary planning to 
encourage student and parent use 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• The creation of a higher education 
accountability system being developed 
by the Minnesota Office of Higher 
Education in consultation with 
education and community leaders 47 

All recommendations and reports in 
this sequence are to be completed in 
the Fall of 2006. 


Heralding back to a governor’s 
executive order in 1992 calling for 
joint meetings between K-12 and 
higher education, Oregon ranks as 
perhaps the oldest state-level P-16 
approach in the nation. 

Oregon had some substantial successes 
in its initial effort. For instance, there 
was the Proficiency-Based Admissions 
Standards System (PASS) which sought 
to align high school completion and 
college entry standards. This project 
became the focus of a major study by the 
Stanford Bridge Project. 

requirements; systems alignment and 
integration; PK-20 budget and system 
performance measures; and enhanced 
communications. The grant was 
projected to extend through June 2007. 

What Oregon has done - with this 
grant, and a combination of federal 
and state funding sources, funds from 
the Wallace Foundation, Lumina 
Foundation, Oregon Business Council 
and others - has been to create the 
PK-20 Redesign Workplan which 
dwarfs most state level efforts in 
its implications. If successfully 
executed, Oregon will have one of the 
most comprehensive P-16 (PK-20) 
approaches in the nation. 

In partnership with the governor’s 
office, the plan is addressing the 
target areas through a series of goals 
and objectives which warrant an 
extensive review here as they give 
an overall picture of the scope of this 
project and can serve as a roadmap 
for other states. 

Oregon’s current efforts in what it is 
tagging as a PK-20 approach began in 
2005. The State Board of Education 

(K- 12/community colleges) met with 
members of the Board of Higher 
Education to discuss systems-related 
issues including a PK-20 vision for 
education, systems alignment, high 
school diploma, integrated data 
systems, and a unified education 
enterprise budget. Subsequently, the 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 


These points are taken 
from the document NGA 
Honor States Grant Award 
to Minnesota “Learning in 
a Digital Age: Math and 
Science at the Heart of 
HS Reform . ” Minnesota 
Department of Education, 
September 2006. Available at: 

awarded the Oregon Department of 
Education a $1.75 million grant to 
support statewide efforts to redesign 
high schools and also to address PK-20 
systemic improvements. 

The grant targeted four areas: 
high school graduation/diploma 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Review course requirements for 
high school students , increase the 
number of credits required for 
graduation in core subjects, and 
develop proficiency based diploma 
based on alternative assessment and 
evaluation models. 

• Ensure the rigor and relevance of 
Oregon’s K-12 content standards 
and assessments. 

• Review current system capacity, 
need, and cost for developing larger 
teacher pool 

• Increase access to and success in 
postsecondary education through 
enhanced advising and other 
student support. 

• Increase access to and success in 
postsecondary education through 
accelerated learning options for 
students. . . 

• Expand high school literacy and 
mathematics initiatives, with focus 
on those that target low-performing 
schools and students, as well as 
at-risk students; identify and remove 
barriers for rigorous curriculum for 
low income and ELL students. 

• Develop/identify high school exit 
proficiencies including common core of 
knowledge/skills that are articulated to 
postsecondary entrance and placement 
requirements; align K-12 standards and 
college and workplace placement tests. 

• Expand work with high school 
pilot sites to determine rigor and 
comparability of credit for proficiency 
and performance-based assessments; 
and identify, showcase, and 
disseminate best practices. 

• Provide high quality professional 
development and training to teachers, 
counselors, and administrators. 

• Conduct external review and evaluation 
of K-12 content standards and 
assessments to determine sufficiency 
and proficiency levels at each 
benchmark level and alignment with 
postsecondary entrance requirements. 

• Use statewide assessments to increase 
alignment K-16 and facilitate smooth 
transitions to postsecondary education 
and training 


Oregon Department of Education. 
Implementation of Oregon PK-20 
Redesign Workplan Status Report 
11/1/05 - 6/15/06. At: http:// 

• Support capacity building efforts 
to adequately support school 
districts throughout the state; 
develop regional delivery system for 
supporting school improvement 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Create a unified vision for education 
in Oregon, streamline and improve 
education governance and 
accountability ( review Oregon ’s 
education governance system, 
propose new governance models as 
developed by Joint Boards, review 
current method for funding education, 
review/ develop new finance models 
resulting in comprehensive PK-20 
budget rather than separate budgets 
representing PK-12, community 
colleges, and higher education ) 

• Create integrated data system to 
connect components of the data 
systems of the state’s public education 
sectors (PK-12, community college, 
university systems) to achieve 
clearer simpler paths for studen ts 

to higher levels of learning, remove 
data bottlenecks and provide better 
availability of student information for 
advising and student support. 

• Align Oregon Report Card and AYP, 
develop student level growth model and 
district profile in revised Report Card. 

• Align the work plans ofK-14 and 
Higher Education Boards. 

• Help citizens and parents understand 
why it is essential for all PK-12 
students to prepare for postsecondary 
education and workforce to be viable 
and competitive in the knowledge 
economy ; facilitate dialogue and 
public engagement around PK-20 
education vision and goals. 48 


Since November, 2004 the Tennessee 
P-16 Council has not met nor given 
direction to these councils; however, 
they have persisted toward their goals 
as outlined in the petitions: 

49 Eatherly, J. (2005). Tennessee 
P-16 Network Council Updates. 
Nashville: Tennessee Board of 

50 From: 
web/20050209 101031 /www. 
tn tomorrow, org/ 


1. Improve student learning at all 
levels and strengthen the connections 
between preschool, K-12 and higher 

2. Ensure all students have competent, 
caring and qualified teachers, and 

3. Increase public awareness of the link 
between and educated citizenry and a 
healthy economy. 

Although the goals are broad, the Councils 
have evolved both locally and regionally 
to initiate activities and programs that move 
toward accomplishing the greater goal. 

- Jill Eatherly, Director for Local P-16 
Coordination, Tennessee Board of Regent s 4 9 

Tennessee is probably the state with 
the most forward approach to the 
establishment of local and regional P-16 
Councils of Education. Led by Dr. Paula 
Myrick Short and Jill Eatherly of the 
Tennessee Board of Regents, this state 
understands the fundamental notion 
that reform must proceed from the 
grassroots. Yet, the state level council 
which began ambitiously and well over 
five years ago is inactive. 

P-16 in Tennessee is not a new 
concept and can rightly be said to 
have originated in the 1990s with the 
creation of Tennessee Tomorrow, Inc. 
(TTI) in 1994. Tennessee Tomorrow 
is a statewide partnership of public, 
private and academic leaders focused 
on long-term economic development 
initiatives focused on enabling the state 
to become more competitive in the 
global-knowledge economy. 

777 \ mission is to be a catalyst that 
provides a vision to improve the 
quality of life for all Tennesseans, with 
a primary focus on prekindergarten 
through college public education. 50 

The organization was formed as a 
bipartisan, 501 [c] [3] corporation. 

The Tennessee P-16 Council 
subsequently evolved from Tennessee 
Commission on Education Quality 
in 2001 (also a public/private sector 
partnership) which subsequently evolved 
into the Tennessee P-16 Council with an 
emphasis on the following goals: 

1. Improve student learning at all 
levels and strengthen the connections 
between PreK-12 and higher 

2. Ensure that all students have access 
to competent, caring and qualified 
teachers, and 

3. Increase public awareness of the 
link between an educated citizenry 
and a healthy economy. 

The council then proceeded to 
encourage the establishment of local P- 
16s throughout the state. Recognition of 
these local councils would be extended 
by the state council. 

In 2003 the council indicated that 
recognized local councils would be 
invited to participate in a Tennessee 
P-16 Network. The purpose of that 
network was to build “communication 
linkages and bring representatives of 
local councils together to share ideas, 
issues and best practices”. Local councils, 
the state P-16 reckoned, would have 
the opportunity to share speakers and 
resources by aligning their goals and 
objectives through quarterly meetings and 
planning sessions. The quarterly meetings 
were envisioned to be aligned with state 
meetings to provide an opportunity for 
local councils to identify issues and 
share ideas. A report from the State 
P-16 Network was to be on the agenda 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

for each of the Tennessee P-16 Council 
meetings. If one visits the website of the 
Tennessee P-16 Council today, no mention 
of P-16 will be found; however, www. archives the older pages 
and an early view can be found there. State 
administrations change; focus changes. 

Yet, in 2003 before it became inactive the 
Council did something which set the stage 
for Tennessee to become a leader in the 
establishment of local and regional P-1 6s. 

The Council decided that the Tennessee 
Board of Regents would administer the 

activities of the State P-16 Network in 

collaboration with Tennessee Tomorrow, 

Inc. This was to include: 

• Information and assistance 

• Facilitation of organizational 

• Management of P-16 database, 

• Communication and scheduling of 
state and regional meetings, 

• Distribution of resource materials 
and other pertinent information, 

• Liaison service between local 
councils and state council as needed. 

It is a dull and dreary day in Nashville Tennessee as over 100 college presidents, K-12 
educators, business and community representatives gather for the 2006 meeting of the 
Tennessee P-16 Network. It had rained the day before and Nashville’s promise of an 
early warm spring has dissipated as cold winds attempt to dry up the sodden ground 
and wet landscapes. Today, 12 local and regional efforts will be showcased in a 
meeting slatted to last six hours. Representatives have come from all over the state. 

The meeting is held in what the residents of Nashville somewhat lovingly and 
sometimes disparagingly refer to as the “Batman Building. ” Batman is the 
headquarters of Bell South in Nashville and from a distance, the building with its 
twin towers does look exactly like the cowl of the “caped crusader.” The irony 
is that the building has lent a distinctive touch to the Nashville skyline. Like the 
pyramids of Giza, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the St. Louis Arch and the Seattle 
Space Needle, this building defines Nashville as one travels north on 1-65. It can not 
be ignored; it says “you are here. ” Representatives gather for coffee and tea. There 
is no buffet breakfast here. The Tennessee P-16 effort runs on a shoe-string and this 
is probably to the best. The day begins as Dr. Charles Manning, chancellor of the 
Tennessee Board of Regents offers greetings. He is followed by Dr. Paula Myrick 
Short, the vice-chancellor, who sets the tone for the day. Dr. Short refers to the new 
National Science Academies publication, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” The 
urgency is there. Tennessee must meet the challenge. For the next seven hours, each 
of the 12 P-1 6s will showcase a best practice they have been developing. At 11:15, 

I will deliver a keynote on lessons learned from “P-16: The Last Education Reform, 
Book I. ” This is followed by a working lunch during which Joe W. Barker, Assistant 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Commissioner for Tennessee Economic and Community Development makes an 
announcement which rivets the group. Communities applying for developmen t 
monies under the state’s “Three Star” program will receive additional points if they 
have an established P-16 council. 

The councils continue to showcase finishing with a “spotlight” presentation on the 
Mid-East Regional and Hamblen County P-16s. It is a long day , but the showcasing 
is critical. Above all, this is a network. The individual P-16s become aware of what 
others are doing throughout the state. At times they are proud; other times they are 
challenged. The day ends with a power point slide from Hamblen County. “It’s not 
about the turf. It’s about the grassroots.” This is where Tennessee is, the largest 
grassroots movement in the nation to establish P-16s. 

Tennessee is an example of how a 
state agency, in this case the Board 
of Regents, can work to enable and 
empower a grassroots P-16 movement. 
Each of the P- 1 6s is unique and tailored 
to meet the needs of their specific 
geographic areas. Each also reflects the 
current levels to which collaboration 
has been achieved in various parts of the 
state. P-16 is often not a “straight line” 
process. Some are achieving very solid 
school-college partnerships, such as the 
Jackson and Southeast P-1 6s; others 
are focusing on high school to college 
transitions, such as the Northwest P-16 
which focuses on strengthening the 
senior year or enabling dual enrollment 
options which do not drain much needed 
dollars from districts, such as the North 
Central P-16. 


The mission of Florida’s K-20 education 
system shall be to increase the 
proficiency of all students within one 
seamless, efficient system , by allowing 
them the opportunity to expand their 
knowledge and skills through learning 
opportunities and research valued by 

students, parents, and communities. 

-The Florida Statutes 1008.31 

To date, Florida is the only state to 
have passed a law placing all sectors 
of education under a single governing 
board. While some see a unified, 
legislative system of education as a sort 
of P-16 “utopia”, Florida’s experience 
raises considerable doubts in the minds 
of others. 

For one thing, there was the issue of 
motivation in establishing the system. 

In 1998 Florida voters approved a 
constitutional amendment that created 
the new state Board of Education and 
changed the Commissioner of Education 
from an elected to an appointed position. 
The amendment also charged the board 
and the commissioner with supervising 
the state’s “system of free public 
education.” There was controversy as 
to whether voters intended to include 
higher education or were concerned only 
with elementary and secondary schools. 

There was also considerable tension 
at that time between the Florida Board 
of Regents and the Florida Fegislature. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Two high profile projects, a new medical 
school at Florida State University and 
new law schools at Florida International 
and Florida A&M were turned down 
by the regents. The legislature reversed 
both decisions. The new K-20 system 
(FIB 2263) passed in 2000 eliminated 
the Board of Regents and placed the 
entire system under the Florida Board of 
Education. Yet two years later, the Florida 
Board of Governors was created by voters 
to provide leadership and coordination 
of Florida’s public universities, with 
a new chancellor in place. The Board 
of Governors originated from a ballot 
initiative led by Florida’s U.S. Senator 
Bob Graham who had objected to the 
elimination of the original regents. Now 
the new governing board significantly is 
ensconced in the state constitution and 
can not be eliminated without another 
constitutional amendment. 

The board of governors shall be a 
body corporate consisting of seventeen 
members. The board shall operate, 
regulate, control, and be fully responsible 
for the managemen t of the whole 
university system. These responsibilities 
shall include, but not be limited to, 
defining the distinctive mission of each 
constituent university and its articulation 
with free public schools and community 
colleges, ensuring the well-planned 
coordination and operation of the system, 
and avoiding wasteful duplication of 
facilities or programs . 51 

Now with both a new state Board of 

51 For Florida’s past and current 
K-20 Strategic Plans, see: http:// 

“From the Florida Constitution: 

Education and new Board of Governors 
in the state constitution, Florida seems 
poised for continuing controversy over 
just who is in charge of its public system 
of higher education. 

Article IX Education. At http:// 




All of this aside, Florida has made some 
considerable progress in the K-20 arena. 
Among these are: 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• The implementation of a Common 
Placement Test (CPT) to assess the 
basic computation and communication 
skills of students who intend to enter 

a degree program at any public 
community college or state university. 

In practice, this is largely used by 
community colleges as most students 
who target entry into four year 
institutions also test on the ACT or SAT. 

• Creation of a statewide college course 
numbering system and a statewide 
student data system. 

• Articulation and acceleration 
agreements between every school 
district and a community college, 
dual credit arrangements and 
understandings . 52 

The State Board of Education has 
periodically adopted K-20 Education 
Strategic Plans. The most current plan 
(2005-2007) was approved in May of 
2006. Plans center on four distinct goals: 

1. Flighest Student Achievement 

2. Seamless Articulation and 
Maximum Access 

3. Skilled Workforce and 
Economic Development 

4. Quality Efficient Services 

Additionally, plans deal with eight 
strategic imperatives. These are: 
teachers, standards, students, leaders, 
choice, workforce, return on investment, 
and access. 

Florida also has one other component 
within its K-20 system of education 
which makes it fairly unique among 
states-a constitutional amendment 
governing class size in K-12 schools. 

To assure that children attending public 
schools obtain a high quality education, 
the legislature shall make adequate 
provision to ensure that, by the beginning 
of the 2010 school year, there are a 
sufficient number of classrooms so that: 

1. The maximum number of students who 
are assigned to each teacher who is 
teaching in public school classrooms 
for prekindergarten through grade 3 
does not exceed 18 students; 

improving selected underperforming 
elementary schools and high schools 
across the state. The awards, approved 
today by the Board of Regen ts, will 
fund the most promising proposals 
submitted under the Board of Regents 
“K-16 Partnerships for School Reform ” 
(K-16 PSR) program. The funded 
proposals were judged by independent, 
external evaluators to have the strongest 
potential for improving student and 
school performance. - April 26, 2006 54 

2. The maximum number of studen ts who 
are assigned to each teacher who is 
teaching in public school classrooms 
for grades 4 through 8 does not exceed 
22 students; and 

3. The maximum number of students who 
are assigned to each teacher who is 
teaching in public school classrooms 
for grades 9 through 12 does not 
exceed 25 students. 53 

In 1999, the Louisiana Board of Regents 
and State Board of Elementary and 
Secondary Education launched an 
agency initiated P-16 commission. 
Progress on this commission has 
been difficult to chart as no web site 
is maintained. However, one specific 
outcome of the commission was that 
every university was to have a P- 1 64- 
Council to work with area school 
districts, the spirit of which is reflected 
in the above quote. 

Whether or not such a component will 
have a major impact within the context 
of Florida’s K-20 system of education 
remains to be seen. What is certain is 
that the state has embarked on a journey, 
often aided and perhaps sometimes 
abetted by constitutional and legislative 
mandates in its quest to establish a 
seamless system of education. 

Ultimately, the success or failure of the 
Florida approach may be determined by 
its statewide student data system and 
the legislature’s interest in performance 
funding, along with continued 

Advances also seem to have taken place 
in testing with ACT’s complete EPAS 
system (EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT) 
being made available on a voluntary 
basis to all districts in the state. 


Pennsylvania is another agency initiated 
state P-16 effort which began in 2000. 
Here, the Pennsylvania Department of 
Education has teamed with the Academy 
for the Profession of Teaching and 
Learning, part of the Pennsylvania State 

accountability for the entire system. 

System of Higher Education. 

53 Ibid 

54 Louisiana Board of Regents. 
(2006, April 26). Regents 
Approve “K-16 Partnerships 
for School Reform” Grants. 
News Release. 


Four Louisiana universities will 
receive grants from the Board of 
Regents totaling more than $2.6 million 
to establish partnerships aimed at 

The Pennsylvania effort has largely 
centered on teacher preparation 
and professional development 
with an additional emphasis on 
math achievement. A major current 
program is Aligning Curriculum to 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Standards in Pennsylvania (ACTS 
in PA): A K-16 Teacher Quality 
Enhancement Initiative. 55 

Significantly, regional P-16 Councils 
have evolved in Pennsylvania and the 
overall progress of P-16 in the state is 
largely reflected in the work of those 
councils. They are: 

• Philadelphia/West Chester 
P-16 Consortium 

• Clarion Regional K-16 Council 

• Western PA K-16 Council 

• North Central Pennsylvania Regional 
K-16 Council 

• Central Pennsylvania Regional 
K-16 Council 

Education created the Kentucky P- 
16 Council in the spring of 1999. 
Ostensibly created to foster greater 
communication between the two sectors, 
the council actively pursues the twin 
goals of having more Kentuckians 
graduate from high school and complete 
postsecondary education. 

Major initiatives have centered in 
several key strategic areas. These are: 

• Aligning the curriculum and 
requirements between high schools 
and colleges. 

• Increasing teacher quality through 
improved preparation and professional 

• Increasing the number and diversity of 
students attending college. 57 

• Millersville/Lancaster Regional 
K-16 Council 

• Northeast Pennsylvania K-16 Council 





Information on this initiative 
can be found at: http://www. 

From Statewide P-16 
Frequently Asked Questions 
at the Kentucky Council on 
Postsecondary Education 
web site: 
committees/p 1 6/p 1 6_faq.htm 


The P-16 Council was formed to help 
Kentucky achieve its ambitious goals 
for education reform by improving 
cooperation and communication 
among elementary, secondary, 
and postsecondary teachers and 
administrators. Kentucky trails 
national averages for percentages 
of its population that go to college, 
persist, and graduate. The P-16 Council 
champions initiatives that motivate 
Kentuckians to complete high school 
and postsecondary education. 56 

The Kentucky Board of Education and 
the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

In the years since its formation, the 
council has put together an impressive 
list of initiatives and programs targeted 
at these goals and strategies. As the 
council relates its achievements, it notes 
that it has accomplished the following: 

• Sponsored Kentucky ’s participation in 
The American Diploma Project to help 
align high school graduation standards 
with specified postsecondary and 
employment needs. 

