State College and Career Readiness Initiative: Final Progress Reports

This report provides a final progress update on the work the Southern Regional Education Board and its partner states completed on Strengthening Statewide College/Career Readiness Initiative (SSCRI), a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded grant project that began early in 2008 and ended in April 2011The project focused on strengthening the college- and career-readiness initiatives in six states: Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy

This brief identifies key issues associated with the college readiness gap and causes of this gap, as well as outlines steps state policymakers and educators can take close the college readiness gap in their states. In order to ensure students are prepared for postsecondary success, a statewide college readiness agenda should be in place. Components of this college readiness agenda include: readiness standards, assessments, curriculum, teacher development, college placement, and state accountability. 

Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking: Twenty-first-Century Skills and Implications for Education

This brief describes the different interpretations of  what "21st century skills" are as well as the different perspectives of how these skills should be implemented and assessed. The brief also includes recommendations for policymaking around implementation and assessment of 21st century skills. These recommendations include refocusing accountablity systems, defining proficiencies and competencies around work-based learning opportunities, expanding secondary and higher education cooperation, and implementing Linked Learning.

Preparing Every Citizen for the Knowledge Economy: A Primer on Using Early Childhood, K-12, Postsecondary and Workforce Data

This primer explores what it means to link data systems from four perspectives: turf, trust, technical issues, and time; provides recommendations for policymakers to ensure data systems meet user needs; and includes snaphots and resources to help states address some of the challenges outlined in the brief. The recommendations include ensuring input from a broad range of stakeholders, defining the questions the system should be designed to answer, establishing governance structures that ensure data-sharing and security, and building capacity for data use among stakeholders.

High School Improvement: Indicators of Effectiveness and School-Level Benchmarks

This document extends the National High School Center’s Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework and offers specific school-level benchmarks that provide a deeper level of detail for each indicator of effectiveness and describe school-level practices that can be implemented to support high school improvement at the local level. High school improvement teams will find this tool useful once they have already identified areas of strengths and concerns through the use of the Center’s self-assessment tool.

A Self-Assessment Tool: A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement

This online self-assessment tool is a starting point for identifying high school improvement priorities and enables users in schools and districts to a) identify the strengths and weaknesses of their current high school reform efforts, and b) align and build on these current and planned reform initiatives to develop a comprehensive high school improvement plan that will result in rigorous and high-quality teaching and learning for all students.


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