Investing in Human Capital: Aligning Education for the State Economy

In Oregon, all of the stakeholders of the education system have joined to align education from the bottom up and make it more effective. By creating the 13-member Education Investment Board, the future of the state’s economy and workforce will reap the benefits of a system increasing the number of highly-qualified, career-ready citizens.

The Education Investment Board recently approved “achievement compacts for 197 school districts, 17 community colleges, seven universities and Oregon Health & Science University” as a starting point to measure the achievement levels of students flowing through the system. There are no consequences for failing to meet achievement targets, but the investment board hopes it will help districts focus on key weaknesses and develop innovative solutions.

“We’re trying to focus on a few key (goals) for preschool through college in order to free the system to innovate to meet these,” said Ben Cannon, the education policy advisor for Oregon’s governor (from a post by Bill Graves, The Oregonian, 3/27/2012).

Oregon’s Education Investment Board is one example of how a “P-20 council” could work.

A P-20 council is a group of high-level education stakeholders, including educators and leaders from pre-school, K-12, colleges, career technical institutions, and the business sector. The purpose is to insure the best use of resources and the highest possible achievement along the complete pipeline of education for every student.