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ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)


Blueprint for College Readiness: a 50-State Policy Analysis (Report) - The Blueprint features a first-of-its-kind analysis of the top 10 critical K-12 and higher education policies promoting college readiness and success. Designed to serve as a framework to help K-12 and higher education leaders conceptualize the key policies promoting college readiness, the Blueprint also shows the extent to which each state is pursuing them with a data portal. (Emmy Glancy, Mary Fulton, Lexi Anderson, Jennifer Dounay Zinth and Maria Millard, ECS, October 2014) ...

Blueprint for College Readiness: a 50-State Policy Analysis (Data Portal) - The Blueprint data portal allows exploration of the 50-state analysis, showing the extent to which each state is pursuing the 10 critical policies promoting college readiness and success. (Emmy Glancy, Mary Fulton, Lexi Anderson, Jennifer Dounay Zinth and Maria Millard, ECS, October 2014)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: High School--College Readiness - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Defining College Readiness: Where Are We Now? Where Do We Go from Here? - This PowerPoint, presented at ECS’ 2012 National Forum on Education Policy, identifies the (1) Benefits and challenges of existing state college-readiness definitions, (2) Key elements of any state’s college-readiness definition, (3) Other approaches states may consider using (and critical policy components), and (4) Importance of linking college counseling and college completion to college-readiness definitions and efforts. (Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, July 2012)...

Race to the Top: Promising Approaches to Achieving College- and Career-Ready Goals (Goal 1) MS Word PDF - (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, March 2009)...

Strategies to Empower Low-Income and Minority Students in Gaining Admission to and Paying for College PDF - This policy brief identifies barriers created by federal, state and local policies that pose a particular challenge for aspiring first-generation college students in the college and financial aid application process, and provides suggestions for how state-level policy might address each barrier. A final section on "other" barriers to college entry seeks to alert policymakers to emerging issues for which adequate institutional, state and federal policy responses are needed. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, November 2008)...

State Initiatives to Improve High Schools - This database provides information on a variety of state-level efforts, including: (1) States that subsidize testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc.; (2) State initiatives to improve the senior year and 9th grade year; (3) Outreach efforts to ensure students are well-prepared to finish high school and apply for college admission and financial aid; (4) Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans (i.e., 5-year plan, declaration of major, etc.); and (5) States that authorize or require the use of e-transcripts. (Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, July 2008)...

Postsecondary Feedback Systems - This database provides information about the data systems in more than 20 states that provide districts and high schools with information about how their graduates have fared after entering postsecondary education in the state. (Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, June 2008)...

Helping Equip Teachers to Answer Students' Questions on College Knowledge MS Word PDF - While a majority of both honors and non-honors track high school students in Stanford University's Bridge Project sample reported speaking with a teacher at least once about college admissions requirements, teachers reported receiving very little, if any, information to answer their students' questions. This ECS Policy Brief examines the findings of the Bridge Project's research on students' questions to teachers on "college knowledge," teachers' responses to these questions, and state policies that would better equip teachers to provide students with accurate information on college policies. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, April 2007)...

Definitions of College and Career Readiness: An Analysis by State - What does it mean to be college and career ready? Among the 36 states plus the District of Columbia that composed readiness statements, the definition varies. In 33, one definition is used for both college and career, assuming the skills required for each are essentially the same. Three quarters of the definitions determine readiness based on future outcomes so they can't be used to serve students in need of help to graduate on track for postsecondary success. (Anne Mishkind, American Institutes for Research, July 2014)...

Communicating College and Career Readiness through Proficiency Standards - The experiences of Kentucky, New York, Florida and the District of Columbia indicate states seeking to raise proficiency standards should reinforce why college and career readiness for all is a good thing. Further, states should set proficiency standards using data that show whether a student is on target for college and career readiness, and they should develop a communication plan to prepare the public for a short-term decline in scores as a new baseline is being established. (Michelle Croft, ACT, June 2014)...

Participation and Pass Rates for College Preparatory Transition Courses in Kentucky - Kentucky offers voluntary remedial courses in math and reading to 12th graders. Most students choose not to participate, but anyone can enroll in the transition courses - those who passed state benchmarks in the 11th grade, those who came close, and those who fell well below. Of students who took the classes, 90 percent passed. (Christine Mokher, Regional Education Laboratory-Appalachia, March 2014)...

Early Assessments and Transition Curricula: What States Can Do - When states start using Common Core assessments – or similar tests – a lot of 11th graders are going to find out they’re not college ready and, barring some kind of intervention, are headed for remedial college classes which are expensive and offer no credit. This brief, based on a longer study, discusses potential ways to help students avoid that costly, unrewarding path. Some states, districts and schools already offer 12th-grade transition classes, but of the 38 states who assess college readiness in some way, not all provide an intervention. Transition curricula are offered in 29 states; of these eight are statewide initiatives. (CCRC, January 2014)...

Reshaping the College Transition: Early College Readiness Assessments and Transition Curricula in Four States - Initiatives to implement college readiness assessments and transition curricula vary across states. This report describes those initiatives in California, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia, then compares interventions across states. Authors recommend strong collaboration between high school and higher education, and legislation to build support and momentum. Program designers need to weigh competing priorities concerning goals, populations served, and course content. (Elisabeth Barnett, et al., Community College Research Center, November 2013) ...

Using Data To Increase College and Career Readiness: A Checklist for States - This checklist serves as a guide to the key considerations policymakers must address as they develop policies to ensure that every student graduates college and career ready. (Data Quality Campaign, 2012)...

State High School Tests: Changes in State Policies and the Impact of the College and Career Readiness Movement - This 10th installment of CEP’s annual study of high school exit exams and other assessments finds that fewer states are requiring students to pass a high school exit exam, though testing in other areas has increased. The report, based on a survey of all 50 state departments of education, discusses state policies associated with high school exit exams, college entrance exams (such as the ACT or SAT), and college and career readiness assessments. (Center on Education Policy, 2011)...

2011 ACT Condition and College and Career Readiness - Using the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks and ACT® test scores, the Condition of College & Career Readiness reports provide national and state snapshots of college readiness of the graduating seniors of the class of 2011 who took the ACT in high school. (American College Testing, August 2011)...

Many Florida Programs Enhance Students' Career and College Readiness - Like many other states and the federal government, Florida has implemented many programs and initiatives to enhance high school graduates' career and college readiness. OPPAGA was requested by the Florida Legislature to provide an overview of national and state initiatives that help ensure that high school graduates are prepared for college and careers. This report looks at national initiatives addressing career and college readiness, Florida initiatives addressing readiness, and options the Legislature could consider to enhance the readiness of Florida youth. (OPPAGA, November 2010)...

Accelerating the College and Career Readiness of the Nation's Students (State Cards) - In 2009 Common Core State Standards Initiative was launched under the auspices of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors’ Conference. This Alliance for Excellent Education web site provides state-specific data relevant to the need for improved standards and assessments in the U.S. and the potential benefits of educating all students to meet the common core standards. (Alliance for Excellent Education, May 2010)...


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