Publication Date

September 2001

Abstract

[Excerpt] Before the school-to-work (STW) movement began improving communication between schools and employers in the past decade, high-school achievement counted little in hiring decisions, because recent graduates could not signal skills and discipline to employers. Most requests for high school transcripts went unanswered, and employers hired workers with demonstrated job skills, freezing most graduates out of the primary labor market. Relegated to the secondary, unskilled market, graduates with strong basic skills saw a long delay before good job performance improved their income. Consequently, high-school students saw little relation between studying and labor-market rewards. Since they observed recent graduates with good grades holding jobs similar to those held by weak scholars, students not bound for college had little motivation to excel. Responding to this problem, the STW movement recommended that businesses reward high-school achievement in hiring and promotion practices and encouraged school–employer connections, including sponsorship of many STW activities. This article investigates efforts to communicate student achievement to employers and discusses the effects of school–employer connections on the labor-market success of recent high-school graduates. Participation in collaborative STW activities from 1995 to 1997 is examined. It is proposed that better signaling of student achievement improves job quality for high-school graduates and strengthens learning incentives. Analysis of longitudinal data on the labor-market success of secondary students supports that proposal.

This article investigates efforts to communicate student achievement to employers and discusses the effects of school–employer connections on the labor-market success of recent high-school graduates. Participation in collaborative STW activities from 1995 to 1997 is examined. It is proposed that better signaling of student achievement improves job quality for high-school graduates and strengthens learning incentives. Analysis of longitudinal data on the labor-market success of secondary students supports that proposal.

Comments

Suggested Citation
Bishop, J. H., Mane, F., & Ruiz, A. (2001). STW in the 1990s: School–employer partnerships and student outcomes [Electronic version]. CEIC Review, 10(8), 12-13.
http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/articles/34

Required Publisher Statement Copyright by the Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education. Published version posted with special permission of the copyright holder.

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