Iowa officials identified both legislation and policies that provide the framework for the statewide STW initiative.
Iowa's STW Administrative Team has identified several pieces of Iowa legislation that complement the implementation of Iowa's STW system.
Iowa Code Annotated (I.C.A.) § 84B.1 and 258.18 (Senate File 268),
"Iowa Invests" legislation, Division VI - Workforce Development
Senate File 268, enacted in 1993, required six Iowa Departments [including Economic Development, Education, and Employment Services (now known as Iowa Workforce Development)] to collaborate in streamlining the delivery of employment and training programs. The law also:
- requires these departments to develop an integrated computer information system which would combine all of the various departmental data; and
- includes language for a school-to-work transition system to be developed by the Iowa Departments of Education, Employment Services, and Economic Development in consultation with local school districts, business, industry, labor, and community colleges.
I.C.A. § 280.12 and 280.18, School Improvement and Student Achievement
The school board or equivalent for each public and nonpublic school shall:
- determine major educational needs and rank them by priority,
- develop long range goals and plans to meet the needs,
- establish and implement short-range and intermediate-range plans to meet the goals and to attain the desired levels of student performance,
- evaluate progress toward meeting the goals and maintain a record of progress under the plan that includes student performance reports and school improvement project results, and
- report progress made under the plan at least annually to the advisory committee (which includes students, parents, teachers, administrators, and
community representatives), the community, and the Iowa Department of Education.
The advisory committee, identified above, is appointed and makes recommendations to the school board concerning the development of goals, the assessment process to be used, and measurements to be used in the school district.
Iowa school districts have a locally developed plan for school improvement. Each school district's school board shall adopt goals to improve student achievement and performance. Measuring student achievement and performance can be evaluated through measuring the improvement of students' skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, math, reasoning, studying, and technological literacy. Each school board shall adopt goals that will improve student achievement at each grade level in the skills listed above and other skills deemed important by the individual boards. Each school board shall transmit its plan for achieving the goals it has adopted and the periodic assessment that will be used to determine whether the goals have been achieved to the Iowa Department of Education.
The periodic assessment used by a school district to determine whether its student achievement goals have been met shall use various measures for determination, of which standardized tests are one example. The school board shall ensure that the achievement of goals for a grade level has been assessed at least once during every 4-year period. The school board shall file assessment reports with the Iowa Department of Education and shall make copies of these reports available to the residents of the school district.
I.C.A. §§ 256.38 and § 256.39 (House File 565), Career Pathways Program Act
House File 565, enacted in 1995, provides grants to local partnerships to develop career pathways and model curricula and serves as the organized framework for integrating school-based and work-based learning. The law establishes state policy for providing an education system that prepares students to meet the high skill demands of today's workplace. To meet this need, the high school curriculum must be redesigned so students appreciate the relevance of academic course work; reach higher levels of learning in science, math, and communications skills; and acquire the ability to apply this knowledge. Career pathways modifies high school curricula and instruction to provide students with opportunities to achieve high levels of skills and knowledge within related career areas. It also provides for the staff development teachers need to blend academic knowledge and work-relevant skills.
I.C.A. § 85.20 (Senate File 361), State Workers' Compensation Coverage for Students Participating in STW Programs
Senate File 361, enacted in April 1997, provides workers' compensation coverage to students participating in work-based learning either through employers in the case of paid learning experiences or through the school districts in the case of unpaid learning experiences.
I.C.A. § 258.16 (Senate File 449), Vocational Education Standards Act
Senate File 449 established regional planning boards representing officials from Area Education Agencies, local school districts, and community colleges. These Boards were to develop 5-year regional plans for systemic change within the region. Iowa's Technical Preparation (Tech Prep) State Director outlined the regional actions to address this objective as follows:
- Develop partnerships at regional and local levels.
- Plan and implement a sequence of appropriately articulated learning experiences.
- Plan integrated, applied, contextual curriculum and instruction based on content and skill standards.
- Promote career guidance and career planning.
- Assist local partners in identifying and using continuous quality improvement tools that address locally identified student learning needs.
- Assist local partners in achieving system change through action planning.
- Promote management, data collection, recording, and reporting.
- Assist local partnerships to move toward implementation of school improvement.
