A new report and online database released Wednesday provide a national snapshot of how states are working to prepare students for college, showing how California’s “college readiness” policies stack up against those in other states.

The Blueprint for College Readiness from the Education Commission of the States provides a look at where states stand in implementing what the report calls the 10 most “critical” policies that promote college readiness and success.

Those policies include whether states have college readiness standards and assessments in place at high schools, and whether graduation requirements match statewide college admissions requirements, among other policies. At the post-secondary level, the report looked at statewide remediation and college placement policies, as well as practices for transferring from community college to a four-year university.

California has adopted five of the 10 policies, the blueprint says. That’s on par with about 15 other states; 32 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted six or more of the policies.

California is among states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards in math and English, which identify preparing students for college and careers among their goals, and has built measures of college preparation into school accountability systems, the report said. Yet statewide high school graduation requirements do not match admission requirements at state universities, and California does not have a statewide definition of college and career readiness that is recognized by high schools and colleges.

“A definition could provide a backbone for the state to align its high school and higher education benchmarks to help secondary – and even elementary – teachers outline the knowledge and skills students will need to demonstrate college and career readiness by high school graduation,” the report said.

In California, a statewide advisory group is working to define best measures of college and career readiness as part of efforts to incorporate those standards into the Academic Performance Index for schools.

The Education Commission of the States is a national nonpartisan research and policy organization made up of representatives from all the states. Its goal is to provide “unbiased advice and create opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another.”

The blueprint is intended to help education and policy officials understand the reforms taking place in their states, the commission said.

“In a glance, you can now see where states are strong and where opportunities for improvement exist,” commission President Jeremy Anderson said in a statement.

The blueprint examined four policy areas at the high school level and four at the post-secondary level, as well as two “bridge” policies authors said impact both high school and higher education. Areas examined were:

  • High school: Whether states have college readiness standards and college readiness assessments; whether graduation requirements match university admission standards; and measures for holding schools accountable for the standards;
  • Post-secondary: Statewide admissions standards; statewide remedial and placement policies; transfer policies and accountability standards;
  • Bridge: Whether states have a broadly understood definition of college and career readiness, and whether states have a data pipeline and process for reporting how well schools and colleges are meeting the standards.

SHARE ARTICLE

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Policy

The goal of the comments section on EdSource is to facilitate thoughtful conversation about content published on our website. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.

  1. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    I wish more ink would be dedicated to the issue of remediation (one of the metrics in this report). I've mentioned 'nostesia' many times in the past. And I recently read a data analysis that showed that students who ignored the suggestion for remediation were almost 3 times more likely to eventually pass the gatekeeper course for which they were preparing than those who complied with their remediation referral. So not only may the need … Read More

    I wish more ink would be dedicated to the issue of remediation (one of the metrics in this report). I’ve mentioned ‘nostesia’ many times in the past. And I recently read a data analysis that showed that students who ignored the suggestion for remediation were almost 3 times more likely to eventually pass the gatekeeper course for which they were preparing than those who complied with their remediation referral. So not only may the need for remediation be mis- or over-stated, but it appears our attempt to address that mis-stated need may actually be counter-productive by forcing people out of the system who ‘shouldn’t’ have been. Yet another example of public perception driving bad public policy?

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      I'm not sure a digital response qualifies as "ink," but here goes something on "remediation" at the college level: "Most students were listed as 'on probation' in one subject or another, taking classes to raise their competency in various subjects. Henry was required to enroll on probation in all three primary areas of study; Latin, Greek, and mathematics. 'You have barely got in,' said the college's president, Josiah Quincy." [Note; the "college," in question was Harvard University.] Quotation … Read More

      I’m not sure a digital response qualifies as “ink,” but here goes something on “remediation” at the college level:

      “Most students were listed as ‘on probation’ in one subject or another, taking classes to raise their competency in various subjects. Henry was required to enroll on probation in all three primary areas of study; Latin, Greek, and mathematics. ‘You have barely got in,’ said the college’s president, Josiah Quincy.”

      [Note; the “college,” in question was Harvard University.]

      Quotation taken from the biography of Henry (David) Thoreau— “The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man’s Unlikely Path to Walden Pond” by Michael Sims.

      Yet another example of how education in the past is viewed through very rose colored glasses. Obviously the term “probationary” was to designate classes designed to “raise the competency” of students and today would be called “remedial.” Taking “remedial” courses was common, even at Harvard. At that time “few” (but a notable few) considered it a waste or burden to provide needed “remediation.”

