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High SchoolCollege ReadinessSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
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 Selected Research & Readings

Assessment--College Entrance Exams
Postsecondary Academic Affairs--Developmental/Remediation/Placement

ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013 African American Students - Nearly all African American students (86 percent) report they aspire to postsecondary education, but 62 percent did not meet any of the four ACT college readiness benchmarks. Only 10 percent met three or more benchmarks. After high school, 63 percent immediately enroll in postsecondary education, but only 62 percent of those students who complete a year persist into the second year. These findings indicate a need to improve readiness for African American students and to address challenges to persistence. (ACT, March 2014)...

Closing the Expectations Gap 2011: Sixth Annual 50-State Progress Report on the Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Careers - This is the sixth annual report in this series on closing the expectations gap. The report details state progress implementing the American Diploma Project policy agenda that advocates states to: (1) Align high school standards and tests with the knowledge and skills required for success after high school; (2) Require all high school graduates to complete a college- and career-ready curriculum so that earning a diploma assures a student is prepared for opportunities after high school; (3) Build assessments into the statewide system that measure students’ readiness for college and careers; and (4)Develop an accountability system that promotes college and career readiness. (Achieve, February 2011)...

The Linked Learning Approach: Building the Capacity of Teachers to Prepare Students for College and Careers - This policy brief argues that teacher preparation programs based on the Linked Learning approach offer a promising model for other school districts, states, and regions to create and sustain college- and career-focused learning environments. Linked learning is aimed at improving high schools by pairing a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum with career technical education courses centered on an industry theme while offering the supports and workplace exposure that can be critical to students success. By setting up students for success in the full array of options after high school, Linked Learning seeks to bridge the college-career divide that has long characterized the American education system. (Lori Meyer, Alliance for Excellent Education, August 2010)...

The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2010 - Using ACT test scores and the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, the Condition of College & Career Readiness reports provide national and state snapshots of college readiness of the graduating seniors of the class of 2010 who took the ACT in high school. Interactive map allows users to key into a particular state and review the detailed results. (American College Testing, 2010)...

Aligning Secondary and Postsecondary Education: Lessons from the Past - Educators have long expressed the need to align all levels of education and build a seamless, coordinated P-16 system. They argue that failing to do so has kept too many students from pursuing an advanced education and the nation from benefiting from a more educated populace. Such was the case in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, when educators first began to struggle with the proper alignment of the American educational structure. The argument continues and the need to align standards and missions between secondary and higher education. This brief considers this history and the lessons it offers for today. (Marc VanOverbeke, University of Wisconsin, November 2009)...

They Can Pass, But Are They College Ready? Using Longitudinal Data to Identify College and Career Readiness Benchmarks on State Assessments - This resource guide focuses on data that states must collect and analyze to identify scores on the state test that provide strong assurance that the student is college-ready. To inform the setting of these benchmarks, states need information on the relationships among state test scores and other indicators of student readiness for college and workforce training programs. (Chrys Dougherty, Data Quality Campaign, October 2008)...

Using Longitudinal Data Systems: How ACT, SAT and AP Results Can Increasingly Inform Policymaking, School Improvement and Student College Readiness - The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) recommends that state P-12 data systems include 10 essential elements so they can be used as a powerful tool for tracking and improving individual student progress as well as answering important policy and educational improvement questions. One of the essential elements addresses the need to collect student-level scores on these common college readiness indicators—the ACT, SAT and AP exams. Matching these scores with other student-level performance, course and program participation data can provide valuable information for educators to use when working with individual students about their progress toward college readiness. The information is also invaluable for policymakers, schools and districts to use when evaluating their efforts towards student preparation for postsecondary education. According to the DQC 2007 survey of state data systems, just four states have all ten elements in place and only 15 are counted as having the college readiness scores. (Data Quality Campaign, Jane Armstrong, Terry Bergner, Susan Hanes and Nancy Smith, August 2008)...

Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy - This paper discusses career pathways, a framework or approach by which regions can better align publicly supported systems and programs to build a knowledge-economy workforce customized to the needs of local labor markets. Career pathways are a series of connected education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in that sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed explicitly to prepare the participant for the next level of employment and education. The first in a planned series of reports, this report lays out the economic justification for career pathways, describes the process involved and sets the stage for the remaining reports. (Davis Jenkins, Workforce Strategy Center, August 2006) ...

Ready for College and Ready for Work: Same or Different? - This 12-page brief suggests that young people entering college or workforce training programs after high school graduation need to be educated to a comparable level of readiness in reading and math. This conclusion is reached by: (1) Identifying the level of reading and mathematics skills students need to be ready for entry-level jobs that require less than a bachelor’s degree, pay a wage sufficient to support a family and offer the potential for career advancement; (2) Comparing student performance on ACT tests that measure workforce readiness with those that measure college readiness; and (3) Determining if the levels of performance needed for college and workforce readiness are the same or different. The authors clarify that while there may be differences in the contexts in which these skills and knowledge are imparted, the level of expectation must be the same. (ACT, Inc., 2006) ...

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