• Sponsored statewide teams of P-12 
teachers and postsecondary faculty 
in mathematics and literacy who 
recommended consistent expectations 
for student learning to reduce the 
need for postsecondary remediation. 

• Endorsed large-scale projects to 
improve mathematics and science 
teaching in the middle schools. 

• Promoted diagnostic testing in 
mathematics to help high school 
students identify academic deficiencies 
that they should correct before 
entering college. 

• Promoted funding proposals for 
innovative approaches to teacher 
education and endorsed statewide 
symposia of chief academic officers 
and deans of arts and sciences and 
education to improve the preparation 
and teaching effectiveness of 

P-12 teachers. 

• Endorsed a large-scale statewide 
survey of high school age youth 
about their attitudes toward 
postsecondary education. 

• Endorsed a statewide public 
communication campaign to 
promote postsecondary education 
for all Kentuckians. 

• Coordinated involvement of the 
Kentucky Virtual University in projects 
to extend the access of education to 
students of all ages and to expand 
professional development opportunities 
for teachers. 

• Sponsored a $20+ million statewide 
GEAR UP grant to prepare 

• Oversaw the formation of local P-16 
councils across the Commonwealth. 58 

These achievements are discussed in 
greater length in a document Kentucky 
P-16 Collaboration: A Review After 
Six Years 59 which represents one 
of the better available documents 
illustrating state P-16 efforts over 
time. More recently, the council 
is dealing with issues such as dual 
credit and, in April of 2006, the 
Kentucky Department of Education 
recommended that an Interagency Task 
Force on Dual Credit be established 
to include representation from the 
Department of Education, the Council 
on Postsecondary Education, the 
Education Professional Standards 
Board, local districts, and public and 
independent institutions. 

Significantly, the board stressed that 
this task force take the broader view 
of dual credit as incorporating multiple 
credit-based transition programs. A 
recent draft vision statement notes 
that “every student shall have 
equitable access to a broad base of 
educational opportunity, including 
dual credit that prepares him or her for 
success in postsecondary education 
and work.” 60 Rather comprehensive 
agendas for Kentucky’s P-16 Council 

58 Ibid 

59 Kentucky Council on 
Postsecondary Education. 
(2005). Kentucky P-16 
Collaboration: A Review After 
Six Years. At: 

economically disadvantaged middle 
school students for college. 

can be found on the web and make for 
interesting reading. 61 

“The draft of this Vision for Dual 
Credit in Kentucky was shared at 
the September 20, 2006 meeting 
of the state P-16 Council 

61 These can be seen at: http://cpe. 1 6/ 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Three: 

P-16: The New Wave 

Virginia, Hawaii, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, 
Delaware, Kansas, Nevada, Rhode Island, Maine, and Ohio 

What we are seeing in 2007 is what 
might be termed the “new wave” of 
state P-16 efforts. In this wave are states 
such as Virginia, Arizona, Maine, Rhode 
Island and others. Many of these newer 
efforts have been prompted by NGA’s 
Honor State grants and have little track 
record at present. 


Acting in an advisory capacity, it 
is anticipated that over time, the 
P-16 Education Council will make 
recommendations on ways to create a 

policies, governance, and institutional 
turf issues, to name just a few. 62 

Created by former Governor Mark 
Warner’s Executive Order 100 
in October of 2005, a primary 
responsibility of Virginia’s P-16 Council 
is to advise on initiatives emerging from 
Virginia’s NGA Honors State grant 
which focuses on the development 
of effective models to redesign high 
schools and improve the transition of 
ninth graders from middle school. 

Warner himself was the serving as 
Chairman of the National Governors 

“From: Virginia’s P-16 Council 
1 6Council/Purpose-Role.cfm 

system. This may involve examining 
and considering complex issues, 
including transitions between all levels 
of education, college readiness, testing, 
teacher education, college admissions 

Association and had emerged as a 
major advocate for state P-1 6s. In fact, 
earlier that year in June Warner and 
Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota 
had convened a small group of national 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

leaders in Washington to discuss what 
ideas or solutions should be proposed in 
federal education policy to reinforce and 
support state P-16 efforts. Much of this 
was an immediate offshoot of NGA’s 
attention under Warner of the “need for 
states to enact real, tangible system-wide 
reform of high school in order to allow 
every student to graduate better prepared 
either for college or a successful career.” 
Additionally, as he told a large group of 
national and state leaders earlier in 2004: 

The time has come for legislators, 
policymakers and education 
leaders to begin thinking of early 
learning, elementary, secondary and 
postsecondary education one system, 
and not several disparate systems. 

By increasing educational opportunities 
for all, aligning curricular 
requirements and expectations across 
all levels of education, implementing 
seamless data systems, and making 
the system easier to understand for 
parents, students and teachers, a fluid 
P-16 system will increase student 
achievement and close historic gaps 
between groups of students 63 

63 Warner, M. (2004, December 
3). Remarks at Second 
Annual National High 
School Leadership Summit. 
Washington D.C.: U.S. 
Department of Education. 

As a recipient of an Honors State grant 
from the organization chaired by their 
governor, Virginia’s stake in P-16 
appeared to be high. Additional specific 
responsibilities of the Virginia P-16 
Council were charted as including: 

“From Virginia’s P-16 Council: 
Purpose, Rules and Goals at: Virginia. 
gov/Initiatives/P- 1 6Council/ 

1. Identification of opportunities to 
better coordinate the state ’s education 
reform efforts from preschool to 
graduate school. 


From: What is P-20. The 
Hawaii P-20 Initiative at: http:// 
asp?itemid= 1 000504&itemty pe 

2. Serving as a steering committee for 
oversight of the state’s education 
reform activities as part of the NGA 
Honor States Grant. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

3. Developing approaches to improve 
transitions among levels of education, 
promote student success, and encourage 
students to continue their education. 

4. Considering strategies for data systems 
that provide information about students 
at all educational levels. 

5. Making any other recommendations 
as may seem appropriate. 64 

All of this aside, Warner is now out 
of office in Virginia. P- 1 6s created 
by executive order have no guarantee 
beyond the tenure of any governor. 

The future success of the state’s P-16 
Council beyond the Honor States grant 
will be dependent here, as many places, 
on the quality of interagency leadership 
and collaboration present in the state. 

The council is currently chaired by Dr. 
Thomas R. Morris, the state’s Secretary 
of Education, and representation is 
maintained on the council by members 
of the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Minutes of the council show the group 
rapidly gaining in awareness of the 
complex issues surrounding P-16 
education in the 21st Century. 


All Hawaii residents will be educated, 
caring, self-sufficient, and able to 
contribute to their families, to the 
economy, and to the common good, and 
will be encouraged to continue learning 
throughout their lives. 65 

In Hawaii, it’s known as P-20. It was 
in 2001 that a task force of elected 
officials and representatives from 
the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii 
Department of Education and the Hawaii 

Association of Independent Schools, met 
to consider how institutions in the state 
might transcend traditional boundaries to 
address in the broadest possible context 
the issue of education and what it could 
mean for the people of Hawaii. By 2003, 
the work of the task force had led to the 
creation of a white paper, United for 
Learning: The Hawaii P-20 Initiative, 
and to the formation of a P-20 Council. 

The council was not created legislatively 
and membership remains voluntary, 
though crossing multiple sectors. 
Focusing heavily on transition points in 
P-20, the council has worked on helping 
to foster data collection across the entire 
system and policy development. 

Some early grant dollars, such as 
a $500,000 grant from the Kellogg 
Foundation in 2003, have helped further 
the council planning. In 2004-2005, the 
council also issued a series of grants to 
what it considered exemplary grass roots 
program efforts across the state along 
the P-20 continuum. 

66 United for Learning: The 
Hawaii P-20 Initiative Strategic 
Plan 2006 - 2010 may be 
downloaded from: the web site 
of the Hawai’i P-20 Initiative at: 

One of the most impressive council 
accomplishments to date has been 
the formulation of an extensive and 
comprehensive P-20 strategic plan for 
the 2006-2010 period. This plan outlines 
six major goals for the state. 

• Establish a P-20 data collection and 
assessment system. 



Arkansas P-16 Partnership 
Summary available at: http:// 

• Utilize the statewide leadership 
network to analyze data. 

• Utilize the statewide leadership 
network to implement policies. 

Smart Core is featured on an 
extensive web site: Next+Step 
for Arkansas’ Future at: 

• Utilize the statewide leadership 
network to communicate key 
P-20 messages. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Utilize the statewide leadership network 
to identify and recruit resources. 

•As a result of all of the above, enable and 
nurture exemplary P-20 communities. 66 


Arkansas has created an interagency 
P-16 partnership which involves the 
Arkansas Department of Education, 
the University of Central Arkansas 
and the state Department of Workforce 
Development. The primary goals of the 
partnership are: 

...improved student achievement, 
and improved quality of teaching. 
.Student, and teacher, refer to all 
students and teachers without regard 
to level of education or age. The 
P-16 Partnership will recommend, 
to the senior staff of the three state 
education agencies, a comprehensive 
five-year P-16 Plan for education in 
Arkansas. P-16 Partnership activities 
are funded by a federal grant under 
the Teacher Quality Enhancement 
Program administered by the Arkansas 
Departmen t of Higher Education. 67 

More recently in May of 2006, under 
an NGA Honor States Grant, the state 
awarded a $200,000 contract to a 
state-based communications firm with 
experience building coalitions and 
public will to promote the new Smart 
Core curriculum 68 (a college-ready 
curriculum required for high school 
graduation). In another P-16 related 
activity, the Arkansas legislature 
passed a bill that requires all high 
schools to offer at least four Advanced 
Placement (AP) classes, one in each 
of the core areas of math, science, 
English and social studies, by the 
2008-2009 school year. 


The P-20 Council shall explore ways 
Arizona can achieve a more effective, 
efficient and equitable education 
pipeline through some or all of the 
following strategies: 

• Aligning high school, college, and work 
expectations to meet industry-specific 
skill sets in high-growth, high-skill 
occupations that will bring economic 
prosperity and diversity to Arizona. 

• Helping students at all levels meet 
higher standards and prepare for 
formal education and workforce 
training beyond high school. 

• Giving all students the excellent 
teachers and leaders that they need, 
particularly in the areas of math, 
science and literacy. 

• Strengthening high school and 
postsecondary accountability 
systems to better prepare students for 
college and increase enrollment and 
completion rates. 

• Improving middle school and 
elementary school standards to ensure 
high school preparedness for math 
and science. 

“Napolitano, J. (2005). Executive 
Order 2005-19. Executive 
Order Establishing Governor’s 
P-20 Council of Arizona. 

• Ensuring clear pathways for all 
students to obtain college degrees, 
regardless of point of entry. 

™Napolitano, J. (2006). State of 
the State Address Delivered to 
the 47th Arizona Legislature, 
Second Session, January 9th. 

• Assessing the need to expand four- 
year degree programs at post- 
secondary institutions. 69 

71 (2006). From Education to 
Work: Is Arizona Prepared ?, 
The Alignment Project Report. 
Public Works, available at: 

When Janet Napolitano became 
governor of the state of Arizona in 200 1 , 
education became her top priority. By 
her 2006 State of the State Address 

amidst calls for increased border 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

security and tax relief, it was still clear 
that education ranked as a top priority 
for this governor who at the same time 
was calling for pay increases and more 
professional development for teachers, 
along with increased funding for the 
state’s colleges and universities. 70 

Governor Napolitano co-chairs the P-20 
Council along with Dr. Rufus Glasper 
Chancellor, Maricopa Community 
Colleges. For a young effort, the council 
which brings together K-12 and higher 
education representation, along with 
parent, business, and social service 
representation, has maintained an active 
agenda of meetings centered on several ad 
hoc committees. These are an Alignment 
Project Committee, Adolescent Literacy 
Committee, Data and Graduation Rate 
Project Committee, Higher Education 
Committee, and Steering Committee. 

Two major reports have been presented 
to the council to date and discussions 
and recommendations surrounding 
these reports will most probably 
govern activities of the council 
in the near term. The first report, 

From Education to Work: Is Arizona 
Prepared? was presented in February 
2006. The report concluded that 
Arizona’s secondary system (were) 
not well aligned with the requirements 
for post-secondary study and the 
workplace. While this finding was not 
substantially different from what other 
states have found, it was significant to 
note that the report also stressed, 

...(W)e believe it is important that 
members of the P-20 council act with 
a sense of urgency as the alignment 
issues will only become greater as the 
education and skill levels become even 
more demanding in future years. 71 

The second major report was, Improving 
Adolescent Literacy in Arizona: A 
Report to the Governor ’s P20 Council. 
Among the recommendations in this 
report was a request that the state: 

...(L)aunch a statewide adolescent 
literacy initiative, building on the 
already established emphasis on K-3 
literacy, to promote effective reading 
and writing instruction throughout the 
K—12 continuum. 72 


On Tuesday May 17, 2005 the first 
meeting of the California P-16 Council 
took place in Sacramento. The council 
is an agency initiated entity established 
by the California Department of 
Education but consisting of a broad- 
based cross sector membership 
including legislators, high level business 
representatives as well as local educators 
and teachers. At that meeting, State 
Superintendent Jack O’Connell told 
those present that: 

72 Schneider, E. & Heller, R. 
(2005). Improving Adolescent 
Literacy in Arizona: A 
Report to the Governor 's P20 
Council. Alliance for Excellent 
Education, p. 16. Available 

at: http://www.governor.state. 

73 California P-16 Council. 

(2005, May 17). Summary 
Meeting Notes. 

The Council’s goals are to develop 
strategies and make recommendations 
on ways to: 

1. Improve student achievement at all levels 
and eliminate the achievement gap. 

2. Link all education levels, preschool, 
elementary, middle, high school, 
and higher education, to create a 
comprehensive, seamless system of 
student learning. 

74 Known as the Academic 
Improvement and Achievement 
Act, AB 1292 and SB 1582. 

3. Ensure that all students have access 
to caring and qualified teachers. 

75 California P-16 Council. 
(2005, September 27). 
Summary Meeting Notes 

4. Increase public awareness of the link 
between an educated citizenry and 
a healthy economy. 73 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

The California Council is chaired by Dr. 
Barry Munitz, a trustee professor of the 
California State University, Los Angeles. 
Another role of the council is to foster 
the creation of local P-16 councils. 
Interestingly, California has required 
under law since 1998 that regional K-16 
partnerships be created for schools with 
low college going rates. 74 

A feature of the council is an active 
sub-committee structure with those 
committees focusing on what are called 
“essential questions.” The purpose of 
each subcommittee is to investigate 
issues and questions presented to 
them by the state superintendent. The 
California Department of Education 
provides a staff member to each of 
the subcommittees to assist them with 
procedural issues. At the September 
2006 meeting of the council for 
example, these essential questions for 
subcommittees took the following form: 

Essen tial Question for Subcommittee 1 
How can California attract a high 
quality and diverse workforce to the 
education profession to fill the demand 
created by retiring staff and growing 
school districts? 

Essential Question for Subcommittee 2 
How can we work to ensure that 
California ’s pre-service programs develop 
fully prepared teachers and administrators 
and other instructional staff? 

Essential Question for Subcommittee 3 
How should we support new teachers, 
administrators, and instructional 
classified employees? 

Essen tial Question for Subcommittee 
4 How should continuing educators 
be supported through professional 
development? 75 

The progress of the California P-16 
Council is difficult to gauge at this time. 
Though impressive in its membership and 
charged to examine all aspects of the 
education continuum, it exists in a state 
where control over P-16 education is shared 
by multiple parties and interests, not the 
least of which is the governor’s office 
and the mandated California Academic 
Partnership Program (CAPP) created by the 
law mentioned earlier. 

CAPP has created over time a series of local 
and regional partnerships that mimic many 
of the aspects of local and regional P-1 6s. 

Last year, CAPP called for expanded 
regional collaboration and the formation 
of additional K-18 partnerships. 76 In 
doing so, CAPP noted the possibility that 
such regional partnerships could become 
the basis for the local P-16 councils 
called for by Superintendent O’Connell. 

education governing boards to revise 
their curricula, student assessments and 
courses to ensure that all students attain 
proficiency or higher on state standards. 77 

The final report of the council was issued 
in October 2006 and contains far reaching 
recommendations for the state, including 
substantial revisions of Colorado’s model 
content standards, possible end of course 
tests, continued administration of the ACT 
test, and alignment of college admissions 
standards with a new minimum set of high 
school graduation standards. 78 

While no recommendation was made for 
a standing state P-16 Council, Governor 
Owens, citing the existence of the 
alignment council and potential council 
conflict with existing duties in state 
education departments, earlier vetoed 
legislation to establish a P-16 Council 
(S.B. 46) noting: 


76 This policy report. Developing 
an Alliance for Regional 
Collaboration can be downloaded 
from the California State 
University CAPP website at: 

Colorado is a state sitting on the verge 
of P-16. In 2005 Governor Bill Owens 
created by executive order, the Colorado 
Education Alignment Council. What was 
established was an ambitious agenda 
for the 30 member group. The executive 
order explains why: 




Owens, B., Governor. (2005) 

B 009 05 Executive Order, 
Colorado Education Alignment 
Council. Denver: Office of 
the Governor 

Final copies of the Education 
Alignment Council Report, 
Aligning Colorado’s 
Education System , may be 
downloaded from: http://www. 

See letter from Governor Owens 
to the Colorado Senate, May 26, 
2006, at http://www.colorado. 
gov/ go vernor/pre s s / may06/ 

To align and create a system of seamless 
K-16 standards will require secondary 
and post-secondary leaders, as well as 
the business community, to define clearly 
the knowledge and skills necessary to be 
successful at each level of education and 
eventually in the workforce. Once these 
standards are defined, both the Colorado 
Commission on Higher Education 
and the State Board of Education 
may need to revamp their existing 
standards to reflect alignment. Finally, 
the new standards may require local 
boards ofK-12 education and higher 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

,..(I)n the absence of clearly defined 
goals, benchmarks for measuring 
progress, reliable sources of funding and 
preceding the release of research and 
recommendations from the Education 
Alignment Council, S.B. 046 is an ill- 
timed and duplicative proposal. 79 

Hence, Colorado still remains sitting on 
the verge of P-16. 


Delaware’s P-20 Council was first 
formed by executive order in 2003. The 
governor, Ruth Ann Minor, designated 
the following goals for the council: 

a. Explore the potential of expansion of 
early learning for children ages 3 to 5; 

b. Explore ways to improve the service 
and quality of service for children 
from birth through preschool; 

c. Examine and make recommendations 
for successfully transitioning students 
from one level to another throughout 
their education, including improved 
readiness for college success; 

d. Recommend strategies for closing 
the achievement gaps that currently 
exist between majority and minority 
students as well as low- and high- 
income students; and 

e. Recommend upgrading educator 
preparation and professional 
development which is highly 
correlated to student success. 80 

In 2005, however, the council was 
formalized by legislation placing 
Delaware in a fairly unique position 
of being one of the few states to date 
to follow up an executive order with a 
legislated P-16. The legislated council 
has been charged to: 

education in Delaware, along with the 
presidents of the institutions of higher 
education offering degree programs 
in education (or their designees). 
Additional members shall include the 
Chair of the Delaware Early Care 
and Education Council, the Chairs 
of the House and Senate Education 
Committees, a representative of the 
Governor ’5 Office, the Chair of the 
Business Roundtable Education 
Committee, and the Executive Director 
of the Delaware State Chamber of 
Commerce, or their designees. 82 

As such, the direct chairing of the 
council by the governor, as reflected in 
the original executive order, has been 
eliminated. State Board of Education 
goals for 2006-2007 reflect continued 
commitment to the P-20 process. 

Only time will tell how well Delaware 
can utilize such a group to create a 
“integrated, seamless system.” 

