Public Act 9-674 (previously HB 5729) passed the Illinois House and Senate unanimously in May 2016, and Governor Rauner signed it on July 29, 2016. The bill was presented to the ICCB at the March 18, 2016 board meeting. It creates the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act that sets forth provisions concerning postsecondary career expectations; a competency-based, high school graduation requirements pilot program; transitional mathematics courses; reading and communication transitional competencies; College and Career Pathway Endorsements and State Distinction programs. The bill calls for the development and establishment of a uniform, cooperative system to prepare high school students for college and career readiness and requires intensive and consistent partnership and cooperation between ISBE, ICCB, and IBHE, as well as community colleges, high schools, and local school districts. In particular, the bill requires the development, implementation and support of transitional mathematics courses. Partnerships between school districts, community colleges and universities will promote articulation and transfer agreements of these courses.
The act is made up of 4 components:
- Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE)
- Pilot for Competency-based High School Graduation Requirements
- Transitional Math
- College & Career Pathway Endorsements on High School Diplomas
It is important to note that the integration of these strategies is the focus, and the PWR Act places learners at the center of the effort. It supports preparation for college and career readiness and requires coordination among school districts, postsecondary education providers, employers, and other private and public organizations.
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