California State University System Eliminates Remedial Education

August 2, 2017 — California State University (CSU) will be eliminating remedial education and placement testing starting in fall 2018, in an effort to “facilitate equitable opportunity for first-year students to succeed.” Students who would otherwise be enrolled in remedial courses will now enroll in the credit-bearing introductory course, and have options to receive additional tutoring or take the course at a slower pace, stretching it over multiple semesters. CSU will also redesign the “Early Start” summer program for incoming freshmen who need extra preparation to count for credit and use high school grades and standardized test scores, instead of an additional placement test. Helping students graduate on-time is a system priority since Cal State has made a goal to double four-year graduation rates to 40 percent by 2025.  California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley also endorsed this change as “the right approach” in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. Earlier this summer, Texas also passed a law making co-requisite remediation the required model for students in developmental education courses.


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Additional Resources from Higher Ed for Higher Standards

The Leveraging ESSA series to provides several resources to support higher ed and K-12 collaboration in state ESSA plans.

Aligning Expectations
The Aligning Expectations toolkit helps higher education leaders get involved in states’ reviews of  standards and/or assessments.

Alignment Policy Brief
The Alignment Policy Brief Series is designed to elevate best practices and inform higher ed leaders of emerging collaborations with K-12.

Seizing the Moment
The Seizing the Moment report on community college alignment shows how collaboration with K–12 can better support students.

Kansas Districts Offering College Transition Courses Co-Developed with Community College Faculty

July 17, 2017 —  The Kansas Board of Regents charged high school educators and two-year college math faculty with creating a course to enable more graduating high school seniors to enroll into college-level math courses when they start college. Last school year, more than 35 high schools piloted the Transition to College Algebra, and at least 15 other high schools will join this school year. Students who pass this course in high school can place directly into credit-bearing coursework upon matriculation. For more information on the role that 12th grade transition courses can play in improving postsecondary transitions and success, check out our alignment policy brief on TN SAILS. Removing barriers to postsecondary success by reducing remediation will be critical to meeting the Kansas Board of Regents’ target of graduating about 53,000 students annually systemwide – see our Leveraging ESSA brief for more examples of how states are working to reach credential attainment goals.


Sign up to receive the Higher Ed for Higher Standards monthly e-newsletter or view our previous newsletters here.

Additional Resources from Higher Ed for Higher Standards

The Leveraging ESSA series to provides several resources to support higher ed and K-12 collaboration in state ESSA plans.

Aligning Expectations
The Aligning Expectations toolkit helps higher education leaders get involved in states’ reviews of  standards and/or assessments.

Alignment Policy Brief
The Alignment Policy Brief Series is designed to elevate best practices and inform higher ed leaders of emerging collaborations with K-12.

Seizing the Moment
The Seizing the Moment report on community college alignment shows how collaboration with K–12 can better support students.

Minnesota State Colleges Offering Bridge Program and New Placement Option

May 20, 2017 — Starting this fall, Minnesota students can submit their 10th-grade reading and 11th-grade math scores to the state postsecondary system to demonstrate college readiness & place into credit-bearing coursework. Additionally, this summer, Minnesota State College and Universities are offering a  bridge program in math, reading, and writing to improve students’ readiness for college-level work prior to matriculation. The Summer Scholars Academy targeted students nearest to the proficiency benchmark, serving nearly 200 students. The state intends to scale the program in the future. Modeled after CUNY’s ASAP program that offers wraparound supports, students will also receive subsidized transportation and a $150 scholarship for fall tuition at a Minnesota State college or university after they successfully complete the program. Using high school assessment scores to indicate readiness and developing summer bridge courses are two of the three policies we highlight in Seizing the Moment.


Sign up to receive the Higher Ed for Higher Standards monthly e-newsletter or view our previous newsletters here.

Additional Resources from Higher Ed for Higher Standards

The Leveraging ESSA series to provides several resources to support higher ed and K-12 collaboration in state ESSA plans.

Aligning Expectations
The Aligning Expectations toolkit helps higher education leaders get involved in states’ reviews of  standards and/or assessments.

Alignment Policy Brief
The Alignment Policy Brief Series is designed to elevate best practices and inform higher ed leaders of emerging collaborations with K-12.

Seizing the Moment
The Seizing the Moment report on community college alignment shows how collaboration with K–12 can better support students.

Oregon’s Public University and Community College Placement Policy Starts this Fall

July 26, 2016 — Oregon students will be able to use high school test scores to prove they are ready for college-level courses for the first time this fall. Last year, leaders of the state’s public universities and community colleges agreed to waive placement tests for students who scored 3 or 4 on the Smarter Balanced test in English language arts and math in order to help bridge the gap between high school and higher education. Read more from the Bend Bulletin, or learn about how leveraging rigorous high school assessments can support your intuition’s student success agenda from the first issue of our alignment policy brief series.


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Hidden Benefit to Higher Standards

April 27, 2016 — U.S. News & World Report cites a hidden benefit to higher standards: economic growth. Lowering or eliminating standards will exacerbate the trend toward “under-prepared college students, lengthened time to completion and inflated tuition costs for families”. Read more about how underprepared students (and the economy) benefit from higher standards.


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Getting Serious About College and Career Readiness

April 20, 2016 — A new commentary from Matt Gandal outlines what states must do to get serious about college and career readiness, in addition to highlighting the recent action by higher education organizations to further align expectations with K-12. Read more here from Edweek.


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NJ Country College Council president: PARCC Puts Students on Right Path for College

April 6, 2016 — Citing the 46 percent of first-time, full-time New Jersey students enrolled in public community colleges and four-year colleges and universities who need to take at least one remedial course, New Jersey Council of County Colleges President Lawrence Nespoli argues for the continued importance of PARCC assessments in the state. PARCC score reports have been used as a valuable placement tool for  College Readiness Now, a program in which community colleges work with high schools to improve the college readiness of students, and New Jersey’s community colleges plan to use them as one of several placement tools. Read more from NJ.com here.


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Students who pass state graduation tests still unprepared for college

February 21, 2016 — Using an example of one community college student’s experience with remedial education , this article connects the importance of higher standards and aligned assessments to student success in higher education. Read more from PBS Newshour.

 


 

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Aligning Expectations: Partnering with K-12 to Ensure College Readiness

February 19, 2016  The National Association of System Heads (NASH), the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and Higher Ed for Higher Standards released a set of recommendations, Aligning Expectations: Partnering with K-12 to Ensure College Readiness today, designed to support higher ed leaders in navigate potential scenarios in the context of their state’s P-20 environment. This toolkit includes 4 sections:
1. The Case for College-Ready Standards and Tests
2. Ensuring College-Ready Standards
3. Ensuring Assessments Measure College Readiness
4. Standards at Work: Postsecondary Success


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Standards-based Reform Linked to Gains for Low-Income Students

January 14, 2016 — A new report from the Center for American Progress, “Lessons From State Performance on NAEP: Why Some High-Poverty Students Score Better Than Others,” shows “a clear systematic relationship between standards-based reform and outcomes” for high poverty students. Low-income students in D.C., Florida, Massachusetts and Tennessee — states that stuck to the implementation of rigorous academic standards —  posted some of the largest gains on NAEP, while  states that were adverse to standards-based reforms showed the weakest achievement gains or even achievement dips of low-income students.

 

According to authors Catherine Brown, Vice President of Education Policy, and Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow, standards-based reform appeared to boost scores in fourth-grade math and eighth-grade reading. 

Read the full report and additional commentary from RealClearEducation.


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