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.

Transforming Remediation: Understanding the Research, Policy, and Practice

On August 15 the College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the American Youth Policy Forum co-hosted the webinar, “Transforming Remediation: Understanding the Research, Policy, and Practice.” The Webinar addressed barriers to the successful completion of postsecondary education, specifically the need to alter and reform remedial education practices.

Assessment Governing Board Defines "College Prepared"

The National Assessment Governing Board voted to adopt a definition for what it means to be "college prepared" in regards to reading and mathematics assessment scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The definitions are based on more than 30 studies and will be used for the reporting of assessment scores in 2014. In addition to setting college readiness benchmarks within the NAEP, the board tried to set career readiness benchmarks, but were unable to draw conslusions relating NAEP performance to careers.

What We Are Reading: Adult Education, Charter Schools, Early College High Schools, College Readiness

Looking for new college and career readiness and success-related resources? Here are some pieces that other organizations have recently released:

College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (U.S. Department of Education, April 2013)

The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration: Final

This study evaluates the impact of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), a case management and mentoring program for high school students aimed at increasing high school graduation rates and college enrollment. It was found that sites implementing the QDP model generally did not meet enrollee needs for education or support services, and most enrollees attended fewer program activities, though there was significant variability by site.

Betraying the College Dream: How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education Systems Undermine Student Aspirations

This study from the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research found that the overwhelming majority (80%) of Hispanic and African American students surveyed planned to pursue some kind of post-secondary education, but misaligned K-16 systems are putting up barriers to college access. Furthermore, high school assessments do not measure the same skills and knowledge that colleges require for entry.

How Prepared Are Students for College-Level Reading? Applying a Lexile®-Based Approach

This study assessed the relationship between the English language arts and reading assessment scores of 11th grade students and their ability to both read and comprehend textbooks used in entry-level college English courses. Findings revealed a 75 percent comprehension level for students, and that 51 percent of students can read 95 percent of first-year English textbooks used in entry-level college classes. 

Stepping Up for Community Colleges: Building on the Momentum to Improve Student Success in Massachusetts

This report highlights innovative strategies and priorities aimed at community college improvement as well as providing next steps for Massachusetts colleges and state officials to improve student outcomes. Some recommendations for next steps include: effectively implementing performance funding and developmental education reform, expanding access to structured pathways to credentials, identifying and removing barriers to innovation, and supporting sustained advocacy.


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