The Maryland State Department of Education recently released two reports in response to requests by the General Assembly last session.
Report on Senate Bill 362: Education – Age for Compulsory Public School Attendance – Exemptions includes reports from the local school boards on their plans in implement the legislation, which increased the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years by the beginning of the 2017 school year. The reports details the goals, strategies, and objectives for each school system and who holds responsibility for their accomplishments. The report also shares programs suggested for implementation by all school systems, and successful interventions the early childhood and elementary school levels.
The College and Career Counseling in Maryland report was submitted in response to Senate Bill (SB) 740: College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013. The Bill charged the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to develop a plan, in consultation with institutions of higher education, to improve college and career counseling that is provided to students in middle and high schools. The plan should:
- identify best practices used in the State and nationally; and
- include recommendations for a competitive grant program that would be used to implement these best practices across the state as well as recommendations for implementing the College Readiness Outreach Program established under subsection 18-303.1 of the Education Article.
The report discusses adoption of several national models and guidelines for college and career counseling such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Guidelines. The report ultimately finds that
. . .to ensure that Maryland continues to have among the most educated populace in the country, all students must graduate with the academic knowledge and technical skills needed for success in postsecondary education and careers. Today, 38.7% of adults in the United States and 45.4% of Marylanders ages 25 to 64 have a postsecondary degree (Associate’s degree or above) (U.S. Census, 2011). In order to meet and exceed Governor O’Malley’s goal of 55% of Maryland adults age 25 to 64 obtaining an Associate’s degree or above by 2025, the strategies outlined in this plan must be implemented through a collaborative effort among educators and the broader community.
The report’s design team submits suggests that funding can be considered for inclusion in the fiscal year 2015 operating budget to support the tenants of the College and Career Counseling in Maryland plan.