State High School Tests: Changes in State Policies and the Impact of the College and Career Readiness Movement

This annual report from the Center on Education Policy uses the results of a survey of state department of education officials to examine state policies regarding high school assessment requirements. These include high school exit exams, college entrance exams, and college and career readiness assessments. The paper reports on recent changes to state policies regarding exit exams, and discusses the impact of the national and state focus on college readiness standards, such as the Common Core state standards, on such policies.

Using Data to Increase College and Career Readiness: A Checklist for States

This resource from the Data Quality Campaign is a checklist that can be used by state policymakers to support their efforts to increase college and career readiness. It is meant as a guide to policymakers to use as they develop policies and procedures. The checklist provides information on the State Role, the State Responsibility, and the National Landscape. Users are able to then analyze how their state fits in compared to the provided information.

Estimating College Enrollment Rates for 2008 Virginia Public High School Graduates

This report analyzed data on college enrollment from the National Student Clearinghouse and on high school graduates from the Virginia Department of Education. Results showed that 62 percent of Virginia public high school graduates enrolled in degree-granting institutions within one year of graduation. Economically disadvantaged students and limited English proficient students had lower enrollment rates than their peers.

Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do

This practice guide from the U.S. Department of Education examined studies of college access interventions. An expert panel recommended practices for promoting college access including use of college preparatory curriculum, assessment of the development of skills needed for college and surrounding students with adults and peers that reinforce college aspirations. Prepared by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), the guide notes the level of research evidence that demonstrates each recommendation’s effectiveness.

High School Standards and Expectations for College and the Workplace

This study aimed to find out whether the expectations of the Central Region states match the expectations of colleges and the workplace, and if state standards for what students should know and be able to do in English language arts and mathematics are aligned with expectations common to two national studies on skills needed for entry to college and the workplace. Six states outside the region were selected as a comparison group. The report reveals specific findings on topics missing in the academic standards for the Central Region states.

Exploring the Feasibility of Dual-Credit Mathematics Courses in High School Via A Web-Enhanced, Blended Model

This paper in the Journal of General Education reports on a study of the The WVEB Mathematics Project. The sample included 1,322 students enrolled in the WVEB Mathematics Project in West Virginia compared to matched peers who took equivalent on-campus courses. Students enrolled in both on-campus and high school WVEB sections showed moderate gains on the ACT scores.

Assessing Deeper Learning

This policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education focuses on the need to assess students to measure deeper learning. The brief examines state assessments and the potential impact of two consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), and technology on assessing deeper learning. The author also includes recommendations for federal policy, including requiring states to assess deeper learning competencies.

From GED to College Degree: Creating Pathways to Postsecondary Success for High School Dropouts

This report from Jobs for the Future examines the GED as a pathway to postsecondary success. Authors John Garvey and Terry Grobe note that although 60 percent of GED test takers express a desire to further their education beyond the GED and nearly half of all GED holders go on to postsecondary education, only 4 percent earn a degree. They argue that GED test takers are poorly prepared for college, partly because the GED narrowly focuses on passing the minimum standards of the exam, rather than building comprehensive literacy and numeracy skills.

Call for Action: Transforming Teaching and Learning to Prepare High School Students for College and Careers

This policy brief, sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, discusses the need for highly effective teachers. The author examines the effects of highly effective teachers on all high school students and provides policy recommendations that include: supporting the adoption of the Common Core State Standards; creating standards that define quality teaching; supporting the development of teacher performance assessments; developing human capital systems; and using longitudinal data systems to track teacher and student data.

Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching

This policy brief, sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, discusses teacher evaluation systems. The author highlights two existing teacher evaluation systems and offers federal policy recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), including establishing college- and career- readiness as the mission of K-12 education, establishing standards for teacher competency and developing robust assessment systems that judge teachers against the established standards.


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