Other supporting legislation includes:
- Federal Tech Prep Legislation (1993) expanded Iowa's regional planning boards to include representatives from Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) programs, business and industry, labor, vocational rehabilitation, and other employment / training groups.
- I.C.A. § 261C (Post-secondary Enrollment Options Act) permits high school students to take post-secondary education courses and earn secondary credits for a maximum of two academic years or the equivalent.
- I.C.A. §§ 15.108 (subsection 6), 84A, and 84B (Senate File 2409 in 1996) created the Iowa Workforce Development which merged the former Iowa
Department of Employment Services and all other Iowa employment and training programs into one department. This legislation also established regional advisory boards composed of five business representatives, five labor representatives, and one community college representative, one school district representative, a county elected official, and a municipally elected official.
- I.C.A. §§ 295.1 through 295.5 (the School Improvement and Technology Act) (1996) appropriates $30 million per year for 5 years to local school districts for updating and upgrading technology including school district involvement in distance learning through the Iowa Communications Network (see Chapter 6).
The following three bills are being considered during Iowa's 1998 legislative session:
All school districts and accredited nonpublic schools using multiple assessment measures would assess students enrolled in 3rd, 8th, and 11th grades and would annually report to the DE and the local community each district's progress in attaining student achievement levels on the core indicators and the locally established student learning goals.
Legislative Needsprovides for the integration of the secondary school curriculum with private sector job training which places students in summer job internships.
Per Iowa officials, additional Federal and/or State legislation is needed to support STW activities in Iowa. These legislative needs include:
The various aspects of Iowa's STW system are thoroughly interwoven with other State policies and activities so that STW will become fully integrated, and not merely aligned, with related state strategies. We identified the following policies that are supportive of sustaining STW initiative after Federal STW funding ceases:
Linkages Between STW and Iowa's Overall Workforce Development System
Iowa's policy for the STW system is to integrate with Iowa's overall workforce development strategy and its implementation structure. In designing STW as part of Iowa's overall workforce development system, Iowa officials have:
- begun to use common language and standards within program guidelines, requests for proposals, and other field communications;
- required that local JTPA and IWD plans indicate the use of existing resources to assist in the STW system-building effort;
- established a core of set partners that must be involved at the regional and local levels in order to access STW resources;
- designed a governance system that ensures state-level commitment and facilitates the coordination of education and training programs; and
- designed performance-driven outcome measures that ensure partnerships are not creating a new layer, but rather establishing one system for all students through systemic change.
National Career Development Guidelines (NCDGs)
Iowa STW officials have set the policy that the local STW partnerships should use the NCDGs, or an equivalent, for career guidance delivery to students in the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education system.
The NCDGs' project was initiated by the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee in 1987. The NCDGs are being used in at least 40 states to enhance the career development components of a wide range of counseling programs.
The NCDGs provide specific guidelines to help States, schools, colleges, and human service agencies strengthen and improve comprehensive, competency-based career counseling, guidance, and education programs. They provide indicators of outcomes and competencies and present an implementation process that encourages flexibility, involves stakeholders, builds upon existing program strengths, and stimulates coordination with other organizations. The NCDGs promote evaluation as an essential component in the ongoing refinement and revitalization of career development programs.
The purposes of the NCDGs are to:
- strengthen career development programs at all levels;
- enhance student and client achievement;
- adopt state and local career development guidelines;
- revise career development programs; and
- improve career development through structured evaluation.
Using NCDGs yields the following benefits:
- helping people prepare for the changing workplace by helping them understand the relationship between education and employment;
- helping young people improve their decision-making skills;
- encouraging students to stay in school, promoting self-esteem and improving social adjustment;
- increasing motivation and improving academic achievement;
- enhancing family involvement;
- enhancing program accountability through regular assessment of student achievement; and
- promoting the coordination and articulation by defining sequence of delivery and reinforcement of learning from previous levels.
It is Iowa's policy to define curriculum integration as a holistic approach that connects concepts, principles, content, and applications across all areas. Curriculum integration encourages students to become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. Curriculum integration is a necessary component for local STW partnerships.
In December 1997, an Iowa STW official presented a 'Curriculum Integration' overview for Iowa's regional STW partnerships over the Iowa Communication Network (see Chapter 6 for more information). The five common reform themes for integrating a school's curriculum include: Standards/Benchmarks; Collaboration of All Stakeholders; Education Delivery/Changes to Class Scheduling; All Students; and Accountability.
