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.


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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.

We don’t know how many students in college aren’t ready for college. That matters

January 30, 2017 —  Higher education leaders are familiar with the challenges of remediation. But a recent article from The Hechinger Report highlights a different facet of the issues surrounding remediation: in many cases, we don’t have reliable data. K-12 and postsecondary partnerships are deepening their focus on producing “college-ready” graduates, while increasing supports for underprepared students – but without better data, it’s hard to tell whether any of this is working. Read the full article here or check out our new report, Destination Known: Valuing College and Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems, for more information on the importance of good data in measuring student progress and 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.

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.

Early Success in Scaling CUNY’s ASAP Program

December 1, 2016 —  City University of New York (CUNY) launched an innovative program of wrap-around support services and incentives, called Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) in 2007. ASAP doubled the three-year graduation rate of students seeking an associates’ degree (from 22 percent to 40 percent), while also increasing the share of students who transferred to four-year colleges to seek a BA (from 17 percent to 25 percent). Despite increased annual costs per enrolled student (by about $5,400), ASAP  reduced the total cost of producing each additional graduate overall. Brookings explores the early evidence from Ohio suggesting that the ASAP approach can be replicated in a different setting, with a different population, even in a “system with decentralized governance and with a population of non-traditional students” For more on ASAP or other redesigned first year experiences, check out our report on community college and K-12 collaboration, 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.

The State of American Jobs

October 6, 2016 —New research from Pew outlines how the shifting economic landscape is reshaping work, society and the way people think about the education, skills and training they need to get ahead. Postsecondary success is critical to workforce success; 65 percent of all new jobs in the United States will require at least some postsecondary education and training by 2020, pointing to the continued importance of higher education to the economic well-being of individuals, families, communities and the nation. But who is responsible for making sure the American workforce has the education and skills they need to succeed? Six-in-ten believe public K-12 schools should have a lot of responsibility, while 28% believe they should bear some responsibility. Among all adults, 52% say colleges should have a lot of responsibility in making sure that the American workforce has the right skills and education to be successful. This shared responsibility is resoundingly clear: K–12 can no longer set long-term system goals in isolation from higher education. Shared goals  creates a north star around which policies and programs across K–12 and postsecondary can be developed and expanded to prepare all students for long-term workforce success. Stay tuned: Higher Ed for Higher Standards will be releasing additional resources related to state postsecondary credentialing goals in fall 2016 as part of Leveraging ESSA.


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Remediation & the Connection to Postsecondary Outcomes

September 14, 2016 — A new report from the National Center for Educational Statistics examines the impact of remediation course-taking on key postsecondary outcomes, including earning college-level English and math credits and persisting through college for both 2- and 4-year students. Findings from the study, using nationally representative data from student transcripts from 2003 – 2009, suggested “misalignment between high school and college academic standards” and the variable policies on remedial education and placement across states and institutions as some of the obstacles to student success. The report concludes that understanding the barriers students face, can help colleges and universities “better identify struggling students, design strategies to help them overcome their hurdles, and make remedial programs more effective in retaining students and enabling them to progress to college-level curricula and beyond.”


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Postsecondary Success = Workforce Success

September 12, 2016 —According to a recent survey, Americans are increasingly uncertain about the necessity of college for success in the workforce. From 2000-2009, increasing numbers of Americans said that college is necessary, yet now just 42 percent of Americans say college is necessary for workforce success, a 13 percent drop from 2009. Despite this perspective shift since the Great Recession, research shows that nearly all the jobs created in the recovery – 11.5 million out of 11.6 million – have gone to workers with at least some postsecondary education, including the vast majority of the good jobs — full-time jobs with benefits that pay more than $53,000. By 2020, 65 percent of all new jobs in the United States will require at least some postsecondary education and training, pointing to the continued importance of higher education to the economic well-being of individuals, families, communities and the nation. For more on the results of the survey, check out the infographic here.


 

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What Does it Take to Get Students Ready for College?

August 18, 2016 — Collaboration with local high schools is key, according to Community College Research Center’s Elisabeth Barnett and Elizabeth Ganga’s opinion piece in The Hechinger Report. Transition courses designed to fill in gaps in students’ high school education and to get them ready for college were in place in 29 states as of late 2012, but new research from CCRC outlines ways to maximize their effectiveness, including an overview outlining the state of knowledge about the courses  as well as a report on implementation in California, Tennessee, New York, and West Virginia earlier this year. Without an agreement with  higher ed that the transition courses satisfy remediation requirements, students may still have to take a placement test when they get to college; meanwhile, a lack of feedback on how transition course students fare in college leaves K-12 unsure of whether the courses are effective or need improvement — underscoring the need for collaboration with K-12 and higher ed.


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When College Students Start Behind

June 2, 2016 — A new report from The Century Foundation describes findings from multiple studies on four types of reforms under way at various colleges, and concludes with the view that “a wholesale redesign of the student experience at community colleges is needed to make a real difference in the outcomes of underprepared students”. Higher Ed for Higher Standards offers more information on what higher ed can do address to student readiness in terms of pre-college interventions, placement policies, and redesigned first year experiences, in our report, Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.


 

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Why are many students with ‘A’ averages being barred from college-level classes?

February 25, 2016 — An article from the Hechinger Report asks this question, in the face of a new report that suggests 40 percent of students who had an A average in high school were placed into remedial classes.  86 percent of students surveyed  believed they were prepared for college when they first enrolled,  but 67 percent tested into remedial coursework. Check out our new report “Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success” to learn more about the ways community colleges are leveraging high standards and aligned assessments to tackle the issue of remediation. 


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