“College and career readiness” is education-speak for the new goal for what students should accomplish by the end of high school. High schools were long seen to have met basic expectations if their students completed the requirements to graduate. But a growing realization that a high school diploma does not guarantee students success in college has led schools, districts, and politicians to set their sites on more distant horizons. A recent report traces the term back to a 2005 book by the University of Oregon professor David Conley, who wrote that students need college-preparatory skills both to succeed academically after high school and to succeed in the workforce, whether they attend college or not.
New York City officials have embraced the concept and the term, citing lagging college readiness numbers to justify several policy initiatives, including new teacher evaluations and the rollout of the Common Core standards. They have also streamlined data-sharing between CUNY and the Department of Education to allow for more accurate tracking of students after high school. And they have begun judging high schools not only by their graduation rates but by their college and career readiness rates, as well. College-readiness numbers inched up in 2013, but only time will tell whether the new focus augurs long-term changes in students’ preparation for life after high school.
THE BOTTOM LINE FOR:
- 31.4 percent: New York City's "college readiness rate" in 2013, according to city statistics
- 70 percent: college readiness rate for students on the Upper East Side in 2011
- 13 percent: college readiness rate for students in East Harlem in 2011
November 26, 2012
It wasn't easy for high schools to keep their graduation rates or progress grades up this year. For the first time, most students were required to pass five Regents exams before graduating, and schools' college readiness rates were factored into their overall progress scores. Still, 72 percent of schools received As and Bs—up from 64.4 percent last year.
October 24, 2012
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform is betting that an interactive map is worth about 5,000. The institute released a 10-page report arguing that demography is still destiny for New York City schoolchildren, at least in terms of whether they are prepared for college.
June 26, 2012
Making sure students have the academic skills and knowledge to hack it in college is necessary but not sufficient to ensuring that they succeed there, said David Conley, a researcher who students college readiness. They also need “soft skills” such as persistence and “transition knowledge” about how to navigate the admissions process, he said.
April 18, 2012
March 23, 2012
Mitch Kurz is a math teacher and a college counselor, but the lessons he teaches don’t fall neatly into either subject area. On a recent winter morning, Kurz asked students in his college readiness class to describe their dreams. On the board, he wrote, “What do your dreams mean?” followed by “Sigmund Freud” and a […]
January 19, 2012
By 2016, the proportion of students who graduate from city high schools ready for college-level work will double, Department of Education officials told skeptical City Council members today. The ambitious projection, made during a hearing on college and career readiness, would require growth that far outstrips even the most liberal assessments of the Department of […]