Foreword by Susan Wally
Preface: A Message from the Conference Sponsors
Framing the Debate
Five Key Issues
Moving Forward
Appendix: Five Key Issues
Equity. Why is K-16 Collaboration Essential to Educational Equity? by Kati Haycock
Governance. Governance and the Connection Between Community, Higher Education and Schools, by Ira Harkavy
Standards. Bridging the Great Divide Between Secondary Schools and Postsecondary Education, by Michael Kirst and Andrea Venezia
Teachers. Improving Teacher Preparation: Research, Practice and Policy Implications, by Arturo Pacheco
Community. Inter-Level Educational Collaboration for Civic Capacity Building: The Role of Local Education Funds, by Wendy D. Puriefoy
About the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media
About the Institute for Educational Leadership
About the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
About the Series: Perspectives in Public Policy

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A Message from the Conference Sponsors

Many academic and school leaders have been hard at work in recent years to close a gap that has been too wide for too long. They insist that the public is not well served when the nation's schools and its colleges and universities deal with each other at arm's length. Many states have already begun the arduous task of creating a more "seamless" education system, one that stretches from kindergarten through the undergraduate years (K-16). Some systems sprang up voluntarily between education sectors, others required legislation. Some states encourage little more than regular conversation between the two systems, while others have tried to relate the movement for standards-based education reform to decisions about academic admission and placement. Support for this new way of thinking is growing and the momentum behind it is formidable.

It would be a mistake, however, to think that simply conceiving of a more seamless system will make it a reality. Concepts, of course, are important, but at the ground level where policy meets public need, a host of potential barriers block the way.

That's why our organizations took advantage of the publication of The Learning Connection, edited by Gene I. Maeroff, Patrick M. Callan and Michael D. Usdan, to consider the issues involved.1 We asked governors' policy advisors, legislative chairs, state superintendents of instruction, and state higher education executive officers from some 15 states to gather at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Conference Center in Kansas City, Missouri, to talk about how to move forward.

We understand that moving forward in creating seamless K-16 education is difficult. In most places, a profound cultural, political, and institutional chasm yawns between K-12 and higher education. We are under no illusions about the many obstacles in the road ahead. At a time when both K-12 and higher education need attention and require reform and renewal, they live apart, leaving common interests that should bind them together on the margin, no one's responsibility. But as U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said via videotape at this conference, open discussion of these important issues can only advance the public interest. And as these proceedings make clear, although we still have a long way to go, we are almost halfway home.

Patrick M. Callan
The National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education

Elizabeth L. Hale
The Institute for Educational

Gene I. Maeroff
The Hechinger Institute on
Education and the Media

William T. Pound
National Conference of State

Ted Sanders
Education Commission of the

Ray Scheppach
National Governors Association


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