Your Guide to the Future Ready PA Index in Pennsylvania and the Career, Education and Work Standards (CEW) or Chapter 339
Learn everything you need to know about the Future Ready PA Index, what the requirements are for your students to meet these standards, and other essential information to set your students up for success.
What is the Future Ready PA Index?
The Future Ready PA Index is a one-stop-shop for school progress measures related to school and student success. The Index includes a range of assessment and readiness indicators to transparently report student learning, growth, and success in the classroom.
In an attempt to report more than just test scores, the Index’s dashboard helps demonstrate how schools are doing in preparing students for post secondary success. This holistic reporting approach includes:
- Increased emphasis on student growth measures, which incentivizes a focus on all learners and is less sensitive to demographic variables.
- Measuring English language acquisition among ELL students, not simply performance on a test of grade level ELA standards.
- Career awareness instruction beginning at the elementary level.
- Addressing the issue of unequal weighting of content areas in the current SPP.
- Providing indicators of student success after graduation.
- Increasing the emphasis on student access to course offerings such as AP, IB, college credit, and CTE programs of study..
- Allowing LEAs to include locally-selected reading assessments (Grade 3) and math assessments (Grade 7) as additional snapshots of student progress.
- Incentivizing schools to offer career pathways that culminate with high value, industry recognized credentials.
Families and educators can filter through the easy-to-navigate dashboard to analyze the data and compare schools across the state.
What are the Future Ready PA Index College and Career Benchmarks?
One aspect the Index measures is college and career readiness. Upon searching a school, families and educators can see if it met the performance standard, view the statewide benchmark, and compare it to the state average.
There are four different College and Career benchmarks:
- High School Graduation Rate: Data is collected for students graduating with a diploma, in four or five years respectively.
- Industry-Based Learning: This indicator is the percentage of 12th graders that
1. Score competent or advanced on Industry Standards-Based Competency Assessments (NOCTI/NIMS), AND/OR
2. Earn at least one Industry-Recognized Credential, AND/OR
3. Complete a Work-Based Learning Experience
- Rigorous Courses of Study: This indicator is the percentage of 12th graders who participated in at least one Rigorous Course of Study, defined as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual credit courses during grades 7-12, or in a concentrated CTE program of study.
- Post Secondary Transition to School, Military, or Work: Data is collected for students entering these fields within 16 months of their graduation date.
Overall, the College and Career indicator represents the percent of students who demonstrate engagement in instruction and activities to satisfy the Career Education and Work Academic Standards.
What are the PA Career Education and Work Standards?
The Career Education and Work Standards, released in 2006, are a part of the State Board of Education’s regulations of required education for all public school students in Pennsylvania. These standards follow students through their K-12 experience to ensure that they are developing skills to prepare them for the workforce.
The Career Education and Work Standards address four areas of knowledge:
- Career Awareness and Preparation
- Career Acquisition (Getting a Job)
- Career Retention and Advancement
These standards can be implemented across disciplines or designated for separate career-focused classes, but must be met by students in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.
Want to jump-start or enhance your career education knowledge? Here are some good places to begin:
- Career Standards Benchmark Guidance
- 13 Effective Practices for Implementing the PA Career and Education Standards
- Toolkits for CTE
- Career Portfolio Resources: The PA Career Education and Work Standards require all students to have a career portfolio beginning in the 8th grade and continuing until graduation.
- Guide for Chapter 339 and Future Planning Tool Integration
What Evidence is Required to Demonstrate Adherence to the Career Education and Work Standards?
Pennsylvania requires that districts collect evidence to demonstrate that all four strands of the Career Education and Work standards have been meaningfully addressed for all students.
Grade span requirements are as follows:
- Students are to produce a minimum of 6 pieces of evidence accumulated in grades K-3, 4, and 5.
- Students are to produce a minimum of 6 pieces of evidence in grades 6, 7, and 8. One piece of evidence for the 6-8 grade band must be the student’s individualized career plan.
- Students are to produce a minimum of 8 pieces of evidence in grades 9, 10 and 11. At least 2 of these pieces of evidence must demonstrate implementation of the student’s individualized career plan.
What is Chapter 339 in PA?
Chapter 339 of the Pennsylvania School Code mandates that all school districts in the Commonwealth have a comprehensive, sequential guidance plan for students in grades K-12.
Within this plan, districts must provide college and career instruction in order to prepare students for life after graduation. Pennsylvania’s Career Education and Work Standards help educators meet this goal and support vocational, college, and career pathways.
Need help crafting your district’s guidance plan? Here’s some great resources to help you navigate writing or revising your current initiatives:
- School Counseling in the Commonwealth Mandate
- PA Companion Guide to the ASCA National Model
- Step-By-Step to Building a School Counseling Program
- Curriculum Action Plan Template by Grade
- Guidance Plan Rubric
- Sample K-12 Guidance Plan by Frazier School District
Future Ready PA Index: Frequently Asked Questions
How do the index, the standards, and Chapter 339 Differ?
It may seem like we’re talking in circles, but we promise that all three connect. PA’s Chapter 339 requires districts to have a K-12 guidance plan, which includes a college and career readiness piece. In order to provide age-appropriate and aligned future planning instruction, PA created the Career Education and Work Standards. Finally, the Index analyzes the percentage of students that met the standards using a series of four benchmarks.
Why is Pennsylvania pushing career education?
Simply put, Pennsylvania is planning for its own future. Data shows that 60% of PA jobs in the year 2025 will require post-secondary training, so initiatives have been established to help students be career ready. This includes the creation of expectations and comprehensive guidelines in order to increase the employability of the next generation.
How did school Closures affect the Future Ready PA Index?
Due to 2020 school closures and the disruption of evidence-collecting assessments, the Future Ready PA Index’s reports look a little different this year. The Index has been very transparent as to which sets of data have been updated (Regular Attendance; English Language Proficiency; Postsecondary Transition to School, Military and Work) and which remain the same from the 2018-2019 school year collection.
What tools can help me manage the Future Ready PA Index?
- Xello’s Resources for Pennsylvania Educators: Xello’s future readiness model is aligned with the Future Ready PA Index. Resources including guides, activities, and professional development webinars empower educators to keep track of student success and meet state requirements.
- Tools for Developing a Comprehensive K-12 Guidance & Counseling Plan: This document provides school district counselors with a step-by-step process, a framework, resources and best practice models for developing their district plan.
- Additional Resources: This PDF provides resources aligned to the 13 strategies listed above in the Standards section.
Do you have questions about how your district can help students meet PA’s Future Ready Index requirements? Just click on the link below to book a call with our education consultants and they’ll be happy to assist.