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**Achieve, Inc. Created in 1996 by governors and concerned CEOs**

Bipartisan, independent, non-profit Work with states to improve the quality of standards, tests and accountability systems Organized 1999, 2001, and 2005 National Education Summits

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**Achieve’s purpose is to:**

Prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work and citizenship by raising academic standards and achievement in America's schools.

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Achieve’s work: help states benchmark their standards, assessments and accountability systems against the best in the country and the world build partnerships that allow states to work together to improve teaching and learning and raise student achievement provide sustained public leadership and advocacy for the movement to raise standards and improve student performance

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**American Diploma Project**

How well prepared are our students for the world after high school? What does it take to be prepared for postsecondary education and work? What do we expect of our high school graduates? What will it take to close the expectations gap?

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**American Diploma Project**

How well prepared are our students?

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**U.S. high school graduation rates have dropped over past 20 years**

Public high school graduation rates, 1981–2000 Since the report A Nation at Risk was issued in 1983, high school graduation rates have declined steadily. High school graduation rates have, in fact, been on the decline for more than three decades since they peaked in 1969. Source: Mortenson, T., “Chance for College by Age 19 by State in 2000,” Postsecondary Education Opportunity: The Environmental Scanning Research Letter of Opportunity for Postsecondary Education, No. 123, The Mortenson Research Center on Public Policy, September 2002.

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**High school graduation rate: United States trails most countries**

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) annually surveys its member countries about their secondary-level (i.e., high school) graduation rate. O The OECD membership includes the free-market democracies of North America, Europe and Japan. The United States has one of the lowest high school graduation rates among these industrialized nations. Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance 2004, 2004.

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**Too many U.S. students drop out of the education pipeline**

Using the most recent information on education transitions — graduating high school in four years, entering college the next fall, returning for a second year of college and earning a college degree — these data represent how many entering 9th graders will make it through the pipeline and complete college. O 68 percent graduate from high school on time (in four years). O 40 percent enroll in college for the fall semester immediately after graduation. O 27 percent return for their second year of college. O 18 percent will graduate from college with a two-year degree within three years or with a four-year degree within six years. These data do not represent the progress of a single group of students through the education pipeline. Rather, they look at how many students made it through each of the transition points in a single year. Source: National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education, Policy Alert, April Data are estimates of pipeline progress rather than actual cohort.

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**Only about half of African American and Latino students graduate from high school in four years**

On-time high school graduation, 2002 There is a wide disparity in the graduation rates of white and minority students. In the class of 2002, 78 percent of white students graduated from high school with a regular diploma, compared with 56 percent of African American students and 52 percent of Latino students. These data are taken from a Manhattan Institute study by Jay Greene, who has developed his own method of calculating high school graduation rates. Greene’s rates closely match other accepted estimates. Source: Manhattan Institute, Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002, February 2005,

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**A high school diploma is not the last educational stop required**

Jobs that require at least some postsecondary education will make up more than two-thirds of new jobs. Jobs that require at least some postsecondary education will make up more than two-thirds of new jobs between 2000 and 2010. These figures were produced using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey (2001) and Employment Projections, 2000–2010, and from the National Center for Education Statistics’ National Adult Literacy Survey (1992). Source: Carnevale, Anthony P. and Donna M. Desrochers, Standards for What? The Economic Roots of K–16 Reform, Educational Testing Service, 2003.

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**Change in the Distribution of Education in Jobs, 1973 v. 2001**

-9% +16% -23% +16% Source: Carnevale, Anthony P. and Donna M. Desrochers, Standards for What? The Economic Roots of K–16 Reform, ETS, 2003.

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**College bound does not necessarily mean college ready**

Percentage of U.S. first-year students in two-year and four-year institutions requiring remediation Nearly three in 10 first-year students are placed immediately into a remedial college course. The National Center for Education Statistics has looked at the percentage of incoming college freshmen enrolled in remedial classes during their first semester (fall 2000). O Nearly three in 10 were placed immediately into a remedial college course. The remediation rate is higher at two-year institutions than at four-year institutions. The remediation rate remained unchanged between 1995 and 2000. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Remedial Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000, 2003.

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**Very few high school graduates are “college ready”**

To determine how many students leave high school “college ready,” Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute has established three criteria: O Students must graduate from high school (Greene has developed his own method of calculating high school graduation rates that closely match other accepted estimates). O Students must have completed four years of high school English; three years of math; and two years each of natural science, social science and foreign language. O Students must score at the basic level or above on the 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment. Although high school graduation rates have not improved over the last decade, college readiness rates have been rising. There are, however, large differences among racial and ethnic groups in the percentage of students who leave high school eligible for college admission. About 40 percent of white students, 23 percent of African American students and 20 percent of Latino students who started public high school graduated college ready in 2002. Source: Manhattan Institute, Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002, February 2005,

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**Too few minority students in U. S**