Local STW Partnership Grant Policies
All local STW partnership members must sign the grant application that is submitted to the State. Each partnership member attests to the following local level policies as a condition for grant funding.
- The local STW initiative will integrate:
- classroom learning with work site learning;
- academic education with occupational education; and
- secondary and post-secondary education.
- The local STW initiative will result in students attaining a:
- high school diploma, or equivalent;
- skill certificate based on state-endorsed necessary skills; and
- certificate, diploma, or degree recognizing successful completion of at least one year of post-secondary education, if appropriate.
- Partners agree to design the STW system that assures inclusion of all students.
- Local STW systems will link and/or expand their school improvement initiatives in building a comprehensive STW system.
- Work-based learning opportunities provided to students will be in high-skill, high-wage occupations.
- Schools agree to:
- participate in the Iowa evaluation of the STW system;
- develop and implement integrated and applied curricula; and
- work towards the development of a comprehensive pre-K-12 career development system. A model to consider is the NCDGs.
- Each partner attests to continuing his/her involvement with the local STW system.
Labor Market Information in the Classroom
It is Iowa's policy that students must know how to access and use labor market information as they make future plans.
We believe that Iowa's current legislation and policies, if fully implemented
throughout Iowa's workforce development system, will enhance the probability
of the STW initiative continuing after the cessation of Federal STW funding.
Iowa officials believe that economic development, workforce development, and education reform are integrally related. Consequently, Iowa officials planned for this integration in the governance of Iowa's School-to-Work (STW) system by providing linkages with the State's workforce development strategies and with school improvement efforts. Iowa officials have established a state-level, regional-level, and local-level governance structure for the administration of Iowa's STW initiative.
The state-level governance structure for Iowa's STW system includes the Governor's Office, Iowa's Departmental Directors, the Iowa STW Administrative Team, and the Iowa STW Co-Directors.
Governor's Office Participation
Workforce development initiatives have been spearheaded by the Governor's Office since the 1980's. The Governor called together the heads of six State agencies to form Iowa's Welfare Reform Coordinating Council. The Governor also called together representatives from business, education, State government, and the workforce to form the TARGET Alliance to review the various workforce development activities that existed in Iowa (see page 4).
In June 1995, the Governor submitted Iowa's Implementation Grant application. The Governor's administration is planning a massive effort to rework Iowa's high school curriculum to better match home-grown workers with Iowa's future jobs. The Governor wants Iowa to meet the needs of real jobs in Iowa as opposed to training people so they have to leave Iowa to get a job.
The Governor's Office is briefed every month on the progress of educational initiatives (including STW) by the Directors of Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), the Iowa Department of Economic Development (DED), and the Iowa Department of Education (DE).
Participation of Iowa's Departmental Directors
The Iowa STW initiative is being implemented through the leadership of the State Directors of IWD, DED, and DE. Collectively, these three Department Directors have the authority and responsibility to direct Iowa's STW system activities with the assistance of the Iowa School-to-Work Administrative Team described on page 33.
These Directors are committed to maintaining and continuing the work of institutionalizing the elements of STW as they align with goals and objectives of Iowa's workforce development efforts, school improvement efforts, economic development efforts, and business and industry efforts. Any identified need for additional support, including financial resources, future legislation or modification, and technical assistance, will be addressed in the continued effort to assure that all individuals will be prepared to effectively transition into a changing workforce.
The IWD Director stated that the overall STW goal of the IWD is to provide the smooth transition of students from school to the workforce. Iowa is one of the original implementation states for the Federal one-stop career center initiative. As part of this initiative, Iowa's workforce development center efforts are incorporating vocational education, vocational rehabilitation, welfare recipients' work and training programs, displaced homemakers, older Iowans, and dislocated workers; in addition to serving as a resource to employers and schools. Iowa officials recognize that a cohesive workforce development strategy includes both education and customized training for business and industry. Iowa's STW system design integrates with Iowa's overall workforce development strategy.
The DED Director stated that DED is concerned with the "business-side" of STW. DED ensures that STW has been and will continue to be coordinated with other ongoing state programs. Iowa's official economic development policy is aimed at creating wealth, rather than simply jobs, in order to raise Iowa citizens' standard of living. A critical requirement for success with this approach is to ensure that Iowa's current and future workers have the highest possible foundation of skills and knowledge.