...coordinate educational efforts of 
publicly-funded programs from early 
care through higher education and 
to foster partnerships among groups 
concerned with public education. The P- 
20 Council shall make recommendations 

80 See Executive Order Number 
Forty-Seven Establishing 
The Delaware P-20 Council 
at the state of Delaware 
web site at: http://www. 
state . de . us/governor/ orders/ 
webexecorder47. shtml 

81 See Delaware Code, Title 
14 sect. 107 at: http://www. 
delcode. us/title 14/ 
cOO 1/scO 1/index, shtml 

designed to ensure a more integrated, 
seamless education system that enables 
children to enter school ready to 
learn, receive challenging instruction 
throughout their school careers, graduate 
from high school ready for college or 
work, and continue their education in 
a way that makes them productive and 
successfid citizens. 81 

The new council is co-chaired by the 
Secretary of Education and the President 
of the State Board of Education. It 
includes representation from: 

82 Ibid 

...(T)he presidents (or their designees ) 
of the public institutions of higher 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 


In 2004 an executive order created what 
was known as the Governor’s Education 
team to investigate the development 
of a P-16 system. The purpose of the 
task force was not only to examine the 
current system of education in Kansas, 
but also to recommend policies. 


K-16 initiatives and thinking have 
been going on in Nevada since 2002, 
culminating into a state master plan for 
education. Participation in the American 
Diploma Project (ADP) that year was 
the stimulus for the creation of the 
statewide P-16 Council comprised of 
representatives from higher education, 
K-12, preschool, parents, business and 
community leaders. Nevada was one of 
five states enlisted as a research partner 

for that project. The P-16 Council today 
remains an agency initiated effort with 
representatives from higher education, 
K-12, government, business, and parents. 

Though Nevada Legislature has 
maintained an interest in the P-16 
approach, little has happened legislatively. 
In 2005 (SB 69) the Senate did pass a bill 
creating a state P-16 Council. However, 
the Assembly took no further action on the 
measure and no components of the council 
are legislated 

To date, drawing on its heritage from 
ADP, work of this council appears 
to have focused on articulation and 
assessments. Recent developments in this 
area, plus an expanded P-16 Council in 
2006 offer hope for continuing efforts. 83 

Rhode Island 

We envision a Rhode Island where all 
Rhode Islanders will have a standards- 
based high school diploma, will know the 
advantages of a college degree, will have 
considered attending college, and will 
be confident (based on standards-based 
assessments ) of their academic readiness 
to attend college if they choose to do so. 
By 2008, URI, RIC and CCRI will have 
identified standards for all courses and 
programs, so students will be assured 
of a public standards-based education 
throughout their school and college years. 



A recent article in the Las 
Vegas Sun, June 25, 2006. 

A meeting of the minds on 
preparation for college 
by Emily Richmond and 
Christina Littlefield gives 
some general information on 
current Nevada approaches. 

PK-16 Vision Statement 
from: Action Plan Rhode 
Island American Diploma 
Project Network. 

Before deciding whether to attend 
college, all students will be informed 
of the available financial support. They 
will know that an initial college degree 
can lead to other degrees that will 
bring expanded job opportunities and 
economic security. Through a public 
awareness campaign, Rhode Islanders 
will also know the statewide educational 
goal: to increase the number of citizens 
who hold a college degree. 84 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

For all its small size, Rhode Island 
faces a dilemma of epic proportions. 
Once 20% of the gross state product, 
a decreasing manufacturing economy 
accounts for only 12% today. Large 
numbers of non-English speaking 
immigrants are now in the schools. Here, 
as with many states, higher education 
funding has decreased. 

The prospects for future growth in high 
tech industries in Rhode Island remains 
good, but where will the educated 
workforce come from? Governor Don 
Carcieri, a onetime high school math 
teacher, has a unique perspective on the 
problems of education. He established 
the state’s PK-16 Council by executive 
order in 2005. Now fueled by an NGA 
Honor States grant and drawing upon 
the findings of a Blue Ribbon Panel on 
Math and Science Education, Rhode 
Island’s PK-16 Council has lined up an 
impressive amount of work for a new 
effort. The question remains here, as in 
many states, can they make a difference? 

An NGA Honor States Grant established 
an immediate agenda for the PK-16 
Council. Year one focused on defining 
standards for college readiness in math, 
reading and writing. The second year 
focuses on aligning these “college 
ready” standards to “work ready” 
expectations. Rhode Island has also 
participated in the American Diploma 
Project Network and worked with Jobs 
for the Future (JFF) to review dual 
enrollment activities in Rhode Island, 
identify barriers and supports for such 
programs, and outline actions for 
improving and expanding these options 
for students. 

By June 2006 one major component of 
this plan was in place. In its report to 
the Rhode Island PK-16 Council, JFF 
summed up for Rhode Island what is a 

recurring dilemma for many states trying 
to implement P-16 strategies: 

In a state with a challenging revenue 
outlook in the short term, limited 
resources must be used very strategically 
if dual enrollment is to be used to 
introduce high school students to 
college and ease their transition into 
and through some college. As this 
report suggests, we recommend that 
dual enrollment be conceptualized as 
a component of Rhode Island’s PK- 
16 strategy, an investment to improve 
the postsecondary degree attainment 
prospects of low income and first 
generation students. Commensurate 
with this goal is the need for the state 
to increase access to dual enrollment 
for low-income students, make dual 
enrollment consistent with other state 
efforts to align high school and college 
expectations, and ensure the integrity 
and quality of college courses. 85 

JFF realizes that the state’s financial 
situation only allows for an incremental 
approach on this time. Yet here the 
importance of dual enrollment as an 
access strategy is underscored. Rhode 
Island schools have made marked 
progress under NCLB. Now the issue 
here, as many places elsewhere, remains 
how to insure that first generation 
and low income students receive the 
opportunity to go on to higher education. 

Meanwhile, the Blue Ribbon Panel has 
suggested twelve specific strategies. 
Flere, developments at the federal level 
may help accelerate the process: 

2. Develop and execute a STEM 
education communications strategy 
and campaign to broaden public 
support for and recognition of the 
importance of STEM subjects to our 
state’s future economic vitality. 

3. Develop statewide protocols to create 
community partnerships among 
business, non-profit organizations, 
community groups, schools and 
colleges and universities in support 
of math and science education, 
including after-school programs. 

4. Develop and fund a system of financial 
incentives including scholarships, 
education loan forgiveness programs, 
hiring bonuses, and pay scale 
differen tials for pre- and in-service 
STEM educators. 

5. Facilitate and increase selective 
use of non-certified professionals 
(e.g., university professors, 
retired engineers, etc.) to partner 
with classroom teachers in 
STEM subjects. 

6. Increase the number of STEM 
teachers by improving the alternative 
certification process. 

7. Develop and implement a more 
rigorous teacher prep program that 
emphasizes a strong conceptual 
understanding and application 

of knowledge and skills for all 
mathematics and science teachers 
(K-I2) but in particular for our 
elementary school teachers. 

85 Jobs for the Future. (2006). 
Dual Enrollment in Rhode 
Island: Opportunities for State 
Policy, Report to the Statewide 
PK-16 Council. Boston, Mass.: 
Jobs for the Future. 

1. Charge the PK-16 Council with 
driving science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics 
( STEM ) education reform to ensure 
implementation, sustainability, and 
success of the initiative. 

8. Develop a network of industry 
leaders and STEM professionals 
who will serve as mentors for 
mathematics and science teachers 
and work with local employers to 
increase school! industry partnerships. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

9. Require an annual prescribed amount 
of professional development for all 
math and science teachers, including 
our elementary school teachers. 

10. Develop and implement statewide 
mathematics and science curricula 
that align with Grade Span and 
Grade Level Expectations, and that 
integrate engineering and technology 
standards and a “hands-on/minds- 
on” instructional approach in 
accordance with identified, commonly 
accepted best practices. 

11. Establish statewide standards and 
a system that includes sufficient 
staffing to maintain up-to-date 
science and technology equipment 
in K-12 schools and institutions of 
higher education. 

86 From: Governor Carcieri's 
Blue Ribbon Panel 
Recommends Strategies to 
Revamp Math & Science 
Education. Press Release, 
September 9, 2005. State of 
Rhode Island, Office of the 
Governor at: http://www. 

87 From Maine receives National 
Governors Association grant 
award, news release dated July 
14, 2005 on the web site of the 
governor, http://www.mame. 

88 Baldacci, J. Governor, An 
Order Establishing the Task 
Force to Create Seamless 
Pre-Kindergarten through 
Sixteenth Grade Educational 
Systems, an executive order, 
dated March 26, 2004. Bangor: 
state of Maine. 

12. Develop a series of best practices 
guidelines that includes teacher- 
training on the use of technology 
to increase both in-school and 
after-school access to innovative 
computer-based programs and 
opportunities for course sharing 
between schools. 86 


On July 14, 2005, the state of Maine 
found itself a recipient of an Honor 
States Grant Program award through 
the National Governors Association. 

The grant according to Governor John 
Baldacci’s office will be used to prompt: 

...the creation of a seamless PK-16 
public education system in which 
the State will evaluate whether the 
standards and assessments linked to 
the high school diploma reflect college 
and work-readiness expectations; 
redesign low-performing high schools 
particularly through literacy supports 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

and early college programs; set 
accountability targets for student 
success in the Community College and 
University of Maine systems; support the 
streamlining of PK-16 governance; 
and develop a statewide media and 
public information campaign. 81 

In 2004, Maine had entered the arena of 
P-16 like many states, by way of executive 
order, creating a taskforce to create (a) 
“Seamless Pre-Kindergarten through 
Grade Sixteen Educational System.” 

When Baldacci issued his executive 
order, the charge of the taskforce was 
clear. It would recommend to the 
Governor a strategy that develops 
seamless Pre-Kindergarten through 
Sixteenth grade educational systems in 
the State of Maine. To that end, the Task 
Force would: 

a. Examine options for planning, 
efficiencies and spending reform across 
Pre-Kindergarten through Sixteenth 
grade educational systems in Maine; 

b. Examine all components of Pre- 
Kindergarten through Sixteenth grade 
educational systems in Maine to 
remove barriers to student movement 
between the sectors, including 
strategies for sharing academic 
performance data across sectors; 

c. Examine pre-kindergarten to public 
school transition issues, educational 
aspirations of Maine students and needs 
of students who are first in their families 
to seek post-secondary education; 

d. Examine finance models for systems 
with universal access; and 

e. Identify strategies that promote 
college readiness and college success 
for all . 88 


89 Knowledge Works Foundation 
and Jobs for the Future. (2006, 
May 31). PSEO: Directions for 
Policy and Practice in Ohio. 
Report to the Partnership for 
Continued Learning. 


It’s May in Columbus as I enter the Riffe Building, named after the former 
Ohio speaker of the house, and transit up two flights of escalators to 
reach the upper deck of elevators. These are the elevators that whisk 
you from the 3rd floor up to the public meeting areas of the building. 

My destination is the 31st floor. Today, the Ohio-based KnowledgeWorks 
Foundation and the nationally-based organization known as Jobs for the 
Future will be issuing their findings on Ohio’s Post Secondary Enrollment 
Option. PSEO, as it’s known in popular parlance, was a program 
formulated back in the 1990s with a very noble, but ill-defined intent. As 
legislated, the program would allow Ohio high school students from the 
9th grade on to enroll in college coursework, literally at state expense. 
Other options would require payment by the student’s parents or guardian 
but could also carry the prospect of dual high school and college credit. 

The findings and recommendations are being presented to a working 
group of Ohio’s Partnership for Continued Learning, the state P-16 
Council. The findings are bitter sweet. The purpose and practices of 
the program vary across the state. Eligibility also varies, despite the 
legislation which has since filtered through the Ohio Administrative Code 
and the practice and preference of individual colleges and districts. Data 
on the success of the program is largely unavailable and not analyzed. 
Some courses appear not to be rigorous and the award of college credit is 
termed “slippery” . Financially, both districts and colleges complain that 
they are loosing money. 89 

Participants largely seem to be those who would normally go on to 
college. One working group member in exasperation terms the whole 
program a “major marketing failure .” A general discussion follows. In 
addition to members of the committee, various educators and institutional 
representatives are present representing a variety of interests from county 
education offices to the College Board, to institutions of higher education. 
There will be two further meetings of this working committee over the 
summer. Then final recommendations will go to the Partnership. 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

This is Ohio, a state working hard 
to shed its reputation as 39th in the 
nation in baccalaureate attainment, 
in the waning days of a governor 
who has weathered a fair share of 
criticism. Though Ohio’s Governor 
Bob Taft first chaired the legislated 
Partnership, it will go on after 
him. The ultimate success or 
failure of Ohio’s P-16 effort may 
depend, however, on how well its 
recommendations resonate with the 
agenda of the next administration, 
Democratic for the first time in 
sixteen years. 

When this book was first envisioned, it 
was only going to make brief references 
to Ohio’s P-16 efforts. However, in 
many ways, the story of P-16 in Ohio 
may well be the story of P-16 in the 
nation. Since the 2004 Presidential 
election, Ohio is the bellwether state. 
Ohio is also a manufacturing giant. Yet, 
that manufacturing is becoming very 
high tech. Ohio has great educational 
capacity. Yet, it remains a net-exporter 
of college degrees. It is a great state 
and many persons are struggling hard 
to move the state fully into the 21st 
Century. This is its P-16 story. 

The true beginnings of P- 1 6 in Ohio 
can be said to have started in 1989 
when philanthropic and business 
leaders in Stark County formed a new 
organization known as the Education 
Enhancement Partnership (TEEP). 
Prompted by a study of the Canton 
City Schools by the Research Triangle 
Institute and a community meeting with 
former Proctor and Gamble Chair and 
reform advocate Owen “Brad” Butler, 
four foundations created an endowment 
to form an organization which would 
study, and subsequently fund through 
public fundraising, best practices 

to enable Stark County’s 17 school 
districts to become the finest anywhere 
in the country. 

The Research Triangle study had 
indicated, contrary to the popular 
belief of many in business and the 
community, that Stark County’s schools 
were functioning better than ever. The 
study also indicated that the needs of 
business and society had changed so 
dramatically that only a total community 
effort could help place Stark County in 
the forefront. TEEP promptly formed 
community committees and went 
through several iterations. Successes 
were many, but failures were present 
as well. Following a series of aborted 
attempts, miscommunication, and even 
animosity between the organization 
and the schools, the board of what was 
now known as the Stark Education 
Partnership appointed Dr. Adrienne 
O’Neill as president. 

A Georgia-based consultant, 

Robert Kronley was brought in 
to help formulate a new strategic 
plan for the organization. Kronley 
found great support for the notion 
of an “education reform support 
organization” and key educators 
were recruited to work on the 
plan. O’Neill, by virtue of her own 
credibility with school administrators, 
was able to begin to “mend fences” 
and re-establish the partnership as 
a partnership. Kronley, however, 
suggested one further element in 
the strategic plan which would have 
a profound bearing on the future 
of Stark County and the state. He 
suggested that the Partnership 
concern itself with P-16 education. 

As one of the new core functions 
of the institution, the following 
was proposed: 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Re-aligning the various educational 
sectors in the county through a P-16 
initiative. The Partnership will 
help foster a seamless system of 
education in Stark County that begins 
in preschool and continues through 
postsecondary education. In doing 
so, the Partnership will encourage 
the design and implementation of 
strategies that promote persistence 
and graduation from high school 
and enrollment in appropriate 
postsecondary education institutions. 90 

Hence, in 2002, The Stark Education 
Partnership, in collaboration with 
educators from several Stark 
County school districts including 
the Educational Service Center, 
postsecondary education leadership, 
business representatives, civic leaders 
and parents established a P-16 Compact 
for Stark County. 

In fostering new collaborations, the 
Compact formed committees that 
investigated and made recommendations 
about several issues that were considered 
crucial to creating a seamless system 
of education in the county. Three such 
areas were ensuring that the curricular 
offerings in elementary and secondary 
education are connected to those in 
postsecondary education: working 
to encourage the county’s students to 
remain in school, get postsecondary 
education and a gainful and satisfactory 
job in Stark County and involving all 
parts of the community in valuing the 
purposes and importance of education. 

Additionally, the Compact sought 
to sponsor research and promote the 
development of programs, such as early 
college high school, which maintains 
high academic standards but which 
streamlines completion times and fosters 
successful transition from K-12 to 
higher education. 

What the Stark County P-16 Compact 
members and leadership in the 
community soon began to realize was 
that the future economic security of the 
county was directly linked to education 
attainment. In this regard, following 
a community meeting, the Compact 
adopted the twin goals of 100% high 
school graduation rate and increasing the 
college going rate. The Stark Education 
Partnership served as the supporting 
organization for the Compact. 

In 2002, Ohio had one operating local 
P-16. Yet, some leadership at the state 
level was beginning to recognize that 
Ohio had to strengthen its P-16 approach 
to education. At a statewide college 
trustee conference in 2003, the Ohio 
Board of Regents invited Stephen R. 
Portch to deliver a keynote address. This 
is what Portch had to say in part: 

It’s time for a new compact among the 
state, the university, and the business 
community. It’s time to invest in the link 
between certain university research 
and the new economy and in the 
undergraduate education of a higher 
proportion of the state’s population. 
These are mutually reinforcing activities. 
If there is no new compact, then no new 

90 (2002) The Strategic Plan 
for the Stark Education 
Partnership. Prepared by Robert 
Kronley and Associates, Atlanta 
Georgia. Available for download 

The purpose of the compact was 
to foster and sustain a community 
conversation on ways that Stark County 
can support and sustain all students in 
realizing their academic potential and 
achieving readiness to pursue and be 
successful in post secondary education. 

relationship can be realized. If there is 
no attention to undergraduate education 
and, one could argue, to K-12 education 
(especially in math and science), then 
no future workforce for any type of 
economy. The challenges are so great- 
especially the fiscal ones-that we can 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

no longer play around the edges. The 
times call for a reengineering, the likes 
of which has never been seen before in 
higher education. 91 

Later, Portch delivered the same 
message at the Fall annual meeting 
of the Stark County P-16 Compact, 
adding that “any state intent on building 
a knowledge economy has to address 
its key knowledge component: the 
education of its residents.” He noted 
that, “this has to be a P-16 approach 
because, truth be told, the pipeline leaks 
along its entire length.” 92 

Portch’s reference to a knowledge 
economy referred to the efforts of Ohio 
Governor Taft to pass an ambitious 
state initiative known as the “Third 
Frontier” which was specifically 
targeted at business and higher 
education partnerships to strengthen 
the state’s economy. Portch finished his 
remarks to the Compact with several 
recommendations, noting that the quest 
should be for a “curriculum for life” not 

a college prep and non-college prep. 
The issue should further be to allow 

91 Portch, S.R. (2003). Of 
Paradoxes, Pioneers and 
Possibilities: Ohio’s New 
Covenant Imperative. 
Washington, D.C.: Association 
of Governing Boards of 
Colleges and Universities. 

all Ohioans a chance for quality higher 
education and an opportunity to secure 
jobs that matched their skills. The issue, 
he noted, for the state was jobs and 
education, not one or the other. 



At the same time that Portch was 

See the Fall/Winter issue of 
Achievement , published by the 
Stark Education Partnership 
and available at www. 

Pogue, R., Chair (2004). 
Building on Knowledge, 
Investing in People: 

Higher Education and the 
Future of Ohio’s Economy. 
Columbus, Ohio: Report of 
the Governor’s Commission 
on Fligher Education and the 
Economy., p.20. 

addressing the Stark County P-16 
Compact, a new state commission, 
chaired by Richard Pogue, a distinguished 
Cleveland attorney, was holding hearings. 
This group was known as the Governor’s 
Commission on Higher Education and the 
Economy or CHEE and it would play a 
critical role in Ohio’s movement towards 
establishing a state level P- 1 6. Portch was 
also serving as primary consultant to this 
commission and this ongoing relationship 
would produce lasting benefits. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

On December 18, 2003 representatives 
from the Stark County P-16 Compact 
testified before CHEE’s Delivering 
Results Sub-Committee. Both the 
creation of a state-level P-16 and the 
support of local and regional groups 
were recommended. 

