WHEREAS, the state of Washington has provided leadership in its education programs for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; and
WHEREAS, the state of Washington has continued to be in the forefront concerning innovative educational programs in the 1990s; and
WHEREAS, these innovative programs have included performance-based education, the Education Reform Act of 1993, the School-to-Work Transition Program, applied academics, TECH PREP, the Task Force on College and University Admissions Standards, integration of vocational and academic programs, and student enrollment options; and
WHEREAS, a skilled workforce is the foundation for economic development and a high standard of living; and
WHEREAS, the state of Washington, like the rest of the nation, lacks a comprehensive and coherent system to help its youth acquire the knowledge, skills, and information about the labor market necessary to make an effective transition from school to career-oriented work; and
WHEREAS, three-fourths of Washington's workers enter the workforce without baccalaureate degrees; and
WHEREAS, there is a dramatic need for an educational system that facilitates transition from secondary to postsecondary education, from education to the world of work, and continued education in the work place:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby establish the Governor's Council on School-To-Work Transition.
I. The Council is charged with the responsibility to develop an action plan to establish the Statewide School-to-Work Transition System. At a minimum, the system should include:
A. The integration of school-to-work transition as an essential part of Washington's education and employment and training systems;
B. Essential learning requirements and performance-based assessments for secondary students after they receive a Certificate of Mastery;
C. Effective working partnerships between education, labor, business (including small business), community-based organizations, and government at all levels;
D. An education and training system that is competency-or performance-based with competencies validated by representatives from business, labor, education, government, and the community;
E. Statewide, industry-based skills standards that are coordinated with national standards, and the awarding of a skills certificate to students who demonstrate skill competencies;
F. Structured work-based learning experiences connected to school-based learning;
G. Integration of vocational and academic learning for all students;
H. A seamless system of competency attainment and recognition at secondary schools, community and technical colleges, and four-year colleges and universities;
I. A process for using labor market information for program planning and for counseling students concerning education and career choices; and
J. A process for evaluating the postsecondary education and employment outcomes of former secondary students, and for analyzing the relation of these outcomes to secondary school experiences.
II. Members of the council shall be appointed by the Governor and shall include representatives of common schools, two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities, business, labor, community, government, and members of the public.
III. The Governor shall designate the Chair of the Council.
IV. The Council Chair will establish committees and work groups as may be necessary to carry out the work of the Council. The Chair shall also designate a Vice Chair and provide for the recording of activities and actions taken by the Council.
V. The Executive Director of the Council shall be selected by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.
VI. The Council Shall:
A. Issue a report to the Governor by within nine months from the effective date of this Executive Order recommending actions needed to implement the school-to-work transition system.
B. Specify the needed legislation and other actions that should be taken to implement the system; and
C. Coordinate its work with other education reform and workforce development activities currently taking place in the State of Washington.
VI. The Office of Financial Management will provide funds from federal grants for the staffing and support of the Council, with public agencies and private-sector firms loaning staff as may be necessary. The Chair of the Council shall establish a Council budget from these funds. Members of the Council shall receive per them and travel expenses in accordance with OFM policies.
VII. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.