In a speech hosted by Achieve last week, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan repeatedly emphasized the goal of preparing students for colleges and careers. Secretary Duncan’s speech was primarily about state consortia working together to create common, rigorous assessments, and he mentioned college- and career-readiness 18 times, framing it as a central goal of developing common standards and assessments.
By Kellie Kim (guest blogger)
Though many of the i3 grants have important implications for high school, this week we are discussing those that are most specifically high school focused. Today we summarize the winning projects designed to increase high school graduation and improve college readiness. More details about the applications are available in the abstracts linked below.
Vocational education has traditionally been associated with a watered-down set of academic standards. Even more rigorous Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have often been seen as a pathway for students who struggle with core courses to prevent them from dropping out entirely. The most recent reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 emphasizes rigorous academic standards for all students, including those in CTE programs, and the recent college- and career-readiness trend mirrors this goal.
The Common Core State Standards for students (Common Core) present a range of college- and career-ready standards that emphasize reading, writing, listening and speaking. The standards also present rigorous mathematics standards that, if mastered, will ensure a student is ready to engage in college-level or work-specific mathematical calculations. Since the release on June 2 of this year, the Common Core has been adopted by 23 states.
The term “college- and career-ready”, which has been part of education discourse for at least 5 years now, recently has taken center stage. Though references to college- and career-readiness are ubiquitous these days, such as in the U.S. Department of Education’s ESEA Blueprint for Reform, there are few explicit definitions for what it means to be college- and career-ready.
On June 2, 2010, the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers released the long-anticipated Common Core State Standards, a common set of internationally benchmarked college- and career-ready standards designed to ensure that the nation’s students are prepared to compete in the changing global economy.