On April 29, 2004, CHEE released its 
report to the public. The findings and 
recommendations were ambitious at 
best. In part, the commission found that: 

Ohio’s P-12 schools, adult workforce 
education providers, and higher 
education institutions do not form a 
seamless P-16 system. As a result, 
there are conflicting expectations 
about required levels of knowledge 
and skill at different points along 
the education continuum, and there 
are high rates of attrition from our 
education pipeline. 93 

This was coupled with what to 
many was an ambitious goal. The 
commission cited the need to increase, 
by the year 2015, undergraduate 
and graduate enrollment in Ohio’s 
public and private postsecondary 
institutions by 180,000 over the Fall 
2003 enrollment of approximately 
600,000. This would be an increase of 
30 percent, representing twice what 
the National Center for Education 
Statistics had projected as the rate 
of national growth in postsecondary 
education enrollment over the ensuing 
next ten years. 

Significantly, the CHEE report urged: 
the Governor to issue an Executive 
Order recognizing the Joint Council 
of the Ohio Board of Regents and 
State Board of Education as the 
statewide P-16 advisory body with 
responsibility for promoting an 
integrated system of education that 

begins in early childhood and continues 
beyond college, renaming the Joint 
Council the “Ohio P-16 Education 
Council,” and reconstituting the 
Council’s membership. 94 

Additionally, the report called for a 
regional P-16 approach in Ohio. 

To ensure that state-level policies on 
P-16 integration are enacted at the local 
level, the Governor should charge the P- 
16 Education Council with encouraging 
the creation of new regional P-16 
councils or supporting existing regional 
P-16 councils such as the P-16 Compact 
for Stark County. 95 

94 Ibid, p.24. 

95 Ibid, p.25. 

It was the fourth meeting of the sub committee of Ohio ’s Partnership for Continued 
Learning on the state’s Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEO). the sub 
committee was to make recommendations to the Partnership, itself a recommendary 
body, on overhauling this system which permitted students to take college coursework 
while in high school. Honestly, PSEO was a mess. Sometimes it could be used for dual 
credit, sometimes not. Sometimes parents paid, sometimes the schools paid. 

Worst of all, the legislative intent of the program had never been clear. Though 
subsequently the option had been extended down to the ninth grade, was it meant to be 
a gifted program or an access program? Regardless of the original intent, subsequent 
regulations at the state, district, and college level had made it a de-facto gifted program 
with once a year enrollment, a required 3.0 or greater in the subject area and, as one 
large state university clearly stated, existing for those in the top 15 percent of their class. 

This was to have been the last meeting of the sub committee but after 45 minutes 
of rambling discussion as to what the new name (the committee had decided that 
the program needed to be re-named ) of the program should be, I became a spoiler. 
“Wait a minute, ” I said. “The operant concept (I was referring to an overhead from 
the governor ’s office ) is all students. I don ’t believe that we really have consensus 
on this committee that PSEO and other college credit opportunities in high school 
should be for all students.” 

The conversation that followed solidly underscored some of the greatest difficulties 
faced by state P-16 efforts today. 

“I defend our high requirements, said one university representative. “Because 
we can’t set kids up for failure.” Ironically, those requirements were higher than 
for traditional entering students. I pointed out that the key was preparing all 
student for college or post secondary students, something we had never done in 
Ohio. Others agreed. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

We discussed then how preparation in the high school was critical. High school 
reform, after all was a critical component of the National Governors Association 
grants. Although Ohio had never applied for that grant, the state Board of 
Education had empowered a commission to study high school reform. 

Though that commission had contained numerous far reaching recommendations, 
progress in implementation had been slow. 

Another major issue centered on the old, “You know not everyone is going to want 
to go to college” argument. This has been modified by the notion of the workforce 
credential. Hence, PSEO and other early credit programs should lead to either. 

This last argument, though offered in good faith, encapsulates fears, concerns, and 
what I term the new “prejudice” in education. 

While it is true that many students may 
not want to go to college immediately 
after high school, most will eventually 
pursue some form of post secondary 
education. Many will do so later in 
life. The era of the traditional straight- 
out-of-high school has indeed proven 
to be increasingly irrelevant, though 
very much entrenched, in most P-16 
discussions. As Peter J. Stokes writes: 

"... this stereotype of the “traditional” 
18-22 year-old full-time undergraduate 
student residing on campus represents 
little more than 16 percent of the 
higher education population in the 
United States - fewer than three million 

of the more than 17 million students 
enrolled today. ” 96 

As Stokes further indicates, 40 percent 
of today’s students study part-time and 
40 percent attend two-year institutions. 
Forty percent are aged 25 or older and 
58 percent are aged 22 or older. 

Ohio has about 40% of its high school 
graduates in the “going straight-on” 
category in-state. Perhaps another 15% 
go to college out of the state. Nearly half 
do not go directly on to college. These 
remaining students enter into the categories 
cited by Stokes. For these adults results in 
Ohio, as elsewhere, are often varied. 

96 Stokes, P.J. (2006). Hidden in 
Plain Sight: Adult Learners 
Forge a New Tradition in 
Higher Education. The 
Secretary’s Commission on the 
Future of Higher Education, 
Washington, D.C.: U.S. 
Department of Education. 

The governor and leaders from across the state of Ohio were gathered in the 
North Corridor of the Statehouse. They were positioned for the “classic” photo 
opportunity. This was about kids and about Ohio’s future. It was also, quite frankly, 
about politics. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Governor Bob Taft, now with less than two months left in office, was pushing for 
the OhioCore along with the chairs of the house and senate education committees. 
Things were in transition and happening very rapidly, it was, but was not, a lame 
duck legislature. Faces had changed but the Republicans still held control. 

The same could not be said to be true for the state’s executive offices where not only 
had the Democrats won the governorship for the first time in 16 years, but every 
other major state office except auditor. 

The night before, substitute bills on the OhioCore had been introduced into both the 
Ohio blouse and Senate. The bottom line was that the current leadership wanted the 
OhioCore passed in the time remaining. With each day opposition was mounting. 
The media was already calling the OhioCore Taft's program. 

On December 15, 2006, with 
scarcely three weeks to go in the Taft 
administration, the lead article in the 
Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper 
contained the following: 

It was supposed to be Gov. Bob Taft ’s 
legacy, a gold watch he could take 
with him when he leaves office next 
month. But to some, Taft’s Ohio Core 
curriculum plan is looking more 
like a Rolex knockoff. Few disagree 
with Taft’s goal of producing high 
school graduates better prepared for 
college and workplace. But the bill 
- which Republicans are fast-tracking 
through a lame-duck legislative 
session - contains provisions that have 
educators deeply concerned , 97 

man in front of boarded up windows 
with the notation, “Season’s Greetings 
from Cleveland . . . America’s Poorest 
City!” Clearly, neither the Plain Dealer, 
nor Ohio politicians and special interest 
groups were getting the message. 

Earlier in the month, the Ohio Senate 
had successfully passed its version 
of the OhioCore, but House passage 
seemed increasingly doubtful. Ohio 
House Leader John Husted then took 
the unusual action of replacing three 
members of the Education Committee to 
get the bill onto the floor. 

Finally, on December 19, 2006 during 
the last full legislative session of the 
year, the house passed the OhioCore 54 
to 40. The action had required a major 

97 Stephens, S. (2006, December 
15). College Prep Plan Stirs 
Concern: Tougher High School 
Classes Will Create Two-Tier 
University System, Critics Say. 
The Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

The identification of the OhioCore as 
Taft’s program continued. Ironically, 
the Plain Dealer also published on the 
front page a picture of a pilot Christmas 
card from American Greetings. Meant 
to be a joke, the card pictured a black 
and white Depression era photo of a 

concession in delaying implementation 
of the new requirements by two years. 
While this may have partially mollified 
those who felt the core was another 
unfunded mandate, passage had been a 
near thing. The final result was that Ohio 
had slowly moved. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Four: 

Regional and Local P-1 6s: 

A Continuum of Approaches 

In the 1990s the now defunct 
National Association for Partnerships 
in Education (NAPE) estimated that 
there were roughly 144,000 school 
business partnerships in the country. 
The number sounded good and was 
based on some substantial polling. 
However, no one really knew just 
exactly how many partnerships there 
were and such partnerships were 
constantly being created, or terminated, 
depending on circumstances. 

Local and regional P-1 6s seem to 
be in much the same situation if one 
accepts the typography framed below. 
The typography is purposefully meant 
to be inclusive of all types of local 
and regional P-16 activity. Here, it 
could be argued, formal councils and 
structures need not always exist to 
substantiate a P-16 “effort.” The left 
side of the typography represents 
any effort in which K-12 and higher 
education collaborate to improve student 

A Ty pography of Local and Regional P-16 Efforts 


College District 
Single Program 

LocafRegiorol P-16 

Local Regional P- 16 

Local/Regional P-16 

Multiple Districts 

Multiple Districts 

Multiple Districts 

Multiple CoHegesltitstrskies 


Single Collcge/Universit) 

Multipie CcfleeesUnh etsities 

Communis) Representation 

College District 

Single Program 

Single Program 

Long-term Strategies 

Multiple Programs 

Multiple Programs 

Multiple Programs 

Multiple Programs 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

achievement, even if that activity 
remains solely based in K-12 with 
no clear pathway into college. Also, 
programs and projects here almost 
never cover the whole spectrum from 
preschool to college. 

College/District Single Program - 
Though the term district is used in 
this category, a single school can 
also be included. While a variety of 
programs and projects can fall into 
this category, there are some emergent 
examples. One such example is the 
partnership formed under the current 
federal Gaining Early Awareness and 
Readiness for College (GEAR UP) 
program. Local GEAR UP programs 
(not state grants) team single districts 
and single colleges to work with one 
or more cohorts of students in a multi- 
year effort to both raise the awareness 
of the need for college and to prepare 
students academically for success. 

College/District Multiple Programs - 
In this type of partnership, while still 
single college and single district or 
school oriented, multiple programs 
may be currently in effect or may 
have extended over time. These may 
involve college visitations, professional 
development options for teachers, dual 
credit arrangements, and the like. The 
emphasis here, however, is still on a 
direct institution to institution approach. 

Local/Regional P-16 Multiple District I 
Single College/University 
In many regions of the country, even 
in large cities such as Akron, Ohio, 
there may be only one major college or 
university, the University of A kr on in 
this case, serving several school districts. 
Walters State Community College (see 
regional examples) in Eastern Tennessee 
is another such example. 

While there can also be a single program 
approach here, it is more probable that 
several distinct programs will emerge in 
this type of P- 1 6 arrangement. 

Local/Regional P-16 

Multiple District / Colleges/Universities 

Single /Multiple Programs 

In this specific example several colleges 
or universities are present in a given 
geographic locale and have joined into 
a P-16 arrangement with the several 
districts in the region or locale. 

Local/Regional P-16 Multiple District/ 
Single Cotiege/University Community 
Representation Long Term Strategies 
Here the presence of community 
representation begins to evolve the 
P-16 as a heightened awareness of the 
link to economic development and the 
relationship of human service supports 
to insuring education success comes 
into play. 

Long Term Strategies, Multiple 
Programs, Economic Development, 
Breakthrough Strategies 
What is a breakthrough strategy? 
Fundamentally, it is a strategy so 
compelling that it begins to alter 
public perception and opinion and 
results in a series of compelling and 
widely supported programs to achieve 
objectives aligned with the strategy. 

While events or legislation may 
sometimes precipitate breakthrough 
strategies, a powerful demonstration of 
the possibilities of what such a strategy 
can accomplish is more often in order at 
a local level. 

One of the best examples here is the 
Early College High School (ECHS). 
While some such school emerge as one 
in a myriad of projects or programs for 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

a large college or district, ECHSs can be 
so skillfully constructed and promoted 
as to make public and policy makers 
aware of the possibilities above and 
beyond the school itself. 

All of my life I have been told by my 
father that I will never amount to 
anything. I will end up dead at a young 
age, a welfare recipient, a young 
mother, and a high school drop out. The 
thought of me attending college never- 
crossed his mind. He always doubted my 
academic excellence. He discouraged 
me from pursuing my career of 
becoming a lawyer. . .through it all, I 
persevered. . .1 kept my self confidence 
and rarely missed school. I earned good 
grades. I managed to stay on the honor 
roll. I continued doing my best. I never- 
stopped believing in myself. 98 

This excerpt came from a document 
largely written by Canton City Schools 
students themselves entitled, I Want to 
Go to College. The excerpts were from 
admissions applications. Early college 
is an opportunity for low income and 
first generation college students to earn 
both a high school diploma and up to 60 
hours of college credit or an associate’s 
degree in four years. In Canton, early 
college emerged as a breakthrough 
strategy prompting additional access 
programs and focusing the community 
on the possibilities. Sadly, few 
communities have recognized this 
possibility or how to advocate for such a 
breakthrough through a P-16 approach. 
What early college does underscore is a 
powerful local demonstration to begin 
to alter belief. All P- 1 6s eventually need 

and colleges and the workforce needs 
of a region or locale. In other words, 
education and training now coincide 
with the needs of employers. 

No one is quite sure how many P-16 
efforts exist at the local or regional 
level. To date, Georgia, Kentucky, 
and Tennessee have been somewhat 
successful in establishing networks of 
local and regional efforts. Ohio and 
California are moving in that direction. 

The Education Trust is a much 
respected national organization which 
has worked extensively with state and 
local educational organizations. The 
Education Trust describes: 

...(T)he local K-16 Council (as) a 
civic vehicle comprised of local 
education, business and community 
leaders who represent the key 
stakeholders in education. These 
leaders come together committed to 
increase dramatically the success 
rates among all students, 
kindergarten to college, with a 
particular focus on low-income 
and minority students. 

Noting that the work of local councils 
is to focus on systemic levers that can 
change the way schools and colleges do 
business, the Education Trust suggests 
that council members should agree to: 

• Bring together the various reform 
efforts scattered throughout 
their K-16 systems into a more 
comprehensive whole. 

98 Rochford, J., Forbes, T., Kropp, 
P. and ECHS students (2006). 1 
Want to Go to College. Canton: 
Stark Education Partnership, 
Inc., p. 6. 

such a demonstration. 

Also at this level, the link between 
education and economic development 
has become compelling, fostering a 
natural “flow” between high schools 

• Create cross-institutional 
relationships to collect, analyze, use 
and report data to the public about 
areas that need improvement ; state 
publicly what each partner will 
commit to do. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Set clear, high standards for what 
all K-12 and college students need 
to know and do, and align high 
school exit standards with college 
admissions requirements. 

• Work to improve the preparation of 
new teachers and create effective 
supports for existing ones; at the 
same time, design more effective 
supports for students so that 
standards are met by all. 

• Revise incentive structures, K-16, 

for faculty, teachers, staff, and students 
to promote and reward increased 
student success. 

• Shift more d ec ision-makin g authority 
over to the school and/or department 
level faculty in exchange for holding 
them accountable for raising student 
achievement and closing the gap." 

Many of these are very valid 
recommendations. However, all at 
once, they exemplify what can also bog 
down or even derail a local or regional 
P-16. The last two recommendations 
underscore this risk. There can be no 
surer way for a local or regional P-16 
to grind to a halt and eliminate the 
vital cooperation of teacher unions and 
faculty associations than to focus on 
incentive structures or enter into issues 
of governance by calling for shifts 
in authority structures. 

Local or regional P-1 6s first and 
foremost must agree not to interfere 

in the existing compensatory or 
management structures of participants. 
No one willingly enters into a 
collaboration feeling threatened. 

The reason is quite simple. We do not 
have time to engage in “turf wars.” 

Book one outlined that P-16 systems, 
either at the state or local level need to 
strive to create necessary and sufficient 
conditions for success. Three such 
conditions are paramount: 

1 .Collaboration: Useful action 
among K-12, higher education, 
business, foundations and social 
service agencies targeted toward 
accomplishing different, yet 
collectively powerful, economic 
results for regions or states. 

2 . Comprehensive, Accountable System: A 
seamless system from preschool through 
college that results in a lower high 
school drop-out rate and an increased 
graduation and college-going rate. 
Everyone becomes responsible and 
accountable for success. 

3. Well Constructed and Articulated 
Framework for the System: This needs 
to be longitudinal, horizontal and 
vertical. Everyone needs to understand 
the part of the system for which 

they are responsible. Also, everyone 
needs to know how those parts work 
with other parts and what collective 
eventual outcomes need to be. “Silos” 
are not allowed. 

99 From the undated document. 
Joining the National K-16 
Movement To Close the 
Achievement Gap: The Local 
K-16 Council. Washington, 
D.C.: The Education Trust 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Five: 

Some Established and Emerging Local 
and Regional Approaches 

Hamblen County 

Off in the distance, the mist slowly rises from the ridge line of the Great Smokey 
Mountains as one enters Hamblen County, Tennessee along Route 11E North, 
known in these parts as the Andrew Johnson Highway. 

Historic places and historic names. Hamblen County and its main city of 
Morristown are touted as the boyhood home of Davy Crockett. For the older set, 
veterans of the Crockett craze of the 50s, there is the Crockett Tavern and Museum. 
A small, but not insignificant, Civil War battle took place here. This is real America. 
This is Appalachia. Yet, it is a vibrant Appalachia. New construction borders 11E 
North on the approach to Morristown. Current industries are expanding and 
tourism is big. 

Hamblen County is one of the smallest, yet wealthiest counties in the state, but 
that wealth is not universal. From a small number of Hispanics in the 90s, Latinos 
now number nearly 17.5% of the total population... Outcomes for females are 
particularly poor. Health care coverage, business ownership, and a high teen 
pregnancy rate places Hamblen near the bottom of the state’s 95 counties. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

While every school in the county met NCLB’s AYP standard last year, nearly 30 
percent of the adult population lacks even a high school diploma. 

Yet there is hope. There are enough jobs here, but those jobs come with a heavy 
caveat-the unskilled need not apply. Hamblen County draws heavily upon 
neighboring counties to fill its skilled workforce needs. The economy is also in 
transition. One employer is relocating to China. A successful business owner, he will 
take 700 unskilled jobs with him. Others are leaving or eliminating unskilled jobs... 

Hamblen underscores the twin 
dilemmas faced by most American 
communities today. Not only is the 
county engaged in global competition 
for jobs, what good jobs remain require 
an ever increasing skill base. While 
that base doesn’t necessarily imply a 
four year degree, it heavily implies post 
secondary education. 

Here, as elsewhere, public perception of 
these changing conditions is clouded by 
the additional presence of an ample supply 
of “jobs at the bottom.” These are the low 
level minimum wage opportunities which 
can never generate an adequate lifestyle 
or standard of living. To those with good 
jobs, the illusion is often powerful. “Why 
do we need to spend more on education?” 
they often ask. Coupled with this is the 
prevailing attitude that a high school 
diploma is still enough. 

Hamblen, however, has three distinct 
advantages to offset the impact of 
these conditions and perceptions. 

The first advantage is the presence 
of one of Tennessee’s 22 Technology 
Centers. The second is Walters 
State Community College, a two 
year institution with a multi-county 
outreach. The third advantage is both a 
local and regional P-16 approach. 

In other states, Hamblen’s technology 
center might be known as a technical 

college. Certainly the school shares 
many of the same attributes of such a 
college, but the state will not afford it 
that distinction. For now, it serves as 
kind of an academic “half-way house” 
recovering drop outs and enhancing the 
skills of young and old adults. 

The average age is in the mid 30s 
and according to its director, Lynn 
Elkins, the goal is to get people into 
the workforce as soon as possible. 

The average time is about 14 months. 

It’s working in Hamblen. As might be 
expected, the first step in many cases is 
to secure a GED for students. Math here, 
as elsewhere across the country, is a 
major barrier. 

Most come in with 5th grade skills. 
According to Elkins, it takes the center 
a mere 30 hours, using skilled staff and 
the Plato system, to achieve 12th grade 
competencies. As Lynn says, “What 
does that say about the way we teach 
math?” This is a no-nonsense program. 

Walters State is a dynamic community 
college rapidly evolving to serve the 
advanced educational needs of a 10 
county area. Students at its Morristown 
campus can now, due to a series of 
collaborative programs with other state 
institutions, pursue a bachelor’s degree. 
Teachers can gain an EDS (Education 
Specialist Degree). Soon, the campus 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

will offer a Ph.D. A doctorate on a two 
year campus is virtually unheard of 
anywhere in the country, but Walters is 
on the “cutting edge.” 

