Doing What Works Resources: Assess and Intervene

In a previous post, Marlene Darwin of the Doing What Works Initiative introduced their new online resource, Helping Students Navigate the Path to College.  This is one in a series of follow up posts describing the content of that resource. Too many students graduate from high school unprepared for two- and four-year colleges or specialized training programs.  The Doing What Works website, under the topic “Helping Students Navigate the Path to College,” recommends that schools use assessment measures to inform students about their college readiness and close identified gaps. Schools should assess all students and, as early as possible, assist those who are not adequately prepared.  The website offers a multimedia presentation on Assessment and Intervention that outlines key actions that schools and districts can take to ensure students' readiness for the rigors of postsecondary education. Schools and districts can gather early indicators of students’ academic preparation for college from a number of resources, including college placement or admissions exams, statewide college- and career-readiness assessments, and local assessments. The information from these assessments should be combined with other indicators of academic progress to assess students’ college readiness. Watch Dr. David Conley’s (from the University of Oregon) interview, Assessing College Readiness, to learn about the features of high schools that are successful at creating college readiness and a college-going culture. Dr. Conley emphasizes the need for new methods to assess students’ readiness, particularly those that measure thinking skills, content knowledge, academic behaviors, and college knowledge. In the See How It Works section, you can learn about three schools that are implementing this practice:  Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (TN) , Dayton Early College Academy (OH) , and Kearny High School of International Business (CA). For example, Kearny High School of International Business (CA) uses multiple forms of assessment to build a profile of college readiness. In the interview, A Personalized Learning Experience, the principal and literacy coach describe the ways they provide support for students who are not on track for college. The sample material, Assessment Feedback for Students, shows how school staff members communicate with students about their performance. Under Do What Works, schools can use several tools to conduct a self-assessment to reflect upon their processes for assessing students’ readiness and to plan for appropriate interventions for students who are not on track for postsecondary education. States, districts, and schools can also use three planning templates which offer key actions for developing comprehensive, postsecondary access plans. If you want to to know when new content is added to Doing What Works and keep current with the latest research-based education practices online, subscribe to the free e-mail alerts. You can stop your subscription and be removed from the e-mail list at any time. Guest Author: Marlene Darwin is a Senior Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research. She is the co-project director for the Doing What Works Initiative.  Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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