Learning for Careers

Learning for Careers The Pathways to Prosperity Network

Nancy Hoffman and Robert B. Schwartz, Foreword by Anthony P. Carnevale
paper, 184 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-111-2
Price: $30.00

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Pub. Date: October 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-113-6

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Learning for Careers provides a comprehensive account of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a national initiative focused on helping more young people successfully complete high school, attain a first postsecondary credential with value in the labor market, and get started on a career without foreclosing the opportunity for further education. It takes as its starting point the influential 2011 Pathways to Prosperity report, which challenged the prevailing idea that the core mission of high schools was to prepare all students for college. In response, the Pathways Network was founded in 2012 to promote cooperative arrangements between educational and business institutions in order to fashion pathways for young people to acquire twenty-first-century skills and achieve professional success.


Hoffman and Schwartz provide a thorough and thoughtful summary of how states are taking on the challenge of ensuring more students are career-ready–not just college-ready–and specifically prepared for high-growth and high-demand jobs. — Candice McQueen, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education

This experience-packed, on-point book will sharpen our oft fumbling effort to make real the ‘career’ part of ‘college- and career-ready’ and furnish many more young Americans with a rigorous, respectable, and lucrative alternative to the ‘four-year degree for all’ goal. — Chester E. Finn, Jr., distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Pathways to Prosperity is giving thousands of Delaware young people the opportunity to learn valuable skills that will serve them well in the workplace. The best part is seeing how engaged these young people are as they think about their future. — Jack Markell, governor of Delaware (2009–2017)

Learning for Careers is a must-read for educators, employers, and civic leaders who are partnering to prepare young people for twenty-first-century careers. In developing Here to Here, a scaled career pathway initiative for low-income in-school youth in the South Bronx, we have relied on the exceptional work described in this book.  It has been essential to Here to Here's success thus far. — Judy and Jamie Dimon, The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation

Nancy Hoffman and Bob Schwartz's work constitutes the true definition of education reform in our country. They address one of America's fundamental challenges: How do we make public education much more relevant to the needs of the changing modern workforce? Their work is essential reading for everyone interested in how to smartly combine rigorous academics with real-world application. — Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento, former president of the California State Senate, and author of the California Career Pathways Trust

Career and Technical Education (CTE) reforms are extremely demanding. They must create a robust continuum between the worlds of work and education where actors cooperate intensively with each other. This complex endeavor is even more challenging in the United States due to its extremely fragmented state-level education systems. This book is an absolutely inspiring report for all CTE reform leaders in the world. — Ursula Renold, head of research division education systems, Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich

The 1990 report of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce strongly recommended that the United States greatly raise academic standards for all students and create a world-class work-based vocational education system. Instead, the United States raised standards for some while wrecking the vocational education system for many. This book describes what the country needs to do to get back on track. — Marc Tucker, president, National Center on Education and the Economy

What makes Learning for Careers special is that it offers a proven and promising approach to help young people launch into the labor-market with in-demand skills and credentials, and better prepare them for pursuing postsecondary degrees. The book is a story of how career and technical education can be elevated from a last resort to a first choice for young people. — Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General, and Director for Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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About the Authors

Nancy Hoffman is a senior advisor at Jobs for the Future, and a cofounder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network. Robert B. Schwartz is a professor emeritus of practice in educational policy and administration at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a cofounder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Anthony P. Carnevale


Interview with Author

E-book available through online booksellers

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