Interestingly, it is also a two year college 
with sports teams. Basketball dominates. 
Although, in a somewhat unpopular 
move with some locals, sports have 
brought an out-of-state enrollment to 
the college, the reality is that this is an 
eastern Tennessee community college 
with an outreach beyond the norm. 

Walters is critical to the regional P-16 
movement in eastern Tennessee through 
the Mid-East Regional P-16 Council. 
Hamblen County and a small public 
education fund known as HC*Excell is 
critical to the growing local, or county 
P-16 effort. 

Across the nation a handful of local 
and regional efforts such as Hamblen 
County in Tennessee, or Stark County in 
Ohio are creating new educational and 
economic futures for their communities. 

Dr. Lori Campbell, Tish Jones, and Lynn 
Elkins are the epitome of the type of 
leadership that creates successful local 
P-1 6s. They are intelligent, articulate, 
community-minded and natural leaders. 
They are not, by any means, the only 
key players in P-16 in these regions. 

In true P-16 fashion, everyone in the 
community deserves credit. They are, 
however, the “foot-soldiers,” a critical 
component of P-16. They are the ones 
who begin to turn the vision into reality. 

At the newly renovated Rose Center in 
Morristown, the P-16 council discusses 
strategies to convince the governor to 
visit and outline his expectations for 
education and Tennessee’s future. P-16 
was not this governor’s idea and he has 

been relatively silent on the subject. He 
has, however, indicated that education 
would be a major priority in the next year 
of his administration. Guidance is desired 
by the Hamblen County P-16 Council. 
This is “grass roots” P-16. How do such 
councils interface with state policy? 

Hamblen has worked hard on forging P-16 
collaborations for nearly two years now. 
There has been no state funding. Tish has 
raised local dollars for table tents, cable 
TV commercials, and billboards. The 
messages are simple. “P-16- yes” and 
“healthy schools- a healthy economy.” 

It is the dilemma of local P-1 6s 
ahead of the state curve. How to convince 
the public that this really does matter. 

That beyond politics and the “policy 
creep” of NCLB and state compliance 
that there is a very real relationship, 
right at home between education and the 
economy and people living on 5th Street 
or Lombardy Drive in Morristown. 

Hamblen County, however, is justifiably 
proud of its P-16 accomplishments. 

The following list illustrates some of 
the activities that have centered around 
distinct existing committees: 

Strategic Sustainment Committee 

• Convened education stakeholders 
and committees 

• Raised $31,000 in cash and kind to 
support HC P-16 Council Initiatives 

• Hired P-16 coordinator 

• Developed speakers Bureau for 
HC P -16 

Educators Committee 

• Helped to develop Hamblen County 
School System educa tors recruiting fairs 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Solicited incentives for recruiting 
high quality educators 

• Developed “Homegrown Educators ” 

Students Committee 

• Developed and conducted PTO 
Involvement Survey 

The county will soon host a medical 
school. The superintendent is justifiably 
proud. They are turning things around. 

As much as anything, P-16 is a state 
of mind. It is about possibilities. The 
regional membership listens patiently to 
the Claiborn report. This is important. It 
is about communities moving ahead. 

• Proposed PTO System wide parent/ 
teacher council and individual 
school brochures 

• Engaged students in P-16 effort 

• Created Chamber of Commerce 
education survey on industries 
needs and employee education 
levels and skills 

• Participated in development of 
Hamblen County Community 
Resource Directory 

Community /Collaboration 

• Conducted needs assessment among 
committee member organizations 

• Organized key stakeholder 
collaborative meetings 

• Held Hamblen County Commission 
school budget information sharing 

• Created Hamblen County Board of 
Education Report Card 

100 (2006). Hamblen County 
P-16 Council Report at the 
Tennessee P-16 Network 
Second Annual Meeting in 
Nashville on March 2006. 

• Conducted an education survey of 
business and industry 100 


ACT, Inc. (2005). Do 
Current State Standards and 
Assessments Reflect College 
Readiness? : A Case Study. 
Issues in College Readiness. 
Iowa City: Author. 

At Walters State, the local P-1 6s report 
out. In addition to Hamblen, Claiborn 
County has forged a local P-16. Claiborn 
is a poor county. Vestiges of a dying 
coal mining industry exist there. Yet, 
Claiborn is ramping up its K-12 system. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Dr. Campbell talks about student results. 
Today is a banner day. The regional 
council will move from strategies to 
programs. Should the focus be math? 
Some 48 percent of the students coming 
into Walters State require developmental 
or remedial math. “We also have to look 
at the shade side of the steps,” Campbell 
tells the group but conditions are getting 
better. Just a few years ago, sixty percent 
required such courses. The council breaks 
into workgroups. 

The decision is that math is important, 
but the council doesn’t want to limit 
the focus. Other reading and writing 
programs should be considered. In 
October, however, college and high 
school teachers, will come together to 
study alignment. Tennessee’s Gateway 
tests might prove an indicator on math 
alignment and successes, but upon 
reviewing an ACT study, 101 the council 
questions the efficacy of the Gateway 
tests. Should not the ACT test be the exit 
exam and prime indicator instead? 


“...there is no specific deadline and 
this is a long-term, generational 
initiative and is designed to endure 
well beyond the tenures of all of us. ” 
- Alignment Nashville 

In another part of Tennessee, a major 
urban area begins to water the seeds 
of a long term approach. Alignment 

Nashville, or AN as it is known locally, 
is the newest member of the Tennessee 
P-16 Network. AN had its beginnings 
in 2002 as a result of recommendations 
from the annual Citizens Report Card 
conducted annually by the Nashville 
Area Chamber of Commerce. Those 
recommendations resulted in the hiring 
of a consulting firm, Vision Link, to: 

committees operate with a set of 
guiding principles: 

1. The outcome of our work is to 
enable children to be successful. 

2. Alignment with MNPS priorities is 
for the welfare of the community’s 

...(E)valuate the capacity of the 
city’s many organizations to work 
collaboratively to improve the education 
and lives of the city’s children and the 
fu ture prospects for (our) community. 102 

For over two years, more than 100 
persons representing a broad and 
inclusive grouping of educational 
organizations, government, social 
services, and community agencies 
donated an estimated 3000 hours to 
bring a series of committees to the 
implementation stage. Central to AN 
is a board of directors involving city 
leaders. Serving on this committee are 
the mayor, director of schools, chair 
of the school board, the president 
of United Way, local college and 
university leaders, and business leaders 
from the community. An operating 
board exists to serve as the high level 
implementation team and to provide 
direction to the committees. 

102 From (2005) Alignment 

An office space for AN is supplied 
by the Chamber of Commerce and 
donations of nearly $400,000 have 
provided for staffing. 

Nashville Overview distributed 
at the Tennessee P-16 Network 
Second Annual Meeting in 
Nashville on March 21, 2006. 

In 2005, four committees reached what 
AN calls the “tactical implementation” 
phase; two more had just formed. 


For updates and information 
concerning Alignment 
Nashville, visit www. 

These committees consist of the Pre- 
K Committee, a K-4 Pilot, 5-8 Pilot, 
9-12 Pilot, 16-24 Committee, and 
Children’s Health Committee. These 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

3. The work is designed to support 
MNPS ’s Strategic Plan. 

4. The work is generational. 

5. The work is focused on those 
who most need support in order 
to be successful. 

6. While we are targeting academics 
we are focusing on the whole child. 

7. The work is a comprehensive and 
multi-faceted approach designed 
to enable student success. 103 

AN represents a highly structured 
and inclusive P-16 approach. While 
implementation of concepts originating 
in the AN committees necessitates 
high collaboration and extensive work, 
Nashville understands both the benefit 
of multiple converging strategies 
and at the same time the power of 
straightforward goals, strategies, and 
tactics that are easily understood by 
multiple publics. In many cases, the 
committees built on existing goals and 
strategies of the Metropolitan Nashville 
Public Schools (MNPS). Multiple 
organizations and numerous discrete 
program approaches, fueled by pilot 
projects to support the achievement 
of the goals and bolster tactical 
approaches. There is a balance here 
and a review of the focus of each 
committee is illustrative. 

Alignment Nashville Committees 






Come to school 
ready to learn 

To have all Pre-K 
providers using our 
standards to ensure 
consistent content and 

Use the Pre- 
K Essential 
Literature list to 
promote reading 
with children 

K-4 Pilot 

Acquire the basic 
skills of reading, 
writing, and 
socialization and 
values that lead 
to becoming good 

Ensure all students 
have access to 
counseling services 
and community 
programs that teach 
socialization skills and 
character education 

and schools 
on building 
skills and 
education traits 
for elementary 
school children 

5-8 Pilot 

Help all students 
choose to become 
good students 

Provide intervention 
programs (such as 
mentoring) for 5-8, 
which addresses 
specific student 
behaviors that impede 
student achievement 
(such as peer pressure) 

Create a culture 
of kindness in 
the schools 

9-12 Pilot 

Acquire the 
knowledge and 
skills needed 
for success in 
education and/or a 

Provide intervention 
to improve academic 
achievement for low- 
performing students 

Create a more 
caring and 
school culture 
and learning 

16-24 Committee 

The committee of 
Alignment Nashville 
that will function 
most directly as the 
P-16 Council for 

Children’s Health 



Function as the 
Advisory Council 
for the State’s new 
Pre-K program as 
required of local 
systems by the 

(Based on AN Committee structure from 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Northern Kentucky 
& Cincinnati 

Strive: Crossing Two States 

Leaders in Cincinnati and Northern 
Kentucky believe this region can develop 
the best educational system in the world 
from preschool through college. In an 
unprecedented cooperative effort to 
ensure that every student in the region 
succeeds , superintendents and college 
presidents in Cincinnati and Northern 
Kentucky today joined with elected 
officials, education, business, non-profit, 
and civic leaders to launch a region- 
wide community effort called Strive... 

The Strive Promise of student success 
is focused on five key goals and 
initial strategies: 

• Every child will be prepared for school 
from birth through early childhood 
education. United Way of Greater 
Cincinnati’s Success By 6® initiative 
will lead efforts to ensure every child 
is prepared for and has access to high- 
quality early childhood programs. 

104 From: Strive to Create Best 
Educational System in the 
World - Where Every Student 
Succeeds. Strive Press Release 
August 16, 2006, available at: 

• Every child will be supported 
inside and outside the school walls. 
Resources, programs and services 
that support students and families 
will be coordinated at the district and 
school levels through the creation 

of schools as Community Learning 
Centers and Family Resource Centers. 
These will provide expanded academic 
enrichment opportunities for children 
along with such services as youth 
development activities, art, music and 
recreation programs and counseling. 

• Every child will succeed academically. 
Existing teacher training and 
professional development programs 


The Strive website is: http:// 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

will be aligned and improved to attract 
and retain the most talented and 
committed educators to Cincinnati and 
Northern Kentucky. 

• Every studen t will enroll in some form 
of postsecondary education. Financial 
barriers to college will be eliminated 
and trained adults will provide 
guidance to students to raise their 
aspirations and enable them to apply 
to and be accepted in an institution 
that meets their career objectives. 

• Every student will graduate and 
enter a career. Colleges will 
provide comprehensive student 
support services, especially to first- 
generation students, and expand 
co-op opportunities. 104 

The newly created Strive P-16 
partnership has put together an 
impressive multi-sector steering 
committee that involves the mayors of 
Cincinnati, Newport and Covington, 
philanthropy, K-12, nine institutions of 
higher education, major corporate and 
community representatives. 

Today it stands, by virtue of its 
geographic location, as perhaps the 
only multi-state local/regional P-16 in 
the nation. Some early work resulted in 
what Strive calls its Roadmap to Success 
that focuses on critical transition points 
in the P-16 continuum. The purpose 
of the roadmap is to provide focus for 
continued efforts. While still early in 
its history, Strive, as well as Alignment 
Nashville bear watching as major urban/ 
regional efforts. Much of what happens 
in efforts such as these will say a lot for 
the future of P-16. 105 



106 Kentucky Council on 
Postsecondary Education. 
Request for Proposals Funding 
for Local P-16 Council 
Formation. At: http://cpe. 

P 1 6/localP 1 6.htm 

A Well Established Network 
Kentucky’s local P-16 councils blanket 
most of the “bluegrass” state. Each local 
P-16 is configured to meet the general 
needs of the area it services. Proposals 
for new councils, according to the 
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary 
Education, “will identify a plan of 
organization for a local or regional 
P-16 structure, an assessment of local 
education needs, and an agenda for 
specific projects aimed at improving 
student achievement, from young 
children through adult learners.” 106 

There is concern in Kentucky as to how 
to support the ongoing work of local 
councils, few of whom have any paid 
staff. Last year a work plan was articulated 
for local P-16 Councils in Kentucky as 
a possible precondition for applying for 
staffing subsidies. A review of some of 
the key elements illustrates the continuing 
evolution of thinking in that state. 

The following provides a general guide 

for the creation of a formal plan to guide 
local/regional collaborative educational 
and economic development activities. 

The diverse work plan elements 
support continued improvement, 
growth and maintenance of the local 
P-16 Council that is both responsive 
and relevant to current and projected 
workforce, professional, educational, 
and community needs. The goal of such 
a plan to develop a coherent body of 
work and unified vision connecting 
each local to the regional, network 
and state P-16 Council to foster the 
maximum allocation of resources and 
reduce /redundancy in raising the level 
of educational attainment and workforce 
readiness across the Commonwealth. 

Local P-16s in their respective annual 
planning process are encouraged to 
include some of the following work 
elements in any combinations that are 
relevant to the local Council objectives. 
This annual work plan is dependent 

Kentucky Local P-16 Councils 

Chart from: Kentucky Council on 
Post Secondary Education Q 

Penny! le A/ea P-16 Council 
Pulaski Area P-16 Council 
Purchase Area P-16 Council 
Southeast Area P-16 Council 
Warren Area P-16 Couno 

Big Sandy Regional P-16 Council 
Biuegrass P-16* Council 
Central Kentucky Area P-1 6 Council 
Coalition ‘or Academic Progress 
FIV CO A'ea P-16 Council 
Greater Louisville Work'oroe Educational Intiatve □ Ap palawan Reg-onalP-16* Council 
Henderson Area P 16 Council □ Murray State University Regional P 16 Council 

Kentucky Rive* P-16 Council 
Kentucky Slate Un versly Area P-i$ Council (planning) 

Lincoln Trail Area P-16 Council 
MadisonvilfeA-ea P-16 Council 
May sville Area Partners for School Success 
Northern keniucuy Council of Panne's >n Education 
Owensboro Regional Alliance 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

upon the local allocation of resources 
to complement the staffing allocations 
granted by the state to support the local 
work. An annual work plan would be due 
to the state lead agency for dissemination 
to the State P-16 Council and Network 
on September 1 of each year. The year 
end report to determine and document 
the activities for the year will be due on 
June 30 to the same contact as the report 
is designated. Continued finding and 
guidance of local activities is dependent on 
the accomplishment of the work plan and 
the consistent movement toward achieving 
the goals of the state P-16 Council. 

• Creation, maintenance, modification, 
expansion or replacemen t of processes/ 
systems that gather and report 
accurate and valid information/ data 
supporting the identification and 
communication of opportunities for the 
improvement of educational systems 
and learning outcomes. 

• Creation and maintenance of plans/ 
programs that identify, initiate , 
support, expand and/or balance the 
shared responsibility, accountability 
and collaboration of P-16 entities 
and stakeholders to raising the level 
of education attainment, workforce 
readiness and economic development 
in the region. 

107 Kentucky Council on 
Postsecondary Education. 
Local P-16 Council 
Work Plan & Staffing 
Guide. At: http://cpe. 
ky. gov/committees/p 1 6/ 

• The work plan includes the 
identification, validation and 
prioritization of education and 
learning opportunities that influence 
policies, practices, programs, 
processes, technologies and diverse 
resource concerns. 

108 (2006). Local/Regional P-16 
Councils. KnowledgeWorks 
Foundation. Available at: 
http: // www. p 1 6/ 

• Initiate work groups that identify and 
explore problematic issues related 
to program availability and access 
including resources, facilities, gender, 
race, disabilities, etc.; and then proposed 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

innovative strategies and practices that 
positively address those issues. 

• Convene diverse learning 
opportunities, including forums, work 
groups, mentoring or support groups 
for sharing lessons learned. Sharing 
local, state, national and international 
expertise supporting the development 
of more effective programs/policies/ 
strategies, and providing professional 
and team development. 

• Creating general administrative, 
operation, maintenance, budget, 
schedule and performance plans. 

These activities address the continued 
operation and performance of the 
council and include consideration for 
the diverse resources and expenses 
associated with execu tion of work 
plans and operation. 107 


We know that ultimately it is Ohio ’s 
communities and local school districts 
that are responsible for a school’s 
success. That’s why we are funding 
and providing technical support for the 
formation of up to five P-16 Councils 
throughout the state. The Councils, 
made up of educational institutions, 
community organizations, and local 
businesses will use a data-driven 
process to identify the “leaks ” in the 
alignment of their local educational 
systems. They will then work together on 
agreed-upon goals. 108 

In 2006, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation 
of Cincinnati, Ohio’s only statewide 
education foundation, selected five regions 
- Ashtabula, Summit, Clark, and Highland 
Counties, and Greater Cincinnati (Strive) - 
to receive planning grants to establish 
local and regional P-16 Councils in Ohio. 
The foundation was assisted by the Stark 

Education Partnership, the supporting 
organization for the Stark County P-16 
Compact, as a strategic partner. This 
effectively began the establishment of a 
P-16 network in Ohio. 

Interestingly, 1 3 regions in the state 
originally had applied for the grants. 
Some of the regions that were not 
awarded planning grants exhibited 
a desire to continue to explore P-16 

At the state level, Ohio’s Partnership 
for Continued Learning, the state P-16 
Council, is also charged with helping 
in the formation of local and regional 
councils. A grant RFP issued in Spring 
of 2007 will begin the process. The 
Ohio College Access Network (OCAN) 
is also issuing a series of grants with 
P-16 applications. 

To date, forming councils have begun to 
wrestle with data centered issues and what 
the data says about their own communities 
and where they indicate gaps or potential 
focal points for council activities. Long 
tern, Ohio’s issues mimic those of states 
like Kentucky where no defined funding 
is forthcoming for the councils themselves. 

The future success of local P-1 6s in 
Ohio, particularly since the five regions 
represent rural as well as urban areas, will 
be how the individual councils build the 
local support to continue their efforts. 


To build the framework in which 
communities create a world class 
education sy stem to focus economic and 
community development requirements 
for now and the future - Tennessee P-16 
Network Mission 

Tennessee has evolved a network of 

17 local and regional P-16 councils 
which now blanket most of the state. 
Each council distinctly reflects the 
needs of its own region and locale and 
councils today are engaged in a wide 
variety of activities and pursuits. The 
P-16 Network is organized under the 
Tennessee Board of Regents who also 
grant recognition for new and forming 
councils. The guidelines for council 
formation are as follows: 

1. The P-16 Council should include 
the leadership of the local education 
system(s), private school leadership, 
local board of education, higher 
education (university, community 
colleges, and technology center ) 
representatives, business leaders, 
governmental agencies and 
leaders. Participation of other 
community projects related directly 
or indirectly to education and 

the economy; such as, Tennessee 
Scholars and the Governor s Books 
From Birth Foundation, Head Start, 
etc., must be represented in the 
council membership either as an 
Action Team or membership on the 
leadership board. 

2. Vision, Mission and Goals of the 
Compact must reflect the need of 
the community based on workforce 
development and educational 
data relevant to the economy 
development of the community. 

a. The council must show how 
projects are selected based on 
national, state, regional and 
local indicators. 

b. Education Needs Index, 
Workforce Development Data, 
School Achievement and 
Completion information, 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Community Surveys, etc. have 
been used when developing 
Action Teams and selecting 
goals and outcomes. 

3. A well articulated Action Team with 
designated goals and responsible 
agency or individual with measurable 
goals and outcomes addressed. 

(An example of a goal would be to 
increase the high school completion 
rate with an action plan developed by 
the Compact to address this goal). 

