College Readiness

Much of the reasons given for policy changes to down grade schools has been as a consequence of a push to make students more "college ready" when they graduate. This, it is argued, means we have to have higher standards.

State leaders say it’s time to face the truth: Graduating from high school in Ohio doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for college or a career.

That won’t do anymore, Gov. John Kasich and education officials say. So they’re overhauling the guidelines of what students should know, writing more challenging tests to assess what they’ve learned, forcing schools to revamp curriculum and grading schools on a tougher scale.

“The current system is letting kids down,” state Superintendent Stan Heffner said. Instead of focusing on getting students ready for college, it asks them to meet a minimum standard, a low bar, he said. “Let’s make sure they have a diploma worth owning.”

The entire Dispatch article is worth reading to get an idea of the scope of the changes expected to happen over the next year or two. Also worth reading is this new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, titled "College Readiness: A Guide to the Field".

In recent years, the education spotlight in the United States has shifted from focusing on high school graduation to postsecondary success. Acknowledging that to thrive in today’s economy requires more than just a high school diploma, policy-makers and practitioners at the local, state, and federal level, along with their community partners, have turned their attention to equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to enroll and succeed – without remediation – in a postsecondary program that leads to a degree (Conley 2007, 2011; Gates Foundation 2009). This shift in attention has been accompanied by a wealth of policies and initiatives aimed at preparing students to enter and succeed in college, including federal competitive grants programs, schoolwide reform initiatives, community-based education support structures, and many more. Over the past few years, the emergent field of college readiness has blossomed into an expansive effort involving multiple actors and spanning multiple sectors.

Considering the rapid emergence and growth of the field, as well as the numerous players involved, keeping abreast of relevant policies and initiatives is both a challenge and a necessity. A scan of the college readiness field can highlight successful strategies for increasing readiness, as well as gaps in research, policy, and practice, and can point to important roles for community, business, and phil- anthropic partners to play in developing a coordinated approach to college readiness.

Researchers at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) have under- taken to develop a brief guide to this burgeoning field, as part of the College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS) initiative

Here's the report. It is quite brief and worth the time to read it, if college readiness is a subject area you are interested or involved with.

College Readiness: A Guide to the Field