New Coalition Launches to Build Education Pathways, Grow Skilled Workforce, Improve Economic Mobility

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Nearly 70% of Massachusetts voters agree we must ensure that every high school student in every community has good choices that are right for every student, including 2- and 4-year college degrees, technical and vocational education, according to a poll released today by a new coalition committed to expanding student pathways to post-high school economic opportunity.

Student Pathways to Success is a cross-sector coalition of organizations committed to educational equity and that represent students, parents, educators, and employers. It aims to universalize access to a meaningful and relevant high school education for all students that puts them on a pathway to college and career success. Members include Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, EdTrust Massachusetts, Educators for Excellence, Latinos for Education, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, Massachusetts High Technology Council, Massachusetts Parents United, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Teach Plus, and Urban League of Springfield.

“Today in Massachusetts, too many students graduate high school unprepared for college and careers while at the same time good-paying jobs go unfilled,” said Edward M. Lambert, Jr., Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. “Our coalition believes that Massachusetts can address some of our most pressing challenges by creating stronger connections between what students are learning in high school and the economic opportunities our employers are creating. This is about adding choices that improve options for high school graduates and building a diverse, skilled workforce pipeline to drive and sustain economic growth.”

The poll, conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, shows Massachusetts voters believe:

  • Nine in ten voters say our next governor must put education improvements among their
    top priorities (88%) with two in ten saying it must be our next governor’s top priority
    (20%).
  •  Every Massachusetts high school student should be able to get a jump start on a future
    career by allowing them to earn college credits and credentials necessary for good
    paying jobs and economic mobility (89% support).
  • Students must have education pathways that feature good choices that are right for
    every student, including 2- and 4-year college degrees, and technical and vocational
    education (68% strongly agree).
  • Access to programs that prepare students for college and good careers should not be
    dictated by your zip code (68% strongly agree).
  • Every high school student should experience more career connected learning (54%
    strongly agree).

“Disparities in educational opportunity perpetuate a system of wage, wealth and opportunity gaps,” said Robert Lewis, Jr., Nicholas President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “By expanding the pathways to economic opportunity – starting in high school – we can reverse this trend and expand options for our young people.”

Student Pathways to Success recognizes that a “one size” approach to education, particularly in high school, is not working to meet either graduate or workforce needs. Our goals are designed to expand options for students, including:

  • By 2030, every high school student in Massachusetts will be on a personalized learner
    pathway and have opportunities to:

    • Earn college credit
    • Participate in work-based learning
    • Attain industry-recognized credentials
    • Receive dedicated career counseling
  • Every public high school will offer structured pathway programs that are aligned with
    valuable postsecondary degrees, high-growth industries, or in-demand occupations.
  • Every high school student will have coursework or elements from different pathway
    programs to prepare them to meet their goals for success in higher education and the
    workforce.

“Despite leading the nation in many educational categories, too many Massachusetts students are leaving high school ill-equipped to take advantage of opportunities in the state’s economy,” said Joe Boncore, CEO of MassBio. “When we provide equitable and varied pathways for high school students in every region of the Commonwealth, we better prepare our young people to enter higher education or careers and fill the countless job openings in high-demand industries ike the life sciences.”

The poll was conducted among 800 voters in Massachusetts from September 7-14, 2022, using an online survey. The results were weighted to ensure proportional responses.
About Student Pathways to Success Student Pathways to Success, a cross-sector coalition of organizations committed to educational equity and that represent students, parents, educators, and employers, aims to expand access to a meaningful and relevant high school experience that puts students on a path to college and career success.

About Student Pathways to Success

Student Pathways to Success, a cross-sector coalition of organizations committed to educational equity and that represent students, parents, educators, and employers, aims to expand access to a meaningful and relevant high school experience that puts students on a path to college and career success.

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