4. A fiscal plan must be developed to 
review the utilization of existing 
funds and aligned with the current 
requirements of the Education 
Foundation, Tennessee Scholars, 
Imagination Library, Youth 
Leadership Programs and other 
critical initiatives in the community. 

• CMCSS/APSU - Montgomery County 

• Hamblen County - Hamblen County 

• Jackson Area - Madison county 

• Memphis Metropolitan Area - Memphis 

• Mid-East Regional - Claiborne, 

Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, 
Hawkins, Jefferson, Sevier, Union 

• Northeast PreK- 1 6 - Sullivan 
including Kingsport and Bristol 

• Northwest Regional - Crockett, Dyer, 
Gipson, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion, 
Tipton counties 

• Southeast Regional - Hamilton, 
Bradley counties 

5. Marketing the connection between 

an educated citizenship and economic 
development must be one of the major 
goals of the council. 

6. Once a community has organized 
a local P-16 Council and has 
Petitioned for Recognition to the 
TN P-16 Network they will be asked 
to participate in annual state and 
regional meetings to share best 
practices, discuss policy and create 
a common voice to help facilitate in 
bringing the necessary resources and 
leadership for accomplishing the goals 
and objectives of those participating in 
this critical initiative. 109 

Tennessee’s local and regional councils 
currently involve the following counties 
and metropolitan areas: 


Tennessee Board of Regents P- 
16 Council Guidelines at: http:// 
affairs/p 1 6/p 1 6case . htm 

• Big South Fork - Anderson, 
Campbell, Lentress, Loudin, Morgan, 
Roane, Scott Counties 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Upper Cumberland - TDOE Regional 
Office and TTC, CC, and UNiv in 
service area 

• Claiborne County - Claiborne County 

• North Central - Wilson, Sumner, 
Robertson counties 

• Middle Tennessee - Bedford, Cannon, 
Cheatham, Coffee, Grundy, Lawrence, 
Lincoln, Marion, Maury, Moore, 
Rutherford, Warren, Wilson Counties 

• Alignment Nashville - Metropolitan 
Nashville/Davidson County 

• Lawrence County - Lawrence County 

• South Central - Giles, Hickman, 
Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, 
Perry, Wayne Counties 

• Henderson County - Henderson County 

The Tennessee P-16 Network continues 

to grow despite the inactivity of the 
state level council. In great part, this is 
due to the outstanding support through 
the regents but also due to the increased 
realization among the local councils 
of the link between education and 
economic development, a link which 
is supported by the state’s Three Star 
economic development program which 
accords additional points to communities 
with P-16s on development grant 
applications. Additional information 
about the Tennessee P-16 Network can be 
found at the Tennessee Board of Regents 
web site: 


In Georgia, Governor Zell Miller’s 
executive order also established what 
ranks as the nation’s oldest system 
of regional/local P-16 councils. 

Fifteen such councils were originally 
created, centered around state colleges 
and universities. The councils were 
originally funded by challenge grants 
from the University System of Georgia. 

These councils are: Blue Ridge P-16 
Council, Central Georgia, Central 
Savannah River Area, Columbus P- 
16 Council, East Central Georgia, 
Metropolitan Atlanta, Middle Georgia, 
Northeast Georgia, Northwest Georgia, 

South Georgia Regional, Southeast 
Georgia, Southern Crescent, Southwest 
Georgia, West Georgia, and Wireglass/Flint. 

How is the regional P-16 system in 
Georgia faring? Peter Schmidt, writing 
in the Chronicle of Higher Educa tion 
has noted that “many of the state’s 
regional P-16 councils no longer hold 
formal meetings.” 110 

While level of direct activity seems 
to vary by council these days, there 
is no mistaking that P-16 programs 
and initiatives through the Georgia 
P-16 Office are alive and well in all 
regions and that educators at all levels 
throughout the state come together in 
an increasingly collaborative fashion. 
Georgia, far more than any state, has 
institutionalized the notion of P-16. It 
may well be that these initial councils 
were highly critical in that transition 
and in establishing the culture of 
working together. 

Several of the regional P-1 6s do 
maintain distinct informational, though 
not recently updated, web sites, mostly 
through their university settings. The 
most developed separate site is the 
Metropolitan Atlanta ( http://education. P-16. 

110 Schmidt, Peter (2006, March 
10). A Tough Task for the States 
: Efforts to Get Schools and 
Colleges to Cooperate Yield 
Both Fixes and Frustration. 
Chronicle of Higher Education. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Six: 

What Makes for an Ideal State Effort? 

111 Krueger, C. (2006). The 
Progress of P-16 Collaboration 
in the States. Denver: 

Education Commission of the 
States, pp. 4-5. 

112 Achieving prosperity for all 
Maine ’s citizens. Report of 
the Task Force 

113 P-16: the Next Great 
Education Reform 


Kentucky has also prompted the 
formation of 18 local P-16 Councils over 
time. These will be discussed more fully 
later in this book. 

The fact that some states have not 
shown significant improvement is not 
necessarily a reflection on their leaders, 
but perhaps a testament to the fact that 
P-16 implementation did not go far 
enough. Though an incremental approach 
to P-16 is often the most sensible, such an 
approach can make it difficult for P-16 
reform efforts to take hold and develop 
over time. - Carl Krueger 111 

Given those elements within the most 
immediate control of state governments, 
states themselves must adopt new thinking 
and adopt the position of enabling local 
and regional P-16 efforts where the actual 
implementation of P- 16 must take place. 

A Convergence of Factors 

Success in the 21st century will depend 
upon the ability of nations and states 

to respond to rapidly changing global 
forces and to adapt political, economic, 
and educational institutions to new 
challenges. Key to this success is the 
ability to anticipate the convergence 
of opportunities and orchestrate 
coordinated actions that maximize 
institutional effectiveness. Just such 
a convergence now exists with the 
multitude of initiatives and policy 
levers designed to address issues from 
early childhood to post-secondary 
educational programs. 112 

The Maine task force, looking at the 
feasibility of establishing a P-1 6 system 
for that state, gained a recognition of 
what may be the single most potent 
role any state level P-16 effort can play, 
namely to coordinate a convergence 
of multiple strategies and attendant 
programs. Georgia, cited earlier, remains 
a solid example of this. What might state 
level P-1 6s foster? This list is not meant 
to be all inclusive and is meant to add to 
the landmark ECS list mentioned earlier 
in this book. 113 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

114 (2005). Dual Enrollment. The 
Progress of Education Reform 
2005, Volume 6, Number 3. 
Denver: Education Commission 
of the States, p. 4. 

115 Ibid, p. 2. 

116 In a speech to the Second 
Annual High School Leadership 
Summit hosted by the US 
Department of Education, 
Washington, D.C., December 

3, 2004 


Highly Selective Institutions 

Initially, this will sound like a dichotomy. 
How can one be in favor of universal 
access, yet promote institutions which 
are highly selective in nature? Look at 
Barron’s listings of where the most 
highly selective colleges in the country 
are located, then look at the education 
levels of that state or region. More often 
than not, such as on the east coast and 
New England, they will be high. 

Highly selective institutions drive 
the balance of the system. They set 
the standard for other colleges and 
universities to achieve. State level P-1 6s 
should advocate for support of one or 
more highly selective institutions which 
can gamer, among other things, large 
research dollars. 

Dual Credit 

The rapid growth of dual enrollment 
programs has created “a new arena of 
educational practice ” that could 
profoundly affect both the high school 
curriculum and the academic 
experiences and opportunities of 
virtually all high school students. 

But it is an arena in which state and 
federal authorities, individual schools 
and districts, and higher education 
institutions are “too frequently acting 
in isolation, and in the absence of either 
clear principles or an appreciation of 
unintended consequences. ” 114 

Dual credit options now exist in some 
form or another in nearly every state. 

In some cases, Advanced Placement 
courses fill this need. Other options 
include enrolling for traditional courses 
on the campuses of colleges and 
universities or courses taught in high 
school buildings for both high school 
and college credit. The Education 
Commission of the States feels that 

“no state comprehensively addresses 
all the aspects of dual enrollment.” 115 In 
many cases lack of clarity exists as to 
whether these programs are for gifted 
students or whether such programs 
should be an avenue for universal post 
secondary access. 

Often, individual colleges and 
universities, school districts or state 
education and higher education 
agencies are left to address the 
various aspects of dual enrollment. 

A comprehensive dual credit policy 
should be a major priority for any 
state P-16 effort. In this regard, former 
Virginia Governor Mark Warner 
perhaps said it best: 

College-level work needs to be 
fully transferable to public colleges 
and universities. Most states need 
to put collaborative agreements in 
place between high school and post- 
secondary institutions to align their 
curriculums. The goal is to provide 
every student with an opportunity to 
earn postsecondary credit or begin work 
towards an industry credential while in 
high school. . . The time has come for 
legislators, policymakers and education 
leaders to begin thinking of early 
learning, elementary, secondary and 
postsecondary education one system, 
and not several disparate systems . 116 

Historically, dual credit has caused 
concern among some in both K-12 
and higher education circles. One 
of the greatest criticisms, and fears, 
of college personnel is that dual 
enrollment programs will “water 
down” college coursework or reduce 
“quality”. Some are also concerned 
that high school faculty will be freely 
made adjuncts without any attention 
to qualifications. 

P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Most would be surprised to know that 
since 1999 a professional accrediting 
organization advocating standards 
for dual credit/concurrent enrollment 
programs has been in existence. 

That year, several higher education 
institutions founded the National 
Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment 
Partnerships. NACEP supports and 
promotes its constituent partners 
through quality initiatives, program 

development, national standards, 
research, and communication. 
Currently, 30 programs, including 
Missouri Baptist College, Saint 
Louis University, and the University 
of Missouri at St. Louis, have been 
designated as founding institutions 
of NACEP. Full information on this 
organization, its bylaws and standards 
are published at: http://www.nacep. 


From: Ohio’s High School to 
College Transition Outcomes. 
Columbus, Ohio: ACT State 
Organization 2006 Annual 
Conference January 18, 2006. 

A power point presentation by 
Dr. Darrell E. Glenn, Director 
of Performance Reporting Ohio 
Board of Regents. 

On January 18, 2006, representatives from across the state of Ohio gathered 
for the annual ACT statewide conference. Today they would hear from a 
variety of speakers on issues of high school to college transition. To these 
representatives, drawn largely from Ohio’s higher education community, 
there were few surprises left. Ohio’s “bulldog” grip on 39th place in the 
union on the percentage of its population with a bachelor’s degree had 
remained unchallenged for years. Everyone understood the problem. Yet, a 
presentation by Dr. Darrell E. Glenn, Director of Performance Reporting for 
the Ohio Board of Regents would cause some shudders. Glenn talked about 
what he termed “some rough plumbing: the leaky college pipeline in Ohio” 
and the results were not good: 

• Ohio has on average about 170,000 9th graders, of these, 
about 70% graduate high school 

• Of these 120,000 high school grads, about 60% attend college 

• Of the 72,000 college freshmen, about 50% earn a degree in 6 years 
( = 36,000 college graduates) 

The end result, according to Glenn is only about 21% of 9th graders are likely to 
earn a college degree within 10 years. A major contributing factor to this lack of 
success is college remediation rates, those non-credit bearing courses which 
students must take upon entering college to bring them up to speed to do college 
level work. In Ohio 41% of young first-time freshmen take remedial math or 
English: 33% take remedial math and 23% take remedial English. 117 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

An Exit Exam that 
Means Something 

Elsewhere this author has written 
about the feasibility of using a college 
entrance exam to also gauge student 
success in meeting a state’s academic 
content standards. 118 Most state high 
school exit exams come up short when 
it comes to also preparing students for 
college and the workforce. Remedial 
coursework often follows and remedial 
coursework diminishes college 
completion. In a 2005 case study ACT, 
Inc., though having a vested interest of 
sorts, found the following: 

other states, such as Oklahoma and 
Louisiana, ACT’s complete EPAS 
system (EXPLORE, PLAN, and 
ACT) are offered to districts at state 
expense. A powerful component for 
any state P-16 is the determination of 
the most potent battery of tests at the 
high school level to promote college 
and workforce readiness. Whether or 
not a P-16 approach makes perfect 
sense, the establishment of such 
approach at a state level will be 
governed by a myriad of political 
and practical considerations. 

The results of this study show that in 
at least one case there is evidence that 
state standards and state assessments 
alone do not accurately reflect 
the college readiness levels of the 
students in the state. ( Our study of 
the standards used in 36 other states 
suggests that this problem may not 
be limited only to the state under 
study.) Our study demonstrates that 
using EXPLORE/PLAN in conjunction 
with a state assessment increases the 
likelihood that the state’s students will 
be ready for college and work by the 
time they finish high school. 119 

118 Advancing Ohio’s P-16 Agenda 

119 ACT, Inc. (2005). Do 
Current State Standards and 
Assessments Reflect College 
Readiness? : A Case Study. 
Issues in College Readiness. 
Iowa City: Author. 

ACT felt that problems seemed to be 
evident not only in the skills required, 
but also in the rigor of coursework. 
All this aside, there is the profound 
psychological impact of having all 
students prepare for college entrance, 
rather than state exit exams. We have 
not as a nation required a rigorous 
academic core curriculum for all 


An example here is the 
postsecondary options 
program (mentioned elsewhere 
in this book) being reviewed 
by a sub-committee of 
the Ohio Partnership for 
Continued Learning. 

students. Several states are currently 
considering making the ACT or SAT 
part of their high school examination 
protocols. Illinois, Colorado and 
Michigan have already done so. In 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Don’t Make Them 
a Dumping Ground 

There is more than one state level 
P-16 where both the K-12 education 
department and Regents board use 
meetings as a sort of “show and tell” 
session to display all the programs 
they are currently working on. 
Information is, of course, a valuable 
commodity. The risk lies in any 
meeting being entirely an information 
session or in seeking “legitimacy 
by sharing” for current programs 
or program stances. Any state level 
P-16 which brings together highly 
accomplished and talented individuals 
must be cognizant of the value of 
its members’ time and must seek to 
maximize the use of that time. One 
of the great challenges is how, then, 
to use both this talent and time to 
the best advantage possible. 

In states like Indiana and Ohio, 

P-16 boards are given additional 
authority to advise, consent, report 
or monitor on emerging issues. 

This has the added plus of building 
political will among a powerful 
constituency. 120 

Beware the Executive Order: 

Executive orders often serve the 
purpose of initiating a state’s focus 
on P-16 activities but seldom last 
beyond the term of the initiating 
governor. Fundamentally, P-1 6s need 
to be created by legislation and that 
legislation needs to be specific enough 
to insure the continuity of the council. 
For instance, a P-16 chaired by a 
governor (perhaps the logical choice) 
has little utility if it meets only at the 
request of the governor. 

Forgo Program Orientation: 
Focus on Alignment 

P-16s should focus first and foremost 
on fostering alignment between 
the various entities within state 
government. For instance, they 
should focus on K-12 and higher 
education and workforce development. 
If properly aligned, then these 
entities will develop new programs 
themselves. There is a danger in 
thinking of any P-16 as a program. 
Programs have finite resources and life 
spans. P-1 6s are a process and a way 
of doing business. 

Council Makeup is Critical 

One of the most telling set of 
published minutes from a P-16 
Council reviewed for this book dealt 
with a meeting in a certain southern 
state where only one lone retired 
businessman and one human service 
representative showed up to join 
twelve educators in hear a completely 
education-oriented discussion of P- 
16 issues. The meeting ended with a 
request to find a future location with 
“ample parking.” 

This particular council was established 
by an executive order of a previous 
governor. Though other businessmen 
and state legislators were on the 
council, none attended this meeting. 

While educators at both the K-12 
and higher education levels have 
a vested interest in state P-16 
activities, caution must be exercised 
that both the agenda and subsequent 
discussions take place in a broader 
format. Specifically, business, human 
services, economic development and 
state legislatures must be plugged 
into the process. Education as a sector 
is notorious for having never-ending 
in-house discussions which seldom 
result in any substantial alteration in 
public policy or decision-making on 
education as the work of countless 
committees and commissions attest. 

The key here is that the membership 
of any state P-16 be not only varied, 
but also politically powerful. 

Any state and particularly state 
departments of education and regents 
have committee “groupies”. These 
are often deans or vice-presidents 
or institutional representatives 
who happily and faithfully serve 
on committee after committee. The 
problem is that while often very 
knowledgeable and competent, 
these persons have very little real 
authority or clout. As one P-16 expert 
once said, “you want the kind of 
person who can walk right into the 
next governor’s office and be seen 

P-16 Council makeup is critical and 
influential and politically powerful 
individuals must be present on, and 
buy into the work of the council. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

The Riffe State Office Building in Columbus, is one of the tallest buildings in Ohio 
and the site of today's Partnership for Continued Learning meeting, the state 
P-16 Council. The partnership meets quarterly and today will be a light day, a 
“show and tell” kind of day. The partnership will hear status reports on various 
issues; there is little discussion and no “hot topics. ” The back of the room is not 
a bad place to be. From this perspective, one can see the audience of mid-level 
government employees, education providers, and lobbyists and advocates. This is 
the “shadow government” and many of those present have been so very good at 
fostering incremental improvement over the years. For incremental improvement has 
been the “name of the game” in Ohio education. Persons at this level can advise, 
can accelerate, or delay change. 

Neither government nor education is 
a business in the classic sense. Yet, 
business people and business input is a 
critical element of any P-16. Successful 
businesses today must constantly strive 
to effectively and efficiently respond to 
rapid environmental changes. Shadow 
governments must be challenged and 
questioned. P-1 6s at the state level 
require representative membership. They 
also require business representation. 

Over the years it has been fashionable 
to attack big business and business 
persons, to attest that they have 
too much influence, give too many 
campaign dollars, and the like. Whether 
people admit it or not, business fuels 
the economy and helps secure our way 
of life. Yes, there have been what many 
see as abuses of power. No, these are 
no more frequent than in any other 
sector. Business gets it; it gets P-16. The 
lifeblood of any business is twofold. 
Businesses need to have trained workers 
and they also need consumers. As one 
executive of a large utility company said 
concerning her involvement in P-16, 
“more affluent customers mean larger 
houses which means greater utility 

Learn from Elsewhere 

While there are some emerging common 
repositories of P-16 information (ECS, 
Nash, NGA) it appears that, at least for 
now, state P-16 efforts will mimic the 
earlier standards movement where states 
went there individual ways in designing 
both standards and assessments. 

Yet, there have been some encouraging 
developments. Ohio, for instance, paid 
considerable attention to developments 
with the Indiana Core 40 in developing 
the Ohio Core. Likewise, the state drew 
heavily on learnings from Stephen 
Portch and the Georgia experience on its 
Commission on Higher Education and 
the Economy. Georgia and Maryland both 
have emerged as substantial long term 
examples of P-16 efforts to be emulated. 

Another promising development falls 
into the arena of a P-16 related activity 
where several New England states 
are collaborating in College Ready 
New England launched by The New 
England Board of Higher Education 
(NEB HE) that was created in 1955 by 
the governors of Maine, Vermont, Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and 

consumption.” She was right. Rhode Island. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

NEBHE was an early recognition in 
these states that the economic future of 
New England was dependent on a strong 
system of higher education. College 
Ready New England will bring together 
educators, government, and business 
leaders from the six states with a two- 
fold mission: 

• Ensure that all the region ’s students 
leave high school well-prepared for 
postsecondary success; 

• Improve the college attendance and 
completion rates-particularly for 
underserved and underrepresented 
populations, including low-income 
and minority students and first- 
generation college-goers. 121 

Possibility Thinking 

State level P-1 6s should engage in 
“possibility thinking.” They should 
focus beyond the deficits to what 
genuinely can be possible for the state. 
Often times, they will step on numerous 
“feet” in doing so. Opposite to this 
notion of possibility thinking is the 
aspect of slow or incremental change. 
The Commission on the Future of 
Higher Education has stated why this is 
a problem in the most succinct terms. 

121 From: NEBHE. College 
Ready New England at: 
view/ 125/ 146/ 

122 (2006). A Test of Leadership : 
Charting the Future of 

U.S. Higher Education. A 
Report of the Commission 
Appointed by Secretary of 
Education Margaret Spellings. 
Washington: US Department 
of Education (pre publication 
copy), p. ix. 