The DE Director stated that the DE supplies the workers and has three roles in the STW initiative. The first role is advocating the need for system change. The second role is building the capacity -- there must be a link between education and the workforce to create a strong economy. The third role is requiring accountability. The STW plan is an integral part of the state's overall school improvement effort and is based on the same philosophical principles that have resulted in Iowa's traditions of educational excellence and economic independence.
Iowa School-to-Work Administrative Team
The interdepartmental School-to-Work Administrative Team was created on November 7, 1996, by the Directors of the IWD, DE, and DED. The Administrative Team was charged with:
- preparing a budget and work plan that included expected impacts of the expenditures,
- proposing a decision-making process for awarding future STW grants within Iowa,
- advising the Directors of barriers to the successful completion of the work plan, and
- ensuring that STW activities are consistent with the goals and objectives of the three key State departments and that the departments' initiatives and the STW initiatives are resources to each other in the achievement of common goals.
The STW Administrative Team is comprised of the two Iowa STW Co-Directors as well as two officials each from the IWD, the DED, the DE, and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). The STW Administrative Team generally meets every Friday morning. All of the Administrative Team members have additional job responsibilities beyond STW implementation with the exception of the STW Co-Directors who are devoted to the initiative on a full-time basis.
The two Co-Directors have six full-time employees who assist them in the daily operations of the STW initiative. The staff is comprised of:
- four Local Partnership Coordinators who are assigned to specific geographical areas of the State and provide policy guidance and technical assistance to funded local STW partnerships;
- one Office Manager who administers the financial aspects of the regional and local STW partnership (i.e., monitors grant budgets, expenditure reports and maintains the official grant files); and
- one administrative assistant.
Fifteen regional STW partnerships, which coincide with Area Education Agencies (AEAs), JTPA's Service Delivery Areas, and community college districts, are responsible for providing leadership and technical assistance to potential local STW partnerships -- both unfunded partnerships and funded partnerships in the developmental stage. AEAs are regional education entities that provide school improvement leadership and services to school districts and individual schools in order to enable every student to perform at higher educational levels. The required partners in the regional STW partnerships include JTPA Directors, community college presidents, Iowa Workforce Development representatives, Private Industry Council representatives, AEA administrators, business and industry officials, labor representatives, local school district officials, a rehabilitation transition specialist, Iowa Department of Human Services representatives, and regional planning board members. Regional partnerships are also responsible for gathering an inventory of programs, activities, and services for the assembly of a STW system within their regions.
At the local-level, local STW partnerships will implement the STW initiative. These partnerships require business representatives, a labor official, a community college representative, an AEA representative, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, a local IWD liaison, an alternative education provider, a community economic development representative, and a Transition Advisory Board member to be active participants.
The local STW partnership can be built upon existing school district advisory committees, comprised of the school administrators, students, parents, educators, and community representatives. The school district advisory committees had previously been established to assist local school boards with the implementation of school improvement mandates (Iowa Codes 280.12 and 280.18 discussed in Chapter 1).
In conclusion, we believe that the IWD, DED, DE, and ABI have collectively established linkages with appropriate management levels to assure needed actions will be taken to continue Iowa's STW system. Iowa's current system of governance should enhance the probability of STW initiative continuing after the cessation of Federal funding.
By the Year 2000, the Governor's goals are to create 300,000 new jobs; increase the median family income to $40,000; and increase the population, jobs, and income in every Iowa county. To accomplish these goals, the Governor had the Iowa Department of Economic Development (DED), the Iowa Department of Education (DE), and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) develop a strategic plan entitled "Enterprise Strategic Planning" (ESP).
The ESP's vision states, "All Iowans will have the opportunity to achieve the highest standard of living and the highest quality of life." "High quality of life" is defined as success in career, community, cultural, and family life, as well as a safe and healthy environment. The ESP reflects the respective departments' understanding that the creation of high quality jobs increases income and economic opportunity, that higher incomes contribute to a higher standard of living, and that a higher standard of living contributes to a high quality of life.
Through the ESP, Iowa officials plan to institutionalize the STW elements into school improvement, workforce development, and community development because the officials believe that these components are integrally related.