      We are talking the “dim past” here, but my recollection of entering community college (early to mid 1960s) very few students (perhaps one in four?) immediately qualified for English 1A-1B, required for eventual college graduation. Everyone else, and this included all of my friends, had to take one of a number of leveled English composition classes. All of these students would have been considered “remedial.” That was what community college was for. To give students a chance to qualify for eventual transfer to a four year institution. There were also the students who were taking various “technical” courses and headed for skilled trades. Almost everyone took a full 15 units a semester and there was great incentive to do well, at least for males, because if and when you didn’t take a full load or your GPA dropped the draft was ready to swoop you up.

      Of course, there were full slates of courses available for everyone and fees were almost nonexistent. Those of us who worked could (almost) support ourselves on a minimum wage job as we attended school. Today, class sections are scarce, the “fees” are high,” and the minimum wage leave you hungry at the end of the month. Less affluent students are forced to work multiple jobs and the lack of sections means you spend several years getting two years of college transfer credit. Those community colleges today that try to buck the imposition of “austerity” and provide students with what they really need, like City College of SF, come under immediate attack and threats to their accreditation.

      I was lucky to attend community college when CA lived up to its own evolving Master Plan and considered support for all levels of schooling both as an investment in the future and a moral and civic obligation. All of our kids deserve to be that “lucky.”

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        Thanks Gary. I think you'll probably remember that I agree with you on the rosy past fallacy, ergo my reference to the term nostesia. I also found an interesting difference to be that now it is not uncommon for students to run out of financial aid eligibility while trying to complete remediation courses. Perhaps that is also not so different than it used to be, however, I expect the job market today changes the nature … Read More

        Thanks Gary. I think you’ll probably remember that I agree with you on the rosy past fallacy, ergo my reference to the term nostesia. I also found an interesting difference to be that now it is not uncommon for students to run out of financial aid eligibility while trying to complete remediation courses. Perhaps that is also not so different than it used to be, however, I expect the job market today changes the nature of the impact that has on the student.
        My concern regarding this topic is that an appearance is being created that it is worsening and that is being used as the premise for claiming that something drastic needs to change and be done differently to address that ‘failure’. So much so that we see reports like this that essentially grade states based on how well they are implementing these changes.
        To be sure, when we hear news of record high graduation rates, we cannot forget that means we are providing an expanded opportunity specifically to kids who will need remediation. This fact should have a significant impact on policy at both the secondary and post-secondary levels (including community colleges and even primary) in that we need to focus on how well we are serving those kids (rather than to use those expanded opportunities as a basis to claim the current system is a failure–essentially the only time you hear mention of remediation in public discourse / the media).

  2. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    (Posted already but treated as spam. Reposting without URL syntax) The map doesn't mean much unless you know what it's measuring. I think it would have been useful to list the 10 policies here. I also think it's important to understand what college and career ready actually means, and that where it is defined, it invariably specifies a goal we have never achieved before. Even while entirely excluding large swaths of our population from the … Read More

    (Posted already but treated as spam. Reposting without URL syntax) The map doesn’t mean much unless you know what it’s measuring. I think it would have been useful to list the 10 policies here.
    I also think it’s important to understand what college and career ready actually means, and that where it is defined, it invariably specifies a goal we have never achieved before. Even while entirely excluding large swaths of our population from the education system. Not sure how the calls to cut funding will align with those new and expanded goals.
    It is interesting that 18 states do not even have a definition of college and career readiness yet there are no states that are implementing no college and career readiness policies. (?)
    Here is a paper referenced from the report that delineates the definition of college and career readiness for those states that have one:
    http://www.ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/CCRS%20Defintions%20Brief_REV_1.pdf

    Replies

    • Michelle Maitre 2 years ago2 years ago

      “I think it would have been useful to list the 10 policies here.”

      Noted, Navigio. Story updated above. Thanks for reading!

  3. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    The map doesn't mean much unless you know what it's measuring. I think it would have been useful to list the 10 policies here. I also think it's important to understand what college and career ready actually means, and that where it is defined, it invariably specifies a goal we have never achieved before. Even while entirely excluding large swaths of our population from the education system. Not sure how the calls to cut funding … Read More

    The map doesn’t mean much unless you know what it’s measuring. I think it would have been useful to list the 10 policies here.
    I also think it’s important to understand what college and career ready actually means, and that where it is defined, it invariably specifies a goal we have never achieved before. Even while entirely excluding large swaths of our population from the education system. Not sure how the calls to cut funding will align with those new and expanded goals.
    It is interesting that 18 states do not even have a definition of college and career readiness yet there are no states that are implementing no college and career readiness policies. (?)
    Here is a paper referenced from the report that delineates the definition of college and career readiness for those states that have one:
    http://www.ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/CCRS%20Defintions%20Brief_REV_1.pdf