123 Ibid, p. ix. 

Already, troubling signs are abundant. 
Where once the United States led 
the world in educational attainment, 
recent data from the Organization 
for Economic Cooperation and 
Development indicate that our nation 
is now ranked 12th among major 
industrialized countries in higher 
education attainment. Another half 
dozen countries are close on our 
heels. And these global pressures 
come at a time when data from the 
U.S. Department of Labor indicate 
that postsecondary education will 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

be ever more important for workers 
hoping to fill the fastest-growing jobs 
in our new economy. 122 

And as the Commission further adds: 
What we have learned over the last 
year makes clear that American 
higher education has become what, in 
the business world, would be called 
a mature enterprise: increasingly 
risk-averse, at times self-satisfied, 
and unduly expensive. It is an 
enterprise that has yet to address the 
fundamental issues of how academic 
programs and institutions must be 
transformed to serve the changing 
educational needs of a knowledge 
economy. It has yet to successfully 
confront the impact of globalization, 
rapidly evolving technologies, an 
increasingly diverse and aging 
population, and an evolving 
marketplace characterized by new 
needs and new paradigms. 123 

The same might be said to be true of 
state departments of K-12 education as 
well. As noted earlier, we have created 
the most successful system of education 
on the face of the earth. The problem 
is that others have learned from this 
and quite frankly, want to surpass us. 
Incremental change or doing the same 
thing over and over again will not do 
any longer. 

Forget Turf 

Turf and turf issues are the enemies of 
state P-16 efforts. A state superintendent 
of public instruction once sat idly by in 
a meeting while a committee reported 
on its recommendation to remove the 
entire system of vocational education 
from the state K-12 arena and transfer 
it to the university system. Under 
normal conditions, this might have 
prompted a “turf war” regardless of 

what kind of sense such a proposal 
might have made. In this specific case, 
the superintendent was not concerned. 
She knew that the report had, and the 
members of the committee had, very 
little political clout. Soon the committee 
would be congratulated for their hard 
work and the report would drop into the 
netherworld of ignored and forgotten 

state documents. Why should she draw 
more attention to it and prolong its life? 

This is why overarching, easily 
understood, and politically powerful 
goals are critical to states and state P-16 
efforts. Such goals need to be publicly 
supported to the greatest extent possible. 
They need to transcend “turf.” 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Seven: 

What Makes for an Ideal Regional 
or Local Effort? 

The Stark County P-16 Compact is a 
vehicle for sharing successes - 
encouraging the creation of individual 
institu tional strategies for increasing 
educational attainment, or 
encouraging the creation of 
collaborative strategies that cross 
institutional lines, but addresses the 
common vision of an economically 
viable county in an economically 
viable Northeast Ohio sector. 124 


Rochford, J.A. (2006, 
September 20). Local P- 
16s: Changing the Culture. 
Columbus, Ohio: Presentation 
to the Ohio Partnership for 
Continued Learning at: http:// 

Humans are organizational creatures. 
We tend to like things organized with a 
hierarchical structure, defined budgets, 
established tasks, timelines and goals. 
One risk that many people face in 
many forming P-1 6s is that they often 
want to quickly institutionalize their 
efforts. What can perhaps be said 
about local and regional P-1 6s is that 
no two are exactly alike. This aside, 
we have also looked at a typography of 
existing local and regional P-1 6s and 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

some conditions which appear necessary 
for the creation of viable efforts. 

The typography reflects what individual 
communities and regions often adopt 
on the basis of their own capacities 
and perceived needs. This is in no way 
attaching value judgments to these 
types of arrangement. The examples in 
this book reflect the progress of some 
outstanding efforts, regardless of where 
they are. 

There can indeed be a format for a 
local and regional P-16 so inherently 
powerful as to begin to promote a 
genuine community culture change. 

Not everyone can grow this format 
over night; the stages in the typography 
are often necessary to achieve or grow 
a local P-16 super culture. The Stark 
County P-16 Compact has worked to 
create such a super culture and can serve 
as an example. Each of the following 

sections will be illustrated with the 
words of Compact members reflecting 
about the process. 

A Community Process 

Local P-1 6s do need to be true community 
processes. They can not be owned by a 
single organization or a handful of people. 
P-1 6s also really do not need to sponsor or 
be programs in and of themselves. When 
asked what set the stage for the outcomes 
and successes of the Stark County P-16 
Compact, members noted three points: 

A Highly Sophisticated 
Community Think Tank 

By raising the bar! expectations and by 
providing an effective forum for networking 
and collaboration, the P-16 Compact 
has changed mindsets and stimulated 
increases in both high school graduation 
and college going rate. In turn, a decrease 
in the college remediation rate and an 
increase in the college completion rate 
have been realized.”- Vicki Conley, 
Executive Director, Sisters of Charity 
Foundation of Canton 

1 . Shared vision and goals for our county 

2. Increased knowledge 

3. Changed behaviors grounded in a 
sense of urgency: Increased sharing, 
collaboration and partnerships 125 

Local and regional P-16s are about 
process. They are about building 
collective community awareness 
among principle policy makers and their 
organizations. They are about changing 
mindsets. Here, community leaders think 
together, even dream together, about what 
can be. It is the building of civic capacity. 

Local Data; Know 
What’s Significant 

When the 17 district Superintendents look 
at our graduation rates compiled in the 
document Class of 2021 (2002), we were 
appalled and all of us agreed -100% is 
our goal. Each of us set out to improve 
the graduation rate — we shared our 
strategies at County meetings and here 
at P-16 meetings. We have moved the 
needle.- Teresa Purses, Superintendent, 
Canton Local School District 

Guidelines for the establishment of local 
or regional P- 16s usually contain a section 
exhorting local policymakers to collect 
and examine educational and/or social 

outcome data for their own communities 


Note: substantive material 
and quotations in this section 
come from the previously 
cited: Local P-16s: Changing 

to help determine where performance gaps 
exist along the P-16 continuum. Knowing 
local data is indeed critical. The problem 
with data collection is not usually accuracy 
or even availability-it’s context. 

the Culture 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Informed Individual Action 
Within Collaborative Goals 

P-16 doesn’t act on its own; individual 
institutions decide what to do. In my 35 
years in higher education I have seldom 
been involved in a more worthwhile 
endeavor. I listen to the conversation at 
this table and go back to my deans and 
vice-presidents and say: “What can we do 
to help solve that problem. ” Before this 
Compact was established, I had limited 
knowledge of what the P-12 problems 
were. It is affirming to have Malone 
College ’s success celebrated by the P-16 
Compact. I try not to miss meetings. 
Establish more local P-16 councils is my 
advice to the State. ”- Dr. Ronald Johnson, 
President, Malone College 

The Stark County P-16 Compact 
controls nothing. The Compact is about 
informed individual action within the 

context of collaboratively arrived at 
goals. Do organizations also collaborate 
with each other? The answer is, of 
course, yes. This collaboration freely 
takes place and is not mandated. It takes 
place because it makes sense within the 
context of the goals. 

Relationships, Access and 
Mutual Solutions 

We started as 6 separate often competing 
entities - preschool, k-12 education, 
higher education, business, government, 
and the foundations. We were looking for 
solutions that would help improve our 
own world. If our group had been a Venn 
Diagram, we would have started with 5 
independent circles. Now our circles are 
overlapping more and more. 

We see and understand one another ’s 
perspectives, challenges, and issues 
and work together to find solutions that 
are mutually beneficial. The synergy is 
incredible. The ideas are richer because 
they are enhanced by the experiences that 
each person brings to the table. Stark 
County leaders have found the secret 
to success - building relationships and 
collaborations will strengthen every 
aspect of the community. Theresa Purses, 
Superintendent, Canton Local Schools 

Somewhere in the mid-90s, the “P” 
word-process took on a poor connotation 
in education. This became even more 
apparent with calls for science based 
research in NCLB and focus on measurable 
outcomes. Process is not a bad word in P- 
16s. Process is the “life-blood” of P-1 6s. 

The Psyche of a Community 

“The culture is changing. Our teachers, 
professors, school administrators. 

college administrators, community 
members, and students have caught 
the fever. As a county we need to 
look a lot different than we do now 
and we are on our way. ’’-Mel Lioi, 
Assistant Superintendent, Stark County 
Educational Service Center 

What does it take to build an ever 
increasing community commitment? 
What does it take to form a 
community-wide psychology of 
success? In part, it takes little 
successes building on one another to 
big successes. It takes leadership and 
excitement and forward thinking and 
belief. Belief is a key ingredient of 
local P-1 6s. 

Continual Questioning 
and Ongoing Aspiration 

What will it take to push the needle 
higher and faster? More scholarships? 
Scholarships tied to internships, tied 
to employment in Stark County? When 
will we arrive at our goal of economic 
viability? ” -Jack Timken, President, 

The Timken Foundation 

As civic capacity builds through the 
vehicle of a local and regional P- 
16, leaders look ahead. Increasingly, 
they ask, “what will it take?” Such 
communities begin to develop clear and 
powerful visions for the future. 

The best advice to emerging local and 
regional P-1 6s is to look to the above. 
Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, who 
always had the ability to return home 
via the Ruby Slippers, your community 
has always had the resources to begin 
on the path to substantive change and 
economic viability. What it takes is 
collective belief. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

Chapter Eight: 

The Future - State, Regional and 

Local P-1 6s: Towards a Theory of Convergence 

Once a book is published, it freezes what 
it portrays in time. The state, regional 
and local P-16 efforts portrayed in this 
book are as they appeared in 2006. As 
time goes on, some of these efforts will 
continue to produce substantive results, 
some will fail and be discontinued; 
others will have finite lives and give 
way to yet other constructs, programs 
or projects. The only certainty is that all 
will change. That is because P-16 is, at 
heart, an evolutionary concept. 

Yet, few regions, localities, and states 
are approaching P-16 in this fashion 
today. In fact, in almost all cases, P-16 
is still thought of in a very conventional 
sense. When first envisioning a P-16, 
whether on a local or state level, there 
is almost universally some desire to 
create hierarchies or structures to shape 
and govern the P-16, attach budgets, 
formulate programs, and collect results 
to study. 

However, new interagency or quasi- 
governmental constructs seldom succeed 
at the state level where individual 
agencies and departments resist yielding 
power, influence, or funds. Due to 
this resistance, some state-level P-1 6s 
eventually emerge to merely advise 
existing agencies or become recognized 
as an internal function of a single agency 
such as the regents or an education 
department. It must be remembered that 
the only existing state attempt to this 
date in Florida to create a true K-20 
system of education has met with only 
varying degrees of success because of a 
constitutional amendment reinstituting 
its regent board. 

The press to create hierarchies and 
structures and gamer budgets can be 
even greater at the regional or local 
level. P-16 is often approached from 
the mentality of creating another 
community organization. As a 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

consequence, educators and agencies 
often worry about loss of power, funds 
or influence. Holding to the organization 
approach, the framers of these local 
P-1 6s anxiously seek dollars, or at least 
a home with some agency, to keep the 
effort alive. P-1 6s can easily become a 
function of a college office or a chamber 
of commerce. In essence, they run the 
risk of becoming just another program 
among several others. 

It is largely because of this still 
conventional view of P- 16 that is held 
by many parties that the findings noted 
in the preface of this book emerged. 
They stand to be repeated here: 

• Even with accompanying legislation, 
P-16 efforts are heavily leader 
dependent, whether at the state, local, 
or regional level. Part of this is due 
to the fact that the inertia of separate 
systems of preschool, K-12, and 
higher education systems is great 
and pervasive. We have “grown” 
these systems as individual, resource 
dependent entities which of nature 
often place them in opposition to 
one another. Inspired, visionary and 
dedicated leadership is the key to 
actualizing new approaches. 

• The impact of P-16 approaches at the 
state level are often mitigated by issues 
of control and power between agencies 
and further exacerbated by the relative 
autonomy of institutions of higher 
education. Considerable tensions 
exist between the culture of “what has 
been” and often sketchy projections 
for “what should be”. Politics, 
perceived limitations and barriers, not 
“possibility thinking” tend to govern 
many efforts. 

•P-16 systems are fragile at best. 
Developments in this arena need to be 

encapsulated in larger global concerns 
dealing with the future competitiveness 
of locales, regions, states, and 
the United States as a whole. The 
necessity of transiting to a new world 
information-based economy makes this 
critical. At times, these concerns are 
ill-defined at the state P-16 level but 
remain omnipresent. 

• While there is an emerging sense of 
urgency generated by global concerns, 
that urgency, in and of itself, is seldom 
strong enough to overcome the inertia 
developed in separate systems over the 
years and the political influences which 
govern those systems. 

•P-16 approaches at the state level must 
be complimented by at the local or 
regional level by P-16s. These are the 
groups that “operationalize” any long 
term P-16 approach. Knowing their own 
locales and the politics of their own 
communities, they get the job done. 

• As an adjunct to leadership, every 
state, region or locality needs P-16 
advocates. These are the people in the 
trenches who do the day to day, often 
difficult work. When political whim 
or practical reality changes the overt 
structure of state or local leadership, 
these people keep the notion of P- 16 
alignment alive. 

• Failure to adopt new learning 
paradigms and simple lack of belief in 
the ability of all high school students 
to do rigorous coursework, particularly 
college coursework while still in 
high school, has greatly hampered 
operationalizing credit based transition 
programs and other strategies. 

• There is a “paradox of P” in effect. 

The major focus of P-16 efforts remain 
on the transition between high school 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

and college, extending backwards to 
preparation for, and forward to retention 
and completion of college. In large part, 
this paradox is due to lack of state level 
funding for preschool efforts. 

• At the other end of the spectrum, 
transition to the workforce is 
growing in importance and giving 
P-1 6s an emerging role to play in 
economic development. 

Like the efforts in this book, these 
findings also exist very much at a point 
in time. The findings themselves are 
somewhat conventional because they 
look at activities that have originated 
from the systems that make up most 
current P-16 approaches. 

It should not be surprising, then, that 
P-1 6s and P-16 approaches achieve 
the greatest success where vision, 
leadership, and advocacy overcome 
system inertia. All of this poses a critical 
question, “What is the future of P-16?” 

To answer this, it is necessary to return to 
the notion of P-16 being an evolutionary 
concept and look at its potential to 
promote change and realignment, whether 
at the state, regional or local levels. 
Fundamental to this is a redefinition of 
P-16 that moves beyond conventional 
thinking. In 2006 Carl Krueger looked 
at the progress of P-1 6s in the states. 

The key questions which he formulated 
were referred to earlier in this work. A 
revisiting is now in order as they give one 
view of how P-1 6s have been thought of 
in a conventional sense: 

• Can a P-16 initiative be sustained 


Krueger, C. (2006). The 
Progress of P-16 Collaboration 
in the States, p.5. 

without the implementation of a P- 
16 accountability model that links 
preschool, K-12 and postsecondary 
education in meaningful ways? 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

• Does a successful P-16 education 
system require a governance change? 

• Should states develop P-16 funding 
systems that integrate early learning, 
K-12 and postsecondary education? 

• How can all states create data systems 
that follow a student from school to 
school, level to level? 

• Can P-16 initiatives survive a 
leadership change? Should states 
create a P-16 structure that exists 
outside of the executive office or the 

• Should P-16 councils have 
the authority to implement 
recommendations, or is their only role 
advisory? 126 

Governance, funding, data and 
accountability systems, questions 
concerning authority, all find their 
way into Krueger’s excellent list 
which targets state level efforts as 
they currently exist. These questions 
all surround very conventional 
constructs. With some modification, 
the same questions can be raised for 
local and regional P-16s. However, 
Wheatley and Frieze offer a different 
lens than Krueger: 

In all living systems ( which includes 
us humans), change always happens 
through emergence. Large-scale 
changes that have great impact do not 
originate in plans or strategies from on 
high. Instead, they begin as small, local 
actions. While they remain separate and 
apart, they have no influence beyond 
their locale. However, if they become 
connected, exchanging information 
and learning, their separate efforts 
can suddenly emerge as very powerful 

changes, able to influence a large 
system. This sudden appearance, known 
as an emergent phenomenon, always 
brings new levels of capacity. Three 
things are guaranteed with emergent 
phenomena. Their power and influence 
will far exceed any sum of the separate 
efforts. They will exhibit skills and 
capacities that were not present in the 
local efforts. And their appearance 
always surprises us .' 27 

If we think of P- 1 6 as an evolutionary 
concept, then it follows that Wheatley 
and Frieze give us the genesis of a new 
definition. P-16 is not about structure 
and governance; P-16 is about small 
local actions (whether at local, regional 
or state levels) targeted at raising 
academic achievement and opening 
opportunities for all students. It is 
about prenatal care and social services 
to sustain students and families and 
it is about economic and workforce 
development, quality of life, and a 
viable future. 

Yet, rhetoric about P-16 at the state 
level is often filled at departmental 
levels with talk about aligning standards 
between K-12 and higher education, 
improving scholarships, funding 
preschool development, instituting 
new standardized tests and rigor as 
though any one of these programs 
or a combination of such programs 
constitutes a P-16 approach. 

probably had the resources in our own 
states and communities to insure the 
future. These resources, actions, and 
people have in general never been 
connected in such a way as to learn 
from one another, jointly develop an 
informed vision for the future, and gain 
the capacity to judge the relative merits 
of their actions in relationship to one 
another and that vision. When such 
connections are substantive, the skill and 
capacity of leaders and organizations 
continue to grow. It is through this that 
powerful strategies emerge and are 
continually refined. Programs then can 
be attached to the strategies, be altered 
and changed, as learning continues. 

P- 1 6 is an evolutionary and emergent 

If this is true, then P-1 6s may not be 
tied to any of the conditions raised in 
Krueger’s questions. Those conditions 
might be eventual outcomes but not 
necessary to the P-16 concept itself. 
Equally, P-1 6s at the regional and local 
level may need nothing more than a 
convener and a place to meet. 

It is very hard to see this type of 
evolution at the state level to date. 

Where it can be seen is at the local and 
regional levels in places like Stark and 
Hamblen Counties, communities that 
have realized the power of connection 
and the value of emergence. 

l27 Wheatley, M. and Frieze, 

D. (2006). How Large-Scale 
Change Really Happens: 
Working with Emergence. 
The School Administrator. 
Spring 2007. 

If P-16 is an evolving concept, then it not 
about programs nor is it about governance 
or structure; it is about the individual 
actions of state and local leaders of good 
faith who connect their actions and 
“exchange information and learning.” 

P- 1 6 is then about people and 
connections. It is about the substantive 

reality that we have always most 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

In both communities, economic realities 
and the understanding of those realities 
first brought leaders to the table to 
connect and learn together and both 
efforts began with small local actions 
and very powerful system changes are 
now taking place. These changes begin 
to transcend the formal P-16 and its 
membership as the community itself 
increases its skill and capacity. Many 

other regional and local P-1 6s depicted 
in this book are also on the verge of this 
realization. Sadly, some are not because 
they have never brought the right people, 
those truly capable of generating local 
actions or vested in learning, to the table. 

It is easy to see how such P- 1 6s become 
vested in one or two approaches, 
launch some programs and be at the 
mercy of the success or failure of those 
attempts. At all levels of government, 
social service, and education thousands 
of programs have existed over the 
years. One might fairly ask what the 
“cumulative impact” of such programs 
has been? An evolving P-16 is different. 

When the United Way of Greater Stark 
County, for instance, decides that high 
school graduation and postsecondary 
training will now be one of its priority 
focus areas, this is a local action geared 
towards more substantive change in 
the entire system as it in turn begins to 
impact numerous local agencies, their 
learning and capacities. The United 
Way does not dictate what specific 
programs agencies should create, but 
it does indicate a new direction and a 
realignment of community resources. 

When representatives from Hamblen 
County decide to be part of a larger 
regional P-16 approach, they are 
generating more connectivity. When 
cross-sector leaders on the committees 


The National Center on 
Education and the Economy 
(2006). Tough Choices or 
Tough Times: The Report 
of the New Commission on 
the Skills of the American 
Workforce. Executive 
Summary. Washington, D.C.: 

of Alignment Nashville begin to focus 
on the education of their city’s children, 
all its agencies connect and learn. 
Powerful community wide strategies 
emerge. The list can go on. 