In order to achieve the ESP vision and the Governor's goals, the ESP identifies the following four critical success factors that must be addressed concurrently by DED, DE, and IWD:
The ESP identified four key strategies that have emerged to address the critical success factors. Some strategies and associated program activities are multi-agency in scope, and would affect the operations and programs of each department. Other strategies reflect the missions of individual departments and programs. However, the interdependent nature of the critical issues in economic development, education, and workforce development reflects an enterprise-wide plan that is in alignment with the above critical success factors and the Governor's goals.
increase the skills of Iowa's current and future workforce. The key strategy for education and training program activities is to closely align them with "real" jobs. The affected departments will emphasize and reallocate resources to "demand-driven" training activities in high value-added/targeted industries. Iowa officials will strive to strengthen the connection between education, training, and the workplace as well as increase reliance on information provided by employers to guide training and placement functions.
Interim Performance Measures
Interim Performance Indicators
- Total employment
- Increase in the business growth as measured by new business starts, total factory exports, and the Iowa Gross Domestic Product
- Increase in personal income as measured by the median family income
- Proportion of population at education attainment levels
Possible Future Performance Measures
- Academic performance as measured by percent of 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students who are at or above 'proficient' on the Iowa Test of Basic skills in reading, math , and science
- Post-secondary transition as measured by percent of high school graduates enrolled in 2-year or 4-year institutions
The IIS information system that will enable Iowa to implement and monitor new performance measures is still in the process of being developed and operational. In the interim, Iowa is in the initial stage of establishing the following indicators to measure evidence of the success of STW implementation:
- Total employment in strategically selected industries
- Employment placement following training or education
- Income following training or education
- Residency following training or education
- Measure of overall and industry specific workforce skills
- Measure of overall and industry specific workforce productivity
- Completion rate at 2-year and 4-year colleges
- Percentage of secondary schools offering work-based learning connected to an integrated curriculum
Current Short-Term Indicators to Measure STW Implementation
- All students are entering continued education with better academics and knowledge of application to the workplace -- multiple measurements will be used to show student achievement (proposed House File 2272 in Chapter 1).
- All students are entering continued education with better academics and knowledge of application to the workplace -- assessments at 4th, 8th, and 11th grades for math, science, and reading are utilized [this data is maintained by the DE management information system, known as Basic Educational Data Survey (BEDS)].
- All students will receive assistance with individualized career planning through a variety of activities and support services as provided in school improvement plans and STW plans.
- Teachers and students will experience real world connections through internships, work experiences, shadowing, mentoring, apprenticeships, and projects as a result of AEA professional development and STW action plans.
- DE, DED, and IWD are jointly proposing appropriations to support local school improvement efforts as a result of the Enterprise Plan.
- School district goals and strategic plans are embracing elements of STW as indicated in school districts' school improvement plans.
- School district's school improvement advisory committees include representatives from business, labor, IWD, economic developers, parents, and the community as provided in school districts' school improvement plans.
- Local economic development boards, chambers of commerce, and regional advisory boards include representatives from the K-14 education system as indicated in School Improvement Reports to DE.
Current Long-Term Indicators to Measure STW Implementation
- Business costs will be reduced on remedial training for workers. This data is maintained by the DED and is updated every 3 years.
- Student attendance rates will increase and student drop-out rates will decrease. This information is maintained by BEDS.
- Community investment in education in the form of district planning, policy development, accountability, experimental learning opportunities, articulation,
and support will be stronger and more active. This information is indicated in school districts' school improvement plans and STW action plans.
The Iowa STW Co-Director stated that many STW "evidence of success" indicators are now collected only in school districts that are receiving STW funding. This data is only available by individual school district and the data may be inconsistent. Iowa does not have a standardized collection mechanism in place to ensure the collection of consistent statewide STW data. The Iowa STW Co-Director also stated if the Iowa Legislature passes House File 2272 (see Chapter 1), this problem will be alleviated.
- The percentage of students who stay in Iowa for their employment will increase. IWD maintains this data.
- The percentage of students entering 2-year colleges with 4-year degrees will decrease. This data is maintained by community colleges.
- Cultural changes at the state and regional levels are occurring among officials from DE, DED, and IWD.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Because the IIS system is still being developed, Iowa currently does
not have a statewide standardized process for collecting STW-related data.
However, this shortfall will be addressed when the IIS becomes operational
and will be further strengthened with the passage of the House File 2272.
