Brown Chairs Hearing on Career and College Readiness in Columbus

Brown Joins School Administrators, Business Leaders and Recent Graduates to Discuss Efforts to Prepare Students for the 21st Century Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today hosted a hearing to examine best practices in producing career and college ready high school graduates during a field hearing in Columbus. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P.) Committee Field hearing focused on programs that have demonstrated success in the Columbus area.

Below is a portion of Sen. Brown's statement:

The Obama Administration's Blueprint for ESEA Reauthorization calls for reorienting Title I towards career and college readiness for all students. The states are moving in that direction as well. The Chief State School Officers and the National Governor's Association have partnered to develop a common core of college and career ready standards in English and mathematics.

This is a big step forward. The last two renewals of ESEA called on states to set "challenging standards" in the core subject areas and to develop statewide assessment systems aligned to those standards in reading in mathematics. Those standards were not necessarily connected to the knowledge and skills need for college or the 21st century workplace.

This disconnect has been clear for many years. Just yesterday, we held a roundtable discussion about workforce investment at the Summit County Job Center. Every person around the table echoed the need for us to do a better job of connecting young people to college and careers during their time in school.

Ohio has been a leader in the standards movement. Our state is an enthusiastic participant in the common core standards process. Ohio has moved to benchmark its standards against international standards. And the state is part of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

Yet we have a long way to go.

Ohio's average freshman graduation rate is 79 percent, exceeding the national average by 5 percent. However the rate for Black and Hispanic students is just above 64 percent. For low-income students, the rate is 73 percent. 60 percent of Ohio's recent high school graduates enroll in college, which is below the national average of 66 percent.


Witnesses at Thursday's hearing include:





Testimony Topic

Bob Caldwell



Superintendent of Wolf Creek Local School District

How participants in the Ohio Appalachian Education Comprehensive Improvement Project are collaborating to increase college entrance and completion rates.

Kristi Phillips-Schwartz



Director of Education Initiatives, Cincinnati Business Committee

Description of the STRIVE collaborative and the participation of the business community in improving career and college readiness.

Crystal Jordan



Senior at Metro Early College High School

A student perspective on career and college readiness.

Jacqueline Silas-Butler



Executive Director, Project GRAD

The results of Project GRAD in Akron Public Schools.

Steven Jackson



Senior VP, Great Oaks Career Campuses

Career and college readiness in the context of career and technical education.


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