Many NOT ready for higher education

6 Oct

Moi wrote in Remedial education in college:                                                           Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?

The Big Four

A comprehensive college preparation program must address four distinct dimensions of college readiness: cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education.

Key Cognitive Strategies

Colleges expect their students to think about what they learn. Students entering college are more likely to succeed if they can formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to nonroutine problems; understand and analyze conflicting explanations of phenomena or events; evaluate the credibility and utility of source material and then integrate sources into a paper or project appropriately; think analytically and logically, comparing and contrasting differing philosophies, methods, and positions to understand an issue or concept; and exercise precision and accuracy as they apply their methods and develop their products.

Key Content Knowledge

Several independently conducted research and development efforts help us identify the key knowledge and skills students should master to take full advantage of college. Standards for Success (Conley, 2003) systematically polled university faculty members and analyzed their course documents to determine what these teachers expected of students in entry-level courses. The American Diploma Project (2004) consulted representatives of the business community and postsecondary faculty to define standards in math and English. More recently, both ACT (2008) and the College Board (2006) have released college readiness standards in English and math. Finally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2008), under mandate of state law, developed one of the first and most comprehensive sets of state-level college readiness standards….

Key Self-Management Skills

In college, students must keep track of massive amounts of information and organize themselves to meet competing deadlines and priorities. They must plan their time carefully to complete these tasks. They must be able to study independently and in informal and formal study groups. They must know when to seek help from academic support services and when to cut their losses and drop a course. These tasks require self-management, a skill that individuals must develop over time, with considerable practice and trial-and-error.

Key Knowledge About Postsecondary Education

Choosing a college, applying, securing financial aid, and then adjusting to college life require a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge. This knowledge includes matching personal interests with college majors and programs; understanding federal and individual college financial aid programs and how and when to complete appropriate forms; registering for, preparing for, and taking required admissions exams; applying to college on time and submitting all necessary information; and, perhaps most important, understanding how the culture of college is different from that of high school….

Students who would be the first in their family to attend college, students from immigrant families, students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in college, and students from low-income families are much more easily thrown off the path to college if they have deficiencies in any of the four dimensions. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx

The difficult question is whether current testing accurately measures whether students are prepared for college.  https://drwilda.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/

Shelby McIntosh has written a report about “college readiness” standards.

Here is the press release for State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition:

CONTACT: Megan Cotten at 301-656-0348 or megan@thehatchergroup.com

As States Embrace Higher Standards on Exit Exams, Schools and Students Will Feel the Impact

More rigorous standards will pose challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 19, 2012— After more than a decade of growing reliance on high school exit exams, states are rethinking how they use these popular assessments, a new Center on Education Policy (CEP) report finds.

New data released today show that eight of the 26 states with exit exam policies have aligned these exams to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or other college- and career-readiness standards, and 10 more states plan to do so in the near future, according to “State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition,” the 11th annual report on high school exit exams by CEP at George Washington University.

“CEP has been studying high school exit exams for 11 years and this year’s report shows that the national move towards more rigorous college and career ready standards has definitely placed these exams at a crossroads,” said Maria Ferguson, CEP’s executive director. “While exit exams remain an influential force in education, state policies will likely continue to evolve as both schools and students adjust to more rigorous standards.”

Aligning exit exam policies to more rigorous standards will almost certainly impact the performance of students taking the exams, the report notes. Passing rates on exit exams already vary among states, and these rates tend to be lower for minority and poor students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

“Students who are already struggling with the current state standards will soon be expected to pass exit exams aligned to more rigorous standards, and there’s a good chance many will fail to do so,” said Shelby McIntosh, CEP research associate and author of the report. “While high schools should prepare all students for college or careers, policymakers must consider whether all students have had the opportunity to learn the content of these new, more rigorous standards before attaching such high stakes to the exams.”

The report also notes that despite potential concerns regarding the impact of more rigorous high school exit exams on student performance, very few postsecondary education institutions pay attention to exit exam results when making decisions about student admissions, course placement, or awarding scholarships, according to the report.

Currently, 25 states require their high school students to pass an exam to graduate, and a 26th state, Rhode Island, is phasing in an exit requirement for the class of 2014. Twenty-two of these exit exam states have adopted the CCSS in English language arts and math. But the move to the types of college- and career-readiness standards embodied by the CCSS does not mean an end to exit exams, according to CEP’s research. At least 14 CCSS-adopting states intend to maintain a requirement for high school students to pass an exam to graduate.

Reductions in education budgets have also affected state high school exit exams, according to the report. Three states have responded to budget cuts by dropping exit exams in certain subjects, and two states have reduced the number of retake opportunities for students who fail the exams.

End-of-course exams—which assess students’ mastery of the content learned in a particular course rather than the content learned in multiple subjects as of a particular grade level—have grown in popularity throughout the past decade. Nine states currently require students to pass end-of-course exams to graduate, compared with two states in 2002. Three additional states are phasing in requirements for end-of-course exit exams, and six more states currently require or will soon require students to take, but not necessarily pass, end-of-course exams to graduate. Thus, 18 states altogether have policies requiring some type of end-of-course exams.

The report also reviews lessons learned from states’ experience implementing exit exams. For example, the report notes, successful implementation of a new or revised exit exam policy often depends on states’ willingness to phase in policies over several years, provide alternate routes to graduation for students who fail exit exams, adapt policies to meet changing needs, and make a sufficient financial commitment, among other actions.

The report, as well as individual profiles of states with exit exams, can be accessed free of charge at http://www.cep-dc.org.

###

Based in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1995 by Jack Jennings, the Center on Education Policy at The George Washington University is a national advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center works to help Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. The Center does not represent special interests. Instead, it helps citizens make sense of conflicting opinions and perceptions about public education and create conditions that will lead to better public schools.

Citation:

State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition

Author(s): Shelby McIntosh
Published: September 19, 2012

CEP’s 11th annual report on state high school exit exams finds that states are embracing higher standards on their exit exams, which means schools and students will feel the impact. The report, based on data collected from state education department personnel in 45 states, discusses the present status of state exit exam policies, the future of these policies as states implement the Common Core State Standards and common assessments, and lessons that can be learned from states’ past experiences with implementing new exit exam policies.

State Profiles for Exit Exam Policies Through 2011-12

Download files:

Annual Report (PDF format, 764 KB) * Direct link: http://us.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/cfcontent_file.cfm?Attachment=McIntosh%5FReport%5FHSEE2012%5F9%2E19%2E12%2Epdf
Appendix (PDF format, 66.4 KB) * Direct link: http://us.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/cfcontent_file.cfm?Attachment=Appendix%5FHSEE2012%5F9%2E19%2E12%2Epdf
Press Release (PDF format, 122 KB) * Direct link: http://us.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/cfcontent_file.cfm?Attachment=PressRelease%5FHSEE2012%5F9%2E19%2E12%2Epdf

See, Report Finds States Tightening College Readiness Metrics         http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/report-finds-states-tightening-college-readiness-metrics/

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Related:

What the ACT college readiness assessment means                                             https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades                                                    https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

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10 Responses to “Many NOT ready for higher education”

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