How do you measure college readiness?
By Tyler on November 8th, 2012
This is one in a series of posts examining the Common Core State Standards and the conversation surrounding their impact on teaching and learning.
You’ve probably heard the term “college- and career-ready” quite a bit in recent years if you’ve paid any attention to the Common Core State Standards. Essentially, the new standards spell out the knowledge and skills that kids need to get during their K-12 education for them to succeed in college and in careers. *Emphasis* always on college and careers.
Soon (during the 2014-2015 school year) students will be assessed against these standards, on tests currently being created by two groups. And one of the big questions is: “How do you know if a student is college-ready?”
Clearly, to be successful in college depends on a LOT of factors. But the assessments are trying to create a system for evaluating whether students have sufficient “academic” knowledge to succeed — whether they’ve met the “college- and career-ready” standards of the Common Core. And one of the two test creators, the PARCC consortia, has just announced to some extent how it will work — how many levels of achievement there will be, what level you need to be at to be deemed “college ready,” and, if you’ve met that level, what you should be ready for when you start college.
EdWeek has a nice roundup of what students deemed “college ready” will have demonstrated. And apparently students will need to reach a level of either 4 or 5 (out of 5) on the assessment to hit the mark. It’s still undetermined what it will take to make the cut for each level.
One piece of this that’s quite interesting to me is the question of what it really takes to be ready for college.
PARCC was careful to emphasize that the assessments measure only the “academic” knowledge students need. PARCC wrote: “It does not encompass the full range of knowledge, skills, and characteristics that students need for ultimate success, such as persistence, motivation, time management, employability skills, and technical skills. The CCRDs, therefore, serve as one piece of a larger set of strategies states may deploy to support students as a part of a broader agenda to increase college completion rates and career success.”
What do you think it takes to be “college ready?”
(Flickr photo by whatcouldgowrong)
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