School-to-Work: A Guide for State Policymakers

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Paper focus on state-level system-building strategies related to school-to-work systems that connect traditional educational experiences to work-place learning.

Report is intended to help legislators and other state policymakers become more familiar with the ideas motivating the “school-to-work” movement and gain a better understanding of the building blocks of local programs and of state system activity. Paper describes in detail approaches to governance, oversight, articulating a vision, and support of local action.

Areas of focus include: (1) Articulating a clear vision for a school-to-work-system, (2) Catalyzing new relationships, not mandating new programs, (3) Building decentralized systems aimed at giving local communities autonomy and responsibility, (4) Focusing on outcomes rather than inputs, (5) Fostering portability, (6) Facilitating participation by key institutional partners, (6) Linking the school-to-work system to education reform, adult training, and economic development strategies.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group