We believe that Federal officials should encourage Iowa's interdepartmental
STW Administrative Team to insure the earliest operational completion and
implementation date for the IIS (see Finding No. 3 in Section I, Chapter
Iowa STW officials believe that the strength of their approach to building the School-to-Work (STW) system is within the deliberate integration with existing education reform efforts, workforce development efforts, and economic development efforts. STW is not a separate program -- no single agenda, curriculum, standard or event can be labeled as "STW." Instead, STW is many related elements which help students see the link between school and career. Iowa officials are aware that a variety of educational and training programs exist in Iowa. Many of these same programs constitute pieces that can be assembled into the STW system. In Iowa's Administrative Code for Education, a "program" is defined as the collective activities of a funding source. Per one STW official, STW will transition away from individual programs and create a learning system. Iowa officials define this system as ". . . a network of interdependent programs and services connecting schools and communities that work together to prepare students to enter and succeed in a changing workplace."
Iowa's terminology is causing some confusion among stakeholders at the regional and local levels. Iowa officials are addressing the confusion by assembling their STW system from existing programs through the asset mapping process as well as creating linkages with other Iowa groups and programs.
Asset Mapping Process
For over a decade, the Iowa Department of Economic Development (DED), the Iowa Department of Education (DE), and the Iowa Department of Employment Services [now known as Iowa Workforce Development (IWD)] have worked together to forge an integrated approach to developing Iowa's workforce resources. Iowa's approach to developing the STW system is no different. Iowa officials are proceeding with an asset mapping initiative to guide their efforts in incorporating the various programs administered by the IWD, DED, and DE into the STW system. Asset mapping is a process of taking an inventory of the various programs available in Iowa and identifying duplication of services or gaps in services provided to students. The programs are classified into one or more of the following four STW categories:
- Planning for the Future -- Students have formal academic or career development plans; counseling and advising services; and/or portfolios documenting progress.
- Skill Development -- Students have opportunities to develop competencies in basic skills (i.e., reading, math), thinking skills (i.e., decisions, problem solving), and personal qualities (i.e., responsibility).
- Workplace Experiences -- Students have opportunities for mentoring, job shadowing, internships, career fairs, mock interviews, and/or employment.
The following programs are being inventoried in the asset mapping process:
- Transitions -- Students are supported at critical junctures during their development; especially prior to middle school, prior to high school, and between high school and post-secondary education/training or employment with career opportunities.
Department of Education:
|Business Professionals of America||Community Colleges|
|DECA Secondary and Post-secondary Divisions||Future Farmers of America|
|Future Homemakers of America||Multi-Occupations Student Organization|
|Professional Development for Agricultural Education||Technical Preparation|
|Technology Student Association||Vocational Industrial Clubs of America|
|Job Training Partnership Act programs|
Iowa Workforce Development:
|Labor Market Information||Integrated Information System|
|Job Training Partnership Act programs||Promise Jobs|
|Workforce Investment Program||Re-employment Services|
|Labor Exchange||Unemployment Insurance|
Department of Economic Development:
|Rural Enterprise Funds||Rural Innovation Grants|
|Apprenticeships||Business Network Training|
|Career Link||Innovative Skill Development|
|Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program||Iowa Jobs Training Program|
|Revitalization Assistance for Community Improvement||Targeted Industry Training|
Linkages with Other Iowa Groups and Programs
The Iowa STW officials are also building upon existing efforts that foster partnership development for the purpose of community and economic development through linkages with the New Iowa Schools Development Corporation, the Iowa Labor Institute, the DED's Community and Rural Development initiative, Workforce Development Centers, and statewide business associations (Iowa Association of Business and Industry and the Iowa Business Council).
Linkage with School Improvement
Iowa school districts, in accordance with Iowa Codes 280.12 and 280.18, must have a locally developed plan for school improvement. Each school improvement plan must generate, maintain, and strengthen parental and broad-based community participation through partnerships in addressing the particular needs of its community as well as increasing access of students and families to coordinated services in a school setting or at
Linkage with STW Distance Learning Project
Iowa officials are also involved in the STW Distance Learning project. This project, currently in its pilot stage, is funded through the U.S. Department of Education's Star Schools Grant. As part of this project, Iowa officials have identified high performance work organizations that are tied to Iowa's targeted industries. The STW Distance Learning Coordinator formally invites these work organizations to participate in the project. Through February 4, 1998, 17 high performance organizations have agreed to participate.
