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CCSSO Release - Maryland Joins Career Pathways Initiative

For Immediate Release                   

Contact: Olympia Meola, Press Secretary,

Baltimore, MD (September 29, 2015)

Maryland is one of seventeen states committed to expanding career and technology education (CTE) programs to prepare high school graduates for high-skilled, high-demand jobs.   Maryland has redefined its system of CTE at both the secondary and postsecondary levels with the foresight to ensure all students have opportunities to earn meaningful industry-recognized credentials and to be prepared to enter postsecondary education.

According to Dr. Karen Salmon, Assistant State Superintendent overseeing CTE, “The recommendations and action steps in the CCSSO report align directly to the work that is currently underway in the state—specifically with regards to the implementation of high quality CTE programs of study.  Over the last 15 years, Career and Technology Education in Maryland has evolved into a broad system of programs of study spanning a variety of challenging career fields.  Each CTE program of study is designed for students to gain specific technical and transferable skills and knowledge that will give them a jump start on future career and college success.”

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is facilitating the work of the 17 participating states, in response to recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO’s Career Readiness Task Force.  The report encourages states to make high school programs more responsive to the labor market by enlisting the employer community as a lead partner; significantly raise the threshold for quality career pathways in secondary schools; and make career preparation matter to schools and students.  This includes making career readiness a higher priority in state accountability systems by incorporating a more robust set of career-focused indicators that measure and value successful completion of meaningful pathways, work-based learning experiences, and credentials.  

“The task force recommendations were an important start, but states now must make them a reality,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. “In this global economy, we must prepare all kids to have an option in a career pathway as well as continued academic pursuits by the time they graduate from high school.”

The 17 states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

CCSSO launched its Career Readiness Task Force in the spring of 2014 to address the concern that career education can reflect an outdated model that tolerates low expectations and is often misaligned with the evolving needs of the current labor market. 



The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.