Focusing Education on the Future
is a new education initiative designed to prepare students for a lifetime of success. It allows students to achieve excellence by preparing them for secondary and postsecondary opportunities, career preparation and advancement, meaningful work, and active citizenship.
Achieve Texas is a system designed to help students (and their parents) make wise education choices. It is based on the belief that the curricula of the 21st century should combine rigorous academics with relevant career education. When schools integrate academic and technical education, students can see the "usefulness" of what they are learning. The system also facilitates a seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary opportunities.
This initiative uses the sixteen federally defined Career Clusters of the States' Career Clusters initiative ( www.careerclusters.org
) as the foundation for restructuring how schools arrange their instructional programs. A Career Cluster is a grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. The Career Clusters provide an organizing tool for schools, small learning communities, academies, and magnet schools. Programs of Study (POS) have been developed for the Career Clusters. The POS represent a recommended sequence of coursework based on a student's interest or career goal.
Goals of AchieveTexas:
Career Clusters and Programs of Study (POS) are an integral part of the Texas education system.
Every student prepares a personalized graduation plan in middle school to plan for grades 9-16 and beyond. The student chooses a Career Cluster and POS to guide his or her learning in the context of personal career interests. Plans are evaluated and updated annually.
Clusters span all grades (P-16+). Career awareness begins in elementary school and transitions into career exploration in middle school. Career concentrations in high school help students transition into career preparation in postsecondary. All participants experience career advancement in employment.
The education system is seamless between high school and postsecondary institutions. Students have opportunities in a POS to earn dual credit and articulated credit that flows seamlessly into postsecondary education or training.
Partnerships are in place throughout the system. Partnerships are established statewide and locally between business and education. Educational institutions form meaningful partnerships.
Academics are woven throughout the P-16+ curriculum. There is an integration of academic and technical knowledge and skills within the curriculum. Interdisciplinary teaching takes place and academics are taught in context. Curriculum alignment occurs between secondary and postsecondary education.
Career guidance is dramatically enhanced. All students have access to quality assessment and career information resources. Career counseling is provided with a strong emphasis on career and college readiness.
All students take part in extended learning opportunities. Every student chooses extended learning experiences such as service learning, internships, apprenticeships, and work-based learning.
Professional development supports the cluster system. Professional development is a critical part of the teacher's career. Schools of education train teachers for career clusters