The ultimate goal of the STW Distance Learning project is to create a CD-ROM that contains various video clips which provide an overview of the various high performance occupations that are available in Iowa. The CD-ROM will include video clips from both large and small work organizations that are located throughout Iowa. Upon completion of the CD-ROM, the goal is to ensure that all Iowa educators have access to the CD-ROM for use in career counseling and school-based learning. The STW Office's goal for this project is to ensure that each career pathway's Tier II skills (see Chapter 10 for more information) are included on the CD-ROM. The Tier II skills then can be presented directly into the Iowa classrooms.
Linkage with Vocational Education
The vocational education linkage with STW is included in the Fiscal Year 1997 Iowa Vocational Education Performance Report. Vocational education staff and STW staff collaborate as partners in many STW activities. These participating vocational education employees are financed with Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act (Perkins Act) funds. Technical assistance provided by vocational education staff include reading STW local grant proposals, participating in STW local site visits, and monitoring of fiscal responsibilities.
Linkage with Denison Job Corps Center (DJCC)
Iowa STW officials met at the DJCC on November 24, 1997, to discuss linkages between the Center's operations and the Iowa STW initiative. Job Corps is a residential education and training program for disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 24. The DJCC can serve up to 450 students and offers them academic and vocational training, high school diploma and GED preparation, social skills training, medical and dental services, recreational activities, housing, and placement services. Students who enroll at DJCC need educational and employment skills. The DJCC mission is to guide and support each
The DJCC has developed a STW concept document that is designed to create a infrastructure system change by integrating existing fragmented components into a cohesive system to ensure all students are prepared to make a living, a life, and a difference. This system change will be achieved by incorporating school-based learning activities, work-based learning activities, and connecting activities. The goals of the STW concept are to improve the quality of the workforce, expand business involvement in education, shrink the gap between training and business, and empower the students to enter and succeed in a changing and challenging workplace.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Iowa has generally taken actions necessary to ensure that other Iowa
programs and groups are fully integrated into the statewide STW system.
Iowa officials have identified a number of potential resources that can be used to maintain the School-to-Work (STW) system when Federal STW funds are no longer available. Iowa's challenge is to be realistic in the State's approach when there is no experience on which to base estimates. Further, Iowa STW officials are not sure of the degree to which local partners may redirect resources. However, per Iowa officials, the State has an outstanding history of integrating funds to decrease duplication of effort in accomplishing related goals when legally permissible.
Iowa has targeted the following Federal, state, and local funding sources to support the STW initiative:
- Wagner-Peyser funds -- A portion of these funds are being used to profile the education and skill requirements of jobs in small Iowa businesses using the Work Keys system developed by the American College Testing (ACT). Work Keys is largely based on SCANS (Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) skills. (See Chapter 10 for more information.)
- Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act (Perkins Act) Funds -- The Basic Grant and a portion of the Sex Equity Grant are used to fund State administrative activities and to fund the development of guidelines for the inclusion of "all students" in the STW system, respectively.
- Perkins Act Technical Preparation (Tech Prep) -- These funds are utilized to:
- develop high levels of collaboration among STW partners,
- promote the successful transition of students from secondary to
- post-secondary education and/or work,
- develop a planned sequence of learning experiences,
- assure articulation across the delivery system,
- develop skills for a changing workplace and society,
- integrate technical and academic curricula,
- develop higher levels of academic and technical opportunities,
- design worksite-based learning,
- emphasize applied and contextual learning, and
- assist with staff development in integration, curriculum development, and the expansion of work-based learning.
- Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) -- Title II-A -- 8 percent, Title II-B, and Title II-C
- The Title II-A -- 8 percent funds have been allocated to Iowa to pay for the Federal share of carrying out state education coordination projects. These funds are being utilized to provide training and services to eligible participants through partnerships with Workforce Development Centers. These Centers are considered to be a component in the delivery of STW services especially to out-of-school youth. A portion of the 8 percent funds is reserved for projects specifically designed to provide services which are consistent with the STW Act's components.
- Title II-B funding is being used on services that support STW activities. This summer program includes an academic component along with traditional work experience. As the STW system is more fully implemented at the local levels, these JTPA services will be further integrated into the local STW systems.