For the states, such connectivity 
may be harder to achieve, but not 
impossible. While some governors 
have tried to force this in the past with 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

executive orders, success has often 
rested on their own political clout. 
What states have often been lacking in 
the past is the compelling motivation 
to connect and make those connections 
substantive. That motivation may now 
be fast in coming. 

That is because both external and 
internal forces may now be combining 
and contributing to a “state-level” 
level of frustration necessary for 
considering change. 

On December 14, 2006, the National 
Center on Education and the Economy 
published a major report entitled Tough 
Choices or Tough Times, tagged as 
the Report of the New Commission 
on the Skills of the American 
Workforce. The report is one of several 
released in recent years that cite a 
growing concern for America’s future 
competitiveness. Containing several 
key recommendations, Tough Choices 
or Tough Times understands the link 
between a well educated workforce and 
the nation’s future economic security, 
but here is what the report says about 
our existing systems: 

The core problem is that our education 
and training systems were built for 
another era, an era in which most 
workers needed only a rudimentary 
education. It is not possible to get where 
we have to go by patching the system. 
There is not enough money available 
at any level of our intergovernmental 
system to fix the problem by spending 
more on the system we have. We can get 
where we must go only by changing the 
system itself. 128 

This report reinforces the urgency. The 
question for the states is whether this, 
or any report, can help overcome the 

inertia. The simple answer is no; not 
unless the system changes. 

The necessity to have a highly trained 
workforce implies not only conventional 
education but the retraining of older 
adults and displaced workers. While 
this has now become a major priority 
in most states and the key to remaining 
competitive in a global economy, efforts 
are divided between multiple agencies. 
This global competition is now the most 
telling external force prompting for 
change in most states. 

Internally, its money; the “flush” days 
of the 1990s state budgets are now 
over. Not only have budgets tightened, 
they are increasingly constrained by 
growing social programs as the general 
population ages. As a consequence, we 
have in many states pitted K-12 against 
higher education in a race for ever 
diminishing resources. Preschool often 
looses out to both. Yet, states are at the 
same time recognizing that education is 
the key to success. Hard choices must be 
made about finite dollars. 

It would now seem to be incumbent 
for many states to look at new ways 
of doing things and there are a wide 
variety of possibilities. Simple notions 
such as joint use of facilities between 
K-12 and higher education have been 
basically been long ignored most 
places. Use of highly qualified high 
school teachers as adjuncts to teach 
dual credit courses has frightened 
many in the past who have believed 
that “rigor” will suffer. The redesign 
of the senior year in high school 
has advanced in slow increments. 

Many college faculties have long 
opposed or limited the potential of 
online learning. This list can go on. 
Essentially, the states already have 
many programmatic options that can 

not only increase efficiencies in a P-16 
context, but also lead to higher college 
going rates and persistence. The key is 
how to embed such options to support 
broader strategies. Merely cutting 
costs and creating efficiencies will 
only be effective for so long as many 
private sector businesses have learned 
over the years. 

What they states have not had is a way 
to substantively connect the people 
whose local actions can lead to emergent 
phenomena and whole system change, 
who can actualize such efficiencies in 
concert with overarching strategies. 

Some will point out that state P- 
16 structures have been legislated 
or created by executive order, state 
agency heads have been brought 
together and departments have even 
been reorganized but this has still not 
created the type of connectivity that 
is necessary. The answer, state level 
politics and turf issues aside, may be 
very simple: while state government 
and agencies may dictate the action; 
they don’t control the action. 

Simply put, state legislatures, 
departments and agency heads may 
determine policy and allocations, but 
most state resources are “in the field” 
not at state capitals. They are at the 
local Workforce Board or at the local 
high school or college; they are in 
community mental health boards and 
agencies. This is true for personnel; 
it is also eventually true for service 
delivery and dollars. It is here, in 
the field, that all approaches are 
implemented. It is here that they are 
either successful or fail. 

Connectivity for state P-1 6s then implies 
connectivity with local or regional P- 
16s. The one will not work without the 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

other; not if our new definition of P-16 
centers on emergent phenomenon and 
the recognition that the process will 
continue to evolve. 

Without this dualism, states may be able 
to change policy and improve or change 
allocations. There may be many discrete 
P-16 flavored programs and some of 
these may be very powerful, but the 
sum will never be more powerful than 
the parts. Success for a state-level P-16 
approach can never be guaranteed. 

The future of the P-16 movement may 
be largely dependent on how well this 
dualism is achieved. This book has 
noted how an ideal arrangement between 

local and regional and state P-1 6s 
might take place. There will still be a 
tendency on the part of some states to 
want to structure or control how local or 
regional P-1 6s are formed and for what 
purpose. There may also be attempts to 
institutionalize such structures through 
funding restrictions or by placing them 
in a hierarchical arrangement with a 
specific agency. P-16s here will become 
just another program or project. 

Neither idea seems conducive to an 
“evolving concept of P-16” or the potential 
that a tme realization of P-16 can bring 
to localities, regions or states. In the final 
analysis, we must be wary of shaping P- 
16s in the likeness of “what has been.” 

It’s October as yet another Columbus-based conference unfolds, entitled 
Workers: Strategies to Grow Ohio ’s Economy. Sponsored by the Annie E. Casey, 
KnowledgeWorks, and Ford Foundations along with several Ohio United Ways 
and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, the 
conference promises a frank look at Ohio ’s deteriorating economic position. 

This is not a government sponsored conference, though it has distinct political 
overtones. Tomorrow, both candidates for governor in Ohio’s upcoming 
November election will be present. The current governor had signed a last 
minute executive order forming a commission to look at ways of integrating 
the legion of scholarships, funds, and agency efforts targeted at workforce 
development. Whether or not either of the two candidates or the legislature will 
pay any attention after January is problematic. 

Former Congressman Steve Gunderson, now head of the Council on 
Foundations addresses the crowd in the opening plenary. “There is a sense 
of urgency, he says. Ohio has only three to six years to become competitive.” 
Gunderson says that the first state in the union to adopt free access to a P-14 
system of education will win. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

No state or state official or legislature 
should try to control or govern the P-16 
process. Indeed, it might be detrimental 
to do so beyond initial legislation 
giving legitimacy to such groups. The 
proper role for a state is to be an enabler, 
a catalyst, to foster convergence and 
alignment between efforts across its 
multiple sectors and departments and 
with local and regional P-1 6s. Above 
all, P-16 should not become a political 
process; it should, however, become a 
way of doing business. 

The relatively short history of P- 1 6 
efforts at the state level demonstrates 
that they are susceptible to what some 
have called the “politics of school 
reform”. Often, such efforts have begun 
with governors who, though arguably 
often well-intentioned, carry political 
pluses and liabilities. Once they leave 
office or, if they prove ineffective in 
office, P-16 efforts can often waiver. 
New governors may not carry the 
same priorities. Political interference 
often creates conditions under which 
P-1 6s or P-16 programs can quickly 
become “footballs.” Well entrenched 
bureaucracies often look first to their 
own interests and secondarily to 
broader concerns. Yet, it can properly 
be argued that state P-16 efforts must 
address overarching priorities key to 
the state’s future economic well being. 
Some groups have seen and articulated 
such priorities. 

The Southern Growth Policies Board is a 
unique public policy think tank based in 
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. 
The Board was formed by governors 
across several southern states in 1971. 

As such, the Board seeks to develop 
and advance economic development 
policies by “providing a forum for 
partnership and dialog among a diverse 

cross-section of the region’s governors, 
legislators, business and academic 
leaders and the economic- and 
community-development sectors.” 

While not a P-16, the Board is supported 
by memberships from 13 Southern 
states— Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, 
South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, 
West Virginia —and the Commonwealth 
of Puerto Rico, and serves to provide a 
focal point for regional collaboration. 
The Board is also supported through 
associate memberships from corporate, 
nonprofit and academic institutions, 
mimicking some critical aspects of P-16 
councils. The Board maintains a singular 
vision that “all citizens of the South will 
experience an exemplary quality of life 
made possible by a dynamic, diversified, 
growing, sustainable, and competitive 
Southern economy.” In this regard, the 
Board has adopted a goal of creating a 
talent pool to meet the ongoing needs 
of a knowledge based economy. To this 
end, the Board has created the Southern 
Workforce Index. This index is worth 
looking at in depth because it clearly 
demonstrates the relationship between 
education at all levels and economic 
development in a P-16 context and 
the need for agreed upon indicators to 
measure progress. It also represents the 
notion of an overarching vision that 
transcends mere political expediency: 

The Southern Workforce Index will 
measure, on an ongoing basis, the 
Southern Growth states’ progress 
towards the realization of that goal. The 
Council for a New Economy Workforce 
has chosen 15 indicators that, taken 
together, provide a rich, broadly based 
portrait of the region’s workforce. The 
Index is not designed to play states 
off against each other. Rather, it is 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

intended as a guide for states to pursue 
their own, individualized strategies. 

Yet the traditional workforce 
development system is not adequately 
equipped to raise skill levels, largely 
because the workforce development 
system is a fragmented collection of 
services delivered through program 
“silos. ” People in one silo are often 
unaware of people and programs 
in another, or view other programs 
as competitors. The elimination of 
these silos creates “institutional 
seamlessness, ” a workforce 
development system where individuals 
and firms can access with ease, needed 
education, training and resources. 

The Indicators: 

1. Grades 9-16 Completion Rates - 
The percent of 9th graders that: A) 
graduate from high school in four 
years; B) immediately enroll in 
college; and C) earn an associate’s 
degree in four years or less or a 
bachelor ’s degree in six years or less. 

2. The Percent of Post-Secondary 
Institutions Providing Dual 
Enrollment Credits - The percent 
of institutions allowing students 
to enroll and earn post-secondary 
credits while simultaneously enrolled 
in high school. 

3. Percent of Working-Age Adults with 
an Associate ’s Degree or Higher - 
The percent of adults between the 
ages of 25 and 64 educated at an 
associate ’s degree level or higher. 

4. Four-year High School Graduation 
Rates - The percent of 9th graders 
finishing high school within 4 years. 

5. Hispanic High School Graduation 
Rates - The percent of Hispanic 

9th graders finishing high school 
in 4 years. 

6. The Percent of the Workforce in 
At-Risk Occupations - The percent 
of the workforce employed in 
occupations with minimal skill 
requirements and persistently 
high unemployment rates. At- 
risk occupations are defined as: 
machining operators, assemblers, 
inspectors, equipment handlers, 
cleaners, helpers, and laborers. 

7 . The Percent of the Working-Age 
Disabled Employed - The percent of 
disabled persons aged 21-64 with a 
full or part-time job. 

8. The Disparity in Unemployment 
Between Black and White Males - 
Black male unemployment as a ratio 
of while male unemployment. 

9. Incarceration Rates - Number of 
prisoners (per 100,000 residents ) 
under state and federal jurisdiction 

10. Job Retention Rates After Receiving 
WIA Services - Percent of adults and 
dislocated workers acquiring and 
retaining employment for six months 
after receiving services provided under 
the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). 

11. Percent of the Workforce Without 
a High School Degree Enrolled in 
Adult Education Programs - The 
number of participants enrolled in a 
state-administered adult education 
program as a percent of the adult 
(18-64) population with less than a 
high school diploma. 

12. The Share of Family Income Poor 
Students Must Dedicate Toward a 
College Education - The share of 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

income that families in the bottom 
quintile must dedicate toward the 
annual cost of attending a public 
two- or four-year college , after 
financial aid. 

13. The Percent of 8th Graders Enrolled 
in Algebra I - The percent of 8th 
graders enrolled in Algebra for the 
2001-2002 school year. 

14. The Percent of 8th Grade Math 
Teachers Participating in Professional 
Development Activities - The 
percent of 8th grade math teachers 
participating in a professional math- 
related conference within the last 
two years. 

sector-a reduction in which state higher 
education institutions have not been 
immune as well. 

What has been lacking is a “new 
world” view of how such work 
should take place. Desired results 
have not been achieved because 
many states still approach K-12 and 
higher education as separate entities. 
Preschool, needless to say, is hardly on 
the radar screen for most. 

The need for this new view can be seen 
in existing disconnects between K-12 
and institutions of higher education and 
the disconnect between institutions of 
higher education themselves. 

15. The Percent of 8th Graders Reading 
for Fun on a Weekly Basis - The 
percen ts of 8th graders reading for 
fun - on their own - once a week 
or more. 129 

The ambitious agenda outlined by 
the Southern Growth Policies Board 
provides a guideline of sorts for 
possible state and local P-16 agendas. 
The key element here is that the 
board is clearly talking about the 
elimination of “silos” and whole system 
monitoring. Sadly here, as in most 
places, preschool comes up short. 

The question still remains, “where can 
states work to best enable a P-16 system 
of education?” Fundamentally, this lies 
in those areas over which states have the 
most immediate control and in which 
they have often worked extensively in 

There is one other element here. All state 
systems of P-1 6s need local and regional 
counterparts. Further, in order to 
achieve maximum success and to insure 
longevity, state systems need these local 
counterparts at the interface between 
community, schools, colleges, and the 
local economy. No state system might 
long endure without companion systems 
at the grass roots level. 

The Theory of Convergence 

Returning once again to the role of state 
P-1 6s as enablers and convergers, it 
might be useful to consider a theory of 
convergence to illustrate the relationship 
between local, regional and state efforts. 
(See chart on next page) 

Building on the notion that states should 
not attempt to govern or control P-1 6s, 

129 Conway, C. & Johnson, S. 
(2005). Southern Workforce 
Index. Research Triangle Park, 
N.C.: Southern Growth Policies 
Board, pp.2-4. 

recent years. Every state has worked to 
strengthen its K-12 system of education, 
for instance, through standards and 
testing. At the same time, recent 
turnabouts in state funding have often 
drastically reduced funding in this 

particularly local and regional P-1 6s, 
there is nonetheless a relationship 
between the governing and legislative 
functions of a state, alignment of state 
programs and policies and their eventual 
impact at a local or regional level. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

The first step in this theory of 
convergence begins at the local or 
regional level where community 
awareness of economic and social need 
prompts the establishment of a culture 
of collaboration. This is a collective 
awareness at the highest levels of the 
community. Organizational theorists 
often call this reaching a “level of 
frustration” sufficient enough to prompt 
action. At this level a commitment to 
action follows, but most importantly, it 
must be a collective commitment leading 
to genuine cross sector collaboration 
between education, business, human 
services, philanthropy and economic 
development. In essence, collaboration 
among those sectors most readily 
situation to do something. 

There is an important nuance here. 

Go into any community and talk to 
a superintendent, head of a United 
Way, businessperson, or foundation 
leader. Talk to the head of a job and 
family services agency or a county 
mental health board, talk to a college 
president. Each in their own way sees 
a substantial part of the challenges and 
issues facing any community. Each 
is probably frustrated with funding, 
issues surrounding the provision of 
services, less than desired outcomes 
and the like. Each is challenged to 
do the best they can within their own 
sphere of influence. There may be 
“finger pointing” at other sectors. 

Few, if any, truly know or appreciate 
each others’ issues. All, however, are 
committed to the success, quality of life 
and economic stability within their own 
organizations and their communities. 

Occasionally collaborations and 
partnerships, where they make sense, 
will develop between one or two sectors. 
The difference with P-1 6s is that we are 
talking about substantial cross sector 

collaboration across multiple sectors 
where everyone begins to focus on the 
same goals. Such collaboration can 
spawn local or regional P-16 Councils 
or can be nurtured by such councils 
established by convening organizations. 
What is important to remember here 
is that the collaboration is critical. 

This can be interagency collaboration, 
but often collaborative approaches. In 
collaborative approaches, organizations 
begin to align their activities with each 
other. Colleges, for example, might 
begin to form dual credit arrangements 
for high schools, businesses might 
support internships for college students, 
the media might run stories and articles. 
Here, no one steals each others’ 
resources; existing resources are aligned. 

Local and regional P-16s should establish 
a prime focus. Early on, Stark County, 
Ohio decided on two primary goals: 

100% high school graduation rate and 
increasing the college going rate. Other 
P-1 6s might adopt early childhood 
education, or any focal point along the 
P-16 continuum commensurate with their 
own respective community resources. 

The prime focus should be inclusive 
enough to progressively incorporate more 
and more of the continuum. 

The next phase is to use this prime 
focus to change community culture and 
engage in possibility thinking. If you 
are in a “rust-belt” community where 
college education has never been a high 
priority, for instance, you must actively 
begin to change that culture. Chief 
tools here are data, awareness raising, 
and early successes through aligned 
programs and projects. In classic P- 
16s, successes of one sector, or even a 
single organization, should be celebrated 
by all. P- 1 6s need to encourage the 
psychology of success this, in turn, leads 
to possibility thinking. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

One of the ironies of the information- 
rich 21st Century is that we, in the 
United States, really do live in a highly 
structured society. Ask any physician, 
educator, or business person about 
the regulatory environments in which 
they live. Such environments often 
limit the true potential of organizations 
to go the next step because they do 
seem so limiting. Yet, there is room 
for flexibility which we seldom see. 
Possibility thinking, in part, envisions 
how outcomes might be different. 

There is an old story about Einstein and 
the Theory of Relativity. Part of the 
reason Einstein arrived at the theory was 
not because he focused on how light 
acted; he focused on how light would be 
different if it didn’t act the way it did. 

How would communities and regions be 
different if they did business differently, 
individually and collectively? It’s what 
P-1 6s should imagine. 

This leads to processes formulating 
new strategies which, in turn, further 
align existing programs and resources, 
communities selectively match new 
resources and additional resources. 

You now have, in essence, a framework 
to decide whether you want to expend 
the energy to pursue the myriad grants 
and funds available at the state or 
national level, or even answer an RFP 
from a foundation. Communities are 
led to seek breakthrough strategies and 
powerful new pilots and demonstrations 
aligned with what they have envisioned. 
Breakthrough strategies are those that 
can further alter the thinking of an 
entire community. Their results, such 
as in early college high schools that 
set low income and first generation 
college students on the path to a college 
degree, are powerful and symbolic 
demonstrations for any community. 

These in turn, both through the efficacy 
of results and the political process, 
should provide rationale and data for 
state action. Local and regional P- 
16s should not hesitate to inform their 
legislators, departments of education 
and regents of their results. They should 
press for a state environment which 
further supports such results. The best 
place to do this is through an operating 
state level P-16 council, if the state 
is fortunate enough to have one. In 
Ohio, the new director of the state 
P-16 considered one of her primary 
duties to both communicate with, and 
become aware of developments on the 
local and regional level. Indeed, Ohio’s 
Partnership for Continued Learning 
expressly includes representatives of 
local P-1 6s. This is not a bad model 
to emulate. 

Here we must also think of local 
and regional P-1 6s as part of a state 
“learning loop.” Consider what Dr. 
Shigehisa Tsuchiya of the Chiba Institute 
of Technology has to say, “the rate at 
which individuals and organizations 
learn may be the only sustainable 
competitive advantage. ” 130 States and 
local P-1 6s are organizations. They must 
learn from each other. 

The state level P-16 should then inform 
the legislature through recommendations 
or by some other means, such as 
resolutions in Indiana. The end result 
in this theory is that the legislature 
begins to act to align state programs to 
further benefit local and regional P-16 
expansion and results. 

There is a kind of “fallout” here in 
that even communities and regions 
without P-1 6s can benefit. This theory 
of convergence outlines local action 
research informing state policy. This is 
not a bad place for a P- 16 to be. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

The critical notion here is that no local 
or regional P-16 exists in a vacuum. 
State policy and programs do impact on 
a local or regional level. When informed 
and aligned by action in the field, these 
can become more responsive, even 
more enlightened. It might be added in 

conclusion that few states have achieved 
this model. Some begin to approach it. 

P-1 6s both at the local and regional and at 
the state level are necessary for the entire 
system to operate and be successful. This 
is why many efforts wither and some die. 
The dualism has seldom been understood. 

130 Tsuchiya, S. (1999). A 
Search for New Methodology 
to Create a Learning 
Organization. Tsudanuma, 
Narashino-shi Japan: Chiba 
Institute of Technology. 


P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 


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P-16: The Last Education Reform - Book Two 

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