NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: SEPTEMBER 7, 2012


59 Students Reach Platinum-Level Score on National Career Test

Among the more than 40,000 high school seniors who took the national WorkKeys assessment last March, 52.5 percent demonstrated that they have the foundational skills to qualify for at least two-thirds of the jobs in the WorkKeys jobs database and earned a certificate of workplace readiness at the silver, gold or platinum levels. An additional 19.3 percent of students scored high enough to qualify for at least 16 percent the jobs in the database. In North Carolina, WorkKeys is administered to students who are Career and Technical Education (CTE) completers (students who have completed four sequential CTE courses) and is intended to determine whether students have the foundational skills needed in specific occupations.

"Scoring well on a WorkKeys assessment is a tremendous accomplishment and can be an important stepping stone to a future career," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Helping students develop relevant and valuable job skills is one of our top priorities so we depend on WorkKeys' results to help us gauge how we are doing in these efforts."

The WorkKeys assessment is designed to measure students' career readiness as they prepare to enter the workforce by assessing their abilities in three core areas: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information. Students' performance in these areas is meant to demonstrate their abilities to potential employers through the use of standardized, quantitative metrics. There are four certification levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

This year, 59 students were awarded the first-ever North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate after scoring at the platinum level. The platinum Career Readiness Certificate was first introduced nationally in 2009. It is the highest WorkKeys certification available, reserved for students who obtain a Level 6 (of 6) in each of the assessment's three core areas. According to ACT, Inc., platinum-certified students are eligible for more than 99 percent of the 16,000 jobs in the WorkKeys Occupational Profile Database. Less than one percent of the students in North Carolina who took the WorkKeys assessment in 2012 received the platinum-level certification. Visit North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate for more information.

The WorkKeys test was launched by ACT, Inc. in the late 1980s. Today, the test is administered in 38 states and is recognized by thousands of businesses and local, state and federal agencies. In addition, the North Carolina State Board of Education voted in December 2011 to include results from the ACT and WorkKeys in the READY school accountability model that will be implemented this school year. Visit WorkKeys assessment for more information.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.