Shining a Spotlight on K-12 and Higher Education Alignment

October 25, 2017  — NEW RELEASE: In partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), National Association of System Heads (NASH), and State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), Higher Ed for Higher Standards released, Shining a Spotlight on K-12 and Higher Education Alignment, the final brief in the Leveraging ESSA series based on a review of alignment strategies in state’s ESSA plans. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia included at least one of the recommended K-12/ higher education alignment strategies included in Leveraging ESSA ꟷ validating college-ready standards and aligned assessments, vertically aligning K-12 and higher education goals, holding schools accountable for college and career preparation, and supporting student transitions into postsecondary ꟷ with 10 states demonstrating significant alignment by including three or more of the recommended strategies. These states can and should serve as a model for others seeking to build and expand activities to support student transitions from high school into postsecondary. See more from our latest newsletter or download the brief.

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TN Promise Students More Likely to Succeed & Less Likely to Drop Out

September 21, 2017  — Tennessee Promise’s students are showing signs of improvement from previous year56 percent of Tennessee Promise students who entered college in 2015 had graduated, transferred to a four-year university or remained in school two years later, compared to 39 percent of recent high school graduates outside of Tennessee Promise had done the same. Meanwhile, 61 percent of non-Promise students who went from high school to community college in 2015 dropped out within two years, compared to only 44 percent of Tennessee Promise students dropped out in the same time frame. Despite these success, enrollment gaps raise equity questions, since minority students were less likely than white students to participate in Tennessee Promise, with 71 percent of eligible white community college students –  yet only 46 percent of eligible black students and 56 percent of Hispanic students – enrolled in 2015. Tennessee also plans to take steps to target students who are still enrolled and push them to finish, looking at data regarding specific majors course loads and summer enrollment, among other factors. For more information on Tennessee’s effort to improve student success, check out our alignment brief on TN SAILS.


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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.

Reforming Remediation to Support College Completion

March 21, 2017 — A new report College Completion: Focus on the Finish Line from the National Center for Developmental Education calls for closer collaboration between community colleges, public schools, and community services, improved teaching and learning and fully integrated courses and student support services as three main phases of college success. “Focus[ing] on the finish line, not just first hundred meters” means looking beyond just remediation to the full range of supports necessary to support student persistence, and ultimately, completion.


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.

Destination Known: Valuing College and Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems

March 2, 2017 — A new report Destination Known: Valuing College and Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems, urges state K-12 systems to place a greater emphasis on student preparation for and success in postsecondary education when establishing performance goals for high schools. The report, authored by Education Strategy Group and the Council of Chief State School Officers , recommends aligning these goals with state postsecondary attainment goals.  The recommendations are timely because all states are in the process of setting new K-12 accountability benchmarks in response to the federal ESSA requirements. The report is a reminder of how important it is for higher education leaders to inform those decisions.


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.

The State of American High School Graduates: What States Know (and don’t) about Student Performance

March 1, 2017 — State leaders need timely, actionable data in order to measure if supports to improve readiness are working. Achieve collected states’ publicly reported student performance against college- and career-ready indicators in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in this year’s report on The State of American High School Graduates: What States Know (and Don’t) About Student Performance. As more K-12 and postsecondary systems are working together on issues of college readiness, persistence and completion, better data – including postsecondary enrollment, remediation, and persistence – is necessary to support student success.


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.

Louisiana Higher Ed and K-12 Join Forces to Tackle Remediation in High School

February 22, 2017 —The Louisiana Board of Regents and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are collaborating to tackle an all too common problem: too many students aren’t ready for college when they graduate. “Our initiative is to have those remedial issues fixed in high school,” Joseph Rallo, Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education, said in The Advertiser , “Before (61) percent of students graduate and need remediation in math, let’s fix it in high school or in the summer before they go to college. That is our recommendation.” These recommendations focus on three issues: the need for remediation, opportunities to remediate in high school and how to pay for it, painting a comprehensive picture of the state’s education systems, needs, assets, gaps, and barriers in response to Act 619. For more information on how precollege interventions can improve preparedness and reduce remediation, check out our alignment brief.


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.

Seamless Pathways: Bridging Tennessee’s Gap Between High School and Postsecondary

January 26, 2017 — A new report, Seamless Pathways: Bridging Tennessee’s Gap Between High School and Postsecondary, outlines recommendations to “radically change the system so that most [Tennessee] students enter and complete postsecondary education.” Less than one-quarter of high school seniors from the graduating class of 2008 received a postsecondary degree or credential within six years of high school graduation, pointing to a need to accelerate attainment to reach Drive to 55, the state’s postsecondary attainment goal. Based on focus groups from across the state, the report suggests fostering collective responsibility for the postsecondary preparedness among K-12 faculty and staff and ensuring all students have equitable access to course opportunities to increase readiness and success, including TN SAILS. For more information on how TN SAILS can improve preparedness and reduce remediation, check out our alignment brief.


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.

PA Community College Partners with K-12 District to Create Math Transition Course

November 21, 2016 — Northampton Community College (NCC) is partnering with Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) to design a math course aimed at ensuring district graduates don’t need college remedial math courses. Currently, about 80 percent of NCC students that take the placement tests end up in remedial, non-creditbearing math courses. Since 30 percent of Bethlehem Area School Districts graduates enroll there, this course – co-taught by NCC and BASD faculty – this collaboration is the start of a strong educational pipeline fron K-12 to postsecondary. Read more from Lehigh Valley Live, and for more on placement policies and transition courses, check out our report on community college and K-12 collaboration, Seizing the Moment, as well as our Alignment Policy Brief series.


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.

H.S. Classes Offer Bypass to Remedial Courses

October 26, 2016 —Edweek recently featured Washington, Hawaii and Tennessee’s work to offer remedial coursework in high school. Important keys to success across state examples include K-12 and higher education faculty collaboration throughout the process, and a focus on rigor centered on setting a true bar for college readiness. This seeming simple approach to college remediation – taking care of readiness problems while students are still in high school is gaining ground, and early findings show success in catapulting students into credit bearing coursework. See more on reducing remediation through transition courses and assessments aligned to college ready benchmarks from our alignment policy brief.


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