Model Agenda for a State College and Career Readiness Initiative
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) has developed a model college- and career-readiness agenda, based on SREBs work over several years and based on the practices of several states. This agenda outlines a series of steps that states can follow to complete an effective statewide college-readiness initiative. How each state addresses each step may vary. SREBs experience shows that that each of the following steps is essential if a statewide college- and career-readiness initiative is to be successful. The model agenda provides a general framework against which a state’s progress in its readiness initiative can be reviewed.
- Develop statewide college/career readiness standards in
reading, writing and math that are:
- Created jointly by public pre-K-12 and higher education sectors.
- Adoption of or alignment with national standards (Common Core State Standards, American Diploma Project, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, etc.).
- Include content descriptions of standards converted to performance levels that are expressed in terms and rubrics commonly understood statewide by all of preK-12 and higher education.
- Adopted formally as highlighted subsets of the official statewide school standards.
- Formally approved by all of public higher education (four-year and two-year sectors) in the state as common readiness/placement standards, sending one set of clear expectations from all of public higher education to all public high schools in the state.
- Make college/career readiness standards key components of
state high school assessments and of statewide higher education
- Identify or develop 11th-grade tests that can be used to assess students college/career readiness (especially in English III and Algebra II) and to point students to targeted assistance in 12th-grade transitional courses.
- Ensure that tests assess student progress on the specific state-adopted readiness standards.
- Set qualifying scores that equate to the readiness performance levels expected of entering college students.
- Coordinate readiness tests within the states overall school testing program.
- Adopt and implement statewide, common college-readiness/placement tests at public postsecondary education institutions based on the state readiness standards.
- Make school and student performance on the readiness
assessments part of the state school accountability program.
- Prioritize readiness assessments in accountability systems.
- Identify measures to determine if students who meet new standards are successful in college.
- Adjust or develop curriculum and instruction to target the
specific statewide readiness standards.
- Map readiness standards back through grades 8-11.
- Plan and build supplemental curriculum and instruction
for the 12th-grade, targeted to three groups of students:
- Those who are not ready to graduate from high school.
- Those who are ready to graduate but not ready for college or further career preparation.
- Those who are ready for college/career preparation (dual-credit students, early-admission students).
- The non-ready cohort of students should be assisted with special courses in expository reading and writing, and math tutorials directed at the specific readiness standards.
- Develop statewide plans for targeted teacher development
(pre-service and in-service).
- Help all teachers understand the specific readiness standards and how to teach them effectively in grades 8-11.
- Ensure that the plans include preparation for all teachers who will implement the new 12th-grade courses or conduct other activities designed to improve students skills.
- Focus professional development for in-service teachers specifically on the state readiness standards.
- Ensure that teacher preparation programs for prospective
(pre-service) teachers include learning opportunities so that
new teachers will understand the state readiness standards
and be prepared to teach them effectively.