Learning about Teaching: Initial Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project

This brief from the Bill & Melnda Gates Foundation discusses the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project whose goal is to help build fair and reliable systems for teacher observation and feedback. Through data collection and analysis of the program, the authors revealed the early findings regarding whether teacher's past performance helped students learn.

Benefits of Additional High School Course Work and Improved Course Performance in Preparing Students for College

This ACT research report looks at the effectiveness of encouraging students to take more rigorous college-prep courses as a means of improving high school student achievement. The author uses data from ACT's 8th, 10th and 11/12th grade tests and compares it to student ACT scores in English, math, science, and reading. The report concluded that taking additional college prep courses or advanced or honor courses did not significantly increase achievement of students post-high school.

Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

In this CLASP report, the authors discuss the importance of states having the ability measure and assess student progress and success as well as the outcomes of publicly funded educational and skills-development programs intended to prepare Americans for the labor market through statewide longitudinal data systems.

EPIC's 2010 Annual Report: Systematizing College and Career Readiness

EPIC's 2010 Annual Report focuses on the work being done in a range of topics such as comprehension assessment, out-of-school learning, writing in adolescence, literacy coaching standards, instructional needs of second language learners, and literacy. The report introduces EPIC's CollegeCareerReadyTM System and provides overviews of key projects with the goal of enabling more students to enter college ready to succeed.

Fewer, Clearer, Higher: Moving Forward with Consistent, Rigorous Standards for All Students

This paper describes the Gates Foundation's beliefs regarding Common Core Standards and the need for the criteria to be “fewer, clearer, higher.” The authors discuss the criteria necessary to support state leaders as they wrestle with decisions new standards, assessments, and teaching tools are implemented. The report ends with a brief discussion of the next steps that the Gates Foundation will take to continue to support making standard real and productive.

Retention, ACT Composite Score, and College GPA: What's the Connection?

This report from ACT discusses the correlation between student retention, ACT composite scores, and college grade point average. Though ACT Composite scores are effective predictors of academic success in general, the scores are more effective at predicting academic success among returning students than non-returning students. This finding, as well as the mean difference in grade point averages, suggest that students returning for a second year have overcome some of the academic and non-academic obstacles that influenced their counterparts not to return.

Follow-up of Advanced Placement Students in College

This study analyzes the success of Advanced Placement (AP) students in college compared to other high achieving students. A questionnaire and college grade point averages of 41 high achieving college students in courses in natural science and English are examined. Results showed that AP students did not earn significantly higher grades in college compared to those that were considered high achieving students, and AP students also did not find their high school courses more beneficial than their high achieving peers.

SAT Benchmarks: Development of a College Readiness Benchmark and Its Relationship to Secondary and Postsecondary School Performance

This study examined college readiness benchmark scores for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to determine the accuracy of the benchmarks for indicating college readiness. The findings revealed that students who met the benchmark were more likely to have enrolled in a postsecondary institution, earned higher grades in high school and their postsecondary institution, and to have taken a core curriculum and more rigorous courses in high school.

The Condition of College & Career Readiness, 2011

Using American College Testing (ACT) data, this study assessed whether students have the knowledge and skills necessary to enroll and succeed in a first-year course at a postsecondary institution. The report presents the percentage of students meeting the benchmarks in each area, alignment of student aspirations and workforce demands, graduates exposed to college entrance tests and students pursuing a core curriculum, overall academic achievement and behavior, and policies and practices to improve college readiness.

Are Texas’ English Language Arts and Reading Standards College Ready?

This study examines the alignment of the American College Testing (ACT) and the American Diploma Project (ADP) national college readiness standards sets with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English language arts and reading (TEKS ELAR) standards for 9th-12th grade students, and their cognitive complexity. It was determined that a majority of the content in the ACT and ADP standards sets is addressed to some extent by the TEKS ELAR standards, and that the TEKS ELAR standards require higher levels of cognitive complexity than the other standards sets.


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