IN THIS ISSUE
- STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING
- HEALTH CARE
- CELEBRATING WHAT WORKS
- IN THE NEWS
- ON THE ROAD
Historically, college students have received financial aid based on academic achievement or financial need. Today, many states are looking for effective ways to use financial incentives to encourage students to complete a postsecondary credential.
For states and institutions interested in performance-based aid policies, a new report by Jodut Hashmi and published by JFF points to a number of models from across the country. Particularly useful for policymakers will be the thought-provoking questions that conclude the report—questions that any state should take into consideration in developing plans to revamp financial aid.
Hashmi’s report was originally commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Vision Project. In an interview with JFF, Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland commended Hashmi for capturing what other states have done, enabling Massachusetts and others to build on their successes. “As a policy professional,” he said, “you never want to reinvent the wheel if somebody else has invented the wheel for you.”
Countless experts are sharing ideas for improving education and workforce development in this country. We want to share our thoughts—and yours—on our new Jobs for the Future Blog. Comment on posts you feel strongly about, and share them with your own social media networks. Through these blog conversations, we can help promising ideas rise to the top and help expand economic opportunities for all Americans.
As states committed to the Common Core State Standards turn their attention to implementation, it’s important to remember that high expectations can only be met by figuring out how every student learns best and how best to teach them all. Supported by funds from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, JFF has launched the Students at the Center project. We have commissioned nine papers from noted research teams to build the knowledge base for student-centered approaches to learning. On March 14, JFF and the foundation will release the first three papers on how the brain learns,high schools that are exemplars of deep student learning, and how districts can help schools adopt student-centered approaches to learning. Read more.
Despite the economic downturn, health care has for the most part maintained its overall levels of employment. At the same time, the implementation of health care reform will deeply affect the health care workforce, as will other major factors, including new technology and reimbursement practices. In other words, this is a vital time for states to examine their rapidly changing workforce environments in health care—and to formulate strategies for responding to emerging conditions.
An example is JFF’s assessment of challenges and opportunities for the state of Connecticut. Underlying our recommendations for Connecticut, JFF conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders in key health care sectors, analyzed primary and secondary data on industry and occupational trends in health care, looked at data on education and training programs, and took advantage of real-time labor market information, a newly available technology to measure occupational demand. Read more.
What gets Americans back to work? General Electric has created the What Works Project, inviting everyone to share photos of all the things that drive us to achieve more. Each week, GE features one nonprofit that is helping expand Americans’ educational and economic opportunities—and JFF is proud to be one of them.
What Works showcased JFF February 20-27. GE also donates $1 to its featured nonprofit for each photo submitted to the What Works website, each photo vote cast, and each visitor who “Likes” GE’s Facebook page. We thank GE for its kind donation to us and for the opportunity to showcase what we do to help Americans advance their careers. Read more.
- Feb. 6: In a McClatchy story on how states are revamping adult education, Barbara Endel says that teaching career skills and basic skills at the same time encourages adult students to “stick with the course work.”
- Feb. 7: An EMSI blog post distinguishing “traditional” and “real-time” labor market info shared JFF’s LMI report, calling it a great summary for colleges on the advantages and limitations of using each.
- Feb. 21: WPVI-TV in Philadelphia featured JFF CEO Marlene Seltzer, Mayor Michael Nutter, and leaders of the Camelot-run Accelerator Schools that specialize in dropout recovery. Seltzer called Philadelphia “a role model” in education reform.
Mar. 1, D.R.E.A.M. conference, Dallas, TX:
- Lara Couturier discusses how state policy drives institutional improvement at colleges.
Mar. 4-6, League for Innovations 2012 Conference, Philadelphia, PA:
- John Dorrer presents innovations in real-time labor market information.
- Richard Kazis leads a panel on statewide performance funding policies.
- Gretchen Schmidt leads a panel on state efforts to reform developmental education, and another on how higher ed leaders and state lawmakers can best support continuous improvement for college students.
Mar. 10-12, 2012 National Association of Workforce Boards Forum, Washington, DC:
- John Dorrer co-leads a pre-conference session on using labor data to target and adapt workforce investments.
- Maria Flynn presents Accelerating Opportunity, a four-year initiative to dramatically improve Adult Basic Education and how its graduates can transition smoothly into college programs.
- Geri Scott highlights successful collaborations between workforce development providers and registered apprenticeships to build pathways into green construction careers.
Apr. 22, American Association of Community Colleges Convention, Orlando, FL:
- Richard Kazis leads a panel on performance-based funding: why the renewed interest, what the current debates are about, and what state policies look most promising.
- John Dorrer co-leads a pre-conference session on using labor data to determine which credentials have the most immediate value in local labor markets.