To ensure that all high school graduates are prepared for postsecondary education and work, governors and business and education leaders must develop a comprehensive plan for their states to:
Restore value to the high school diploma by revising academic standards, upgrading curricula and coursework, and developing assessments that align with the expectations of college and the workplace.
Redesign the American high school to provide all students with the higher-level knowledge and skills, educational options, and support they must have to succeed.
Give high school students the excellent teachers and principals they need by ensuring teachers and principals have the necessary knowledge and skills and by offering incentives to attract and retain the best and brightest to the neediest schools and subjects.
Hold high schools and colleges accountable for student success by setting meaningful benchmarks, intervening in low-performing schools and demanding increased accountability of postsecondary institutions.
Streamline educational governance so that the K-12 and postsecondary systems work more closely together.
Download a PDF file of the full action agenda. http://www.2005summit.org/en_US/pdf/actionagenda.pdf
A Call to Action
This action agenda is ambitious, but the need for action has never been more clear or urgent. Governors and state leaders can neither implement all of the ideas overnight nor change the education system on their own. The business community must be a strong advocate for needed reforms and a consistent supporter of the education and political leaders who are implementing them. Parents and taxpayers must continue to demand change. Postsecondary education leaders also must get more involved. Most important, local education officials and the teachers and principals who work in our high schools must rise to the challenge and help lead the way.
We must not let the difficulty of the task sway us from taking the right course. We owe it to our youth and our nation to redesign the American high school and make it a cutting-edge institution once again. The future health of our economy and democracy depends on our answering this call to action.