Past Event

Fast Track to College

Increasing Postsecondary Success for All Students

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

Fast Track to College
Increasing Postsecondary Success for All Students

March 15 , 2005
College is becoming less affordable and the education “pipeline” from high school to and through college remains shockingly inefficient, despite the reform efforts of the past several decades. According to one study, for every 100 students who enter ninth grade, only 18 will complete any kind of postsecondary degree within six years of graduating from high school. Hilary Pennington, Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of Jobs for the Future, has proposed the development of three “fast track to college” alternatives to the traditional high school senior year.

Video & Transcript
• Cindy Brown: Video
• Hilary Pennington: Video
• Dr. Sclafani: Video
• Dr. Sclafani: Video
• Q&A Session: Video
• Transcript: Full text (PDF)

Note: All video provided in QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

Hilary Pennington is the Co-Founder of Jobs for the Future, widely recognized as one of the leading research and policy development organizations in the country regarding issues of workforce development and future work requirements. At Jobs for the Future, Ms. Pennington has overseen an extensive research and policy agenda, as well as consulting with over 20 states and many communities on the issues of economic change, youth transitions, and workforce development. Ms. Pennington was a member of Clinton’s Presidential Transition team in 1992 and recently completed tenure as Co-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Expanding Training Opportunities. She has advised President Clinton and the first Bush administration on workforce and education policies and worked with the Secretaries of the Departments of Labor and Education to design the landmark School to Work Opportunities Act, enacted in 1994. Prior to founding Jobs for the Future, Ms. Pennington worked in corporate strategy and public policy at Aetna and the Boston Consulting Group. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Management and Yale College. She holds a graduate degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford University.
Dr. Susan Sclafani is Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education and Assistant Secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). As Assistant Secretary, she serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary on all matters related to vocational and adult education. In this position, Dr. Sclafani coordinates department programs and recommends policies to ensure that all Americans have the knowledge and technical skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. Through the Preparing America’s Future Initiative, Dr. Sclafani is working to mobilize effective and scientifically based state and local high school reform initiatives, to support America’s community colleges, and to improve adult education programs. Previously, Dr. Sclafani worked in a variety of roles at the Houston Independent School District, culminating in Chief of Staff for Educational Services. Dr. Sclafani received her A.B. degree from Vassar College, her M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Sclafani participated in the Cooperative Superintendency Program at the University of Texas while completing her doctoral work. She is also a charter member of Superintendents Prepared, an initiative to identify and train the next generation of urban superintendents.
Jack Jennings is the President and CEO of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center is an independent national non-partisan advocate for improved public schools. The Center communicates with teachers, parents, and members of the general public through presentations, books, pamphlets, and brochures. The Center also encourages actions to improve the schools through assisting states and school districts, and through arranging national meetings and conferences. From 1967 to 1994, Mr. Jennings worked in the area of federal aid to education for the U.S. Congress. As the chief expert on education for the U.S. House of Representatives, he was involved for more than a quarter century in nearly every major education debate held at the national level, including every reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Vocational Education Act, the School Lunch Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Higher Education Act. In addition, Mr. Jennings has edited four books on national issues in education, wrote a national legislative newsletter for Phi Delta Kappa, and publishes numerous articles in newspapers and magazines. In April 1998 a book he wrote on the national politics of education, Why National Standards and Tests?, was released by Sage Publications. He holds an A.B. in History from Loyola University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Cynthia Brown is the Director of the Renewing Our Schools/Securing Our Future Task Force on Public Education, a joint initiative of the Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future. Ms. Brown has spent over 35 years working on public education issues, and has focused particularly on student achievement and programs to assist low-income and minority students, students with disabilities, and families. Most recently she was an independent consultant. She has served as Director of the Resource Center on Educational Equity of the Council of Chief State School Officers (1986-2001) and was the first Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education (1980). Earlier, she served as Principal Deputy in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office for Civil Rights during the Carter administration. Ms. Brown has also been the Co-Director of the Equality Center and worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Children’s Defense Fund.