- Title II-C funding requires local plans to be coordinated with Iowa's STW system. Title II-C is a program to improve the long-term employability of youth. Local Title II-C managers have been made a formal part of the STW implementation process. As the STW system is more fully implemented at the local levels, these JTPA services will be further integrated into the local STW systems.
- Goals 2000, Educate America Act -- This grant's funds are being used for:
- promoting school and community planning in establishing student expectations at the local level,
- designing curriculum, instructional programs, and strategies to carry out locally defined expectations,
- determining assessment strategies which are aligned with the expectations, and
- reporting the results back to the school community.
- Vocational Student Organizations -- A combination of Federal and state funding supports vocational student organizations which are an integral part of the vocational education programs. These organizations play a role in supporting STW concepts. Some of these concepts include assisting in the formation of business partnerships and providing opportunities for employers, teachers, and students to observe that students have the necessary employability and academic skills to succeed in a highly skilled workplace.
- The Iowa State Vocational Education Appropriation -- This appropriation establishes new standards which provide increased access to a diversity of
vocational education programs for Iowa students and develops competency-based instructional programs that are planned and validated in cooperation with business, industry, and labor.
- Phase III -- The Educational Excellence Program is designed to enhance the quality, effectiveness, and performance of Iowa's teachers by promoting teacher excellence. These state funds are available to local schools for staff development related to school improvement, with STW included as an option for professional development.
- New Iowa Schools Development Corporation -- Funding from this nonprofit corporation is used to support its vision, which is to model and endorse change in local schools. Benchmarks for measuring local progress include leadership development, school-community collaboration, and school improvement. This corporation's board of directors includes the leadership of the organizations that formulate, administer, or influence statewide educational policy.
- Iowa State Occupational Information Coordinating Council -- A portion of these state funds is being spent on services that support STW activities. This Council's Career Information Delivery System, known as Choices, is directly applicable to building Iowa's STW system.
- Workforce Investment Program -- A portion of the state appropriation is being spent on services that support STW activities. This program is designed to be a flexible funding source for when eligibility and service gaps inevitably occur because many training programs target a specific population and are designed around certain allowable services.
- Iowa Conservation Corps -- A portion of this state appropriation is being spent on services that support STW activities. This competitive grant program has four components which engage students in conservation, economic development, tourism, and other public service activities. In 1993, the Iowa legislature made "youth apprenticeship" an allowable activity with the intent that some projects would be designed for applied, work-based learning opportunities. As the STW system is more fully implemented at the local levels, collaboration with the Iowa Conservation Corps will increase.
- Community and Rural Development -- This division of the DED is a partner in the STW initiative and is making the following state funding sources available in support of the STW initiative:
|Rural Enterprise Fund||Rural Innovation Grants|
|Housing Pre-development Grants||Revitalization Assistance for Community Improvement|
|Local Housing Development Planning and Staffing Program|
- New Standards Project -- The project is funded through a combination of state and private sources. The project develops a system accommodating locally developed assessments that link to common national performance standards in many of Iowa's school districts. The primary goal of the project is to use the new system of standards and assessment as the cornerstone of a strategy to improve the performance of all students. The assessment will use performance examinations, projects, exhibitions, and portfolios to assess students' capacities to apply what they have learned to the complex problems that they will encounter as citizens, family members, and workers.
Other Iowa Activities in Support of Leveraging Funds for STW
Consolidated Grant Application (CGA)
Iowa's CGA for STW, Career Pathways, and Goals 2000 funds requires the local school district's proposal to identify long range plans to support the local STW system with other resources when Federal funds are no longer available. The CGA requires that a budget narrative illustrate how current and future fiscal resources will be used for the activities outlined in the grant action plans.
The STW Administrative Team has initiated an effort known as Asset Mapping that will essentially serve as a gap analysis. Based on the needs identified from both the state and local processes, the team will provide recommendations to the State Directors of IWD, DED, and DE as well as the President of ABI. These recommendations may include the need for additional financial resources. The IWD Director, the DED Director, the DE Director, and the President of ABI have collectively signed a letter stating that they are committed to providing the financial resources necessary to assure that the elements of STW, as aligned with the state strategic plans, are sustained beyond the life of the current Iowa STW Implementation Grant.
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