Too few minority students in U.S. graduate from high school “college ready” To determine how many students leave high school “college ready,” Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute has established three criteria: O Students must graduate from high school (Greene has developed his own method of calculating high school graduation rates that closely match other accepted estimates). O Students must have completed four years of high school English; three years of math; and two years each of natural science, social science and foreign language. O Students must score at the basic level or above on the 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment. Although high school graduation rates have not improved over the last decade, college readiness rates have been rising. There are, however, large differences among racial and ethnic groups in the percentage of students who leave high school eligible for college admission. About 40 percent of white students, 23 percent of African American students and 20 percent of Latino students who started public high school graduated college ready in 2002. Source: Manhattan Institute, Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002, February 2005,

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**Most U.S. college students who take remedial courses fail to earn degrees**

Percentage not earning degree by type of remedial coursework Many college students who need remediation, especially in reading and math, do not earn either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Many college students who need remediation, especially in reading and math, do not earn either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Only one in four college students who require remedial reading and slightly more than one in three who require remedial math graduate from college with a degree. O Two-thirds of students who are ready for college (i.e., need NO remedial help) ultimately earn their degree. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2004.

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**Clearly, we’ve got a problem**

Students are following all the rules; Meeting all of the requirements for a HS diploma; and still-- Falling through the cracks between high school and the expectations of postsecondary institutions.

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**American Diploma Project**

What does it take to be prepared for postsecondary education and work?

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**American Diploma Project**

Partnership of Achieve, Inc.; The Education Trust; and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Partnered with Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada and Texas. Involved wide variety of K–12, higher education and business representatives. Key finding: Unprecedented convergence of skills required for success in college and work. Created end-of-high-school benchmarks to convey the knowledge and skills graduates will need to be successful in college and the workplace. To restore value to the high school diploma, Achieve, Inc., in partnership with The Education Trust and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, launched the American Diploma Project (ADP) in The National Alliance of Business was an original ADP partner but has since closed. The policy recommendations that emerged from this initial project and that were included in the ADP report — Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts (February 2004) — are the basis for the policy commitments of the ADP Network.

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**Expectations are the same for both college & “good jobs”**

The knowledge & skills that high school graduates will need in order to be successful in college are the same as those they will need in order to be successful in a “good job” that pays enough to support a family well above the poverty level, provides benefits, & offers clear pathways for career advancement through further education & training.

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**College Ready = Career Ready**

ADP research found a common core of knowledge & skills in math and English that are necessary for success in postsecondary education and in “good jobs”. ACT Study Ready for College Ready for Work: Same or Different?: whether planning to enter college or workforce training programs after graduation, high school students need to be educated to a comparable level of readiness in reading and mathematics.

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**Work Ready is not the same as Career Ready**

Career Ready – The knowledge and skills needed to gain further education and training in order to succeed and advance in chosen career Work Ready – The knowledge and skills needed to gain an entry level job

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**Blue-collar jobs require high-level skills**

Requirements for draftsmen: Recommended high school courses include Geometry and Trigonometry. Draftsmen may wish to seek additional study in mathematics and computer-aided design to keep up with technological progress within the industry. Requirements for electricians: Recommended high school courses include Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Physics. Sources: American Diploma Project, 2002; The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

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**Blue-collar jobs require high-level skills**

Requirements for iron workers: Recommended high school courses include Algebra, Geometry and Physics. Requirements for sheet metal workers: Four or five years of apprenticeship Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and technical reading Requirements for tool and die makers Four or five years of apprenticeship and/or postsecondary training Algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics Sources: American Diploma Project, 2002; The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

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**Recommended Math Courses for 16 CTE Career Clusters**

Algebra I, Geometry, & Algebra II Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, or Statistics Trigonometry, Pre- Calculus, or Calculus Arts, A/V Technology & Communications Architecture & Construction Business, Management, & Administration Finance Government & Public Administration Hospitality and Tourism Human Services Information Technology Manufacturing Marketing, Sales and Service Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Education & Training Health Science Law, Public Safety, Corrections& Security Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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**American Diploma Project**

What does all this mean? A high school diploma is necessary but not sufficient -- good jobs that pay well and lead to careers require high skills and further education or training beyond high school. There is a common core of English and math skills necessary for success in college and in the education and training that leads to careers. The job of high schools is to help every 9th grader graduate with at least these core skills -- so that each student has choices and options after high school.

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**American Diploma Project Methodology**

Coming from the workplace perspective: Defining workplace expectations Securing input from employers on preliminary workplace expectations

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**What does it take to succeed in “good” jobs?**

ADP research found that: 84 percent of highly paid professionals took Algebra II or higher in high school. Employees in vast majority of good jobs took four years of grade-level English. Employers emphasize importance of workers being able to think creatively and logically and to identify and solve problems. Fastest growing occupations require some education beyond high school (e.g., certificate, bachelor’s degree, associate degree, on-the-job training). ADP used the high school course-taking patterns of people who today hold good jobs to help determine the level of rigor in the ADP benchmarks.

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**American Diploma Project Methodology**

Coming from the postsecondary perspective: Defining postsecondary expectations for credit-bearing work Test content analyses Meetings with higher education faculty

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**American Diploma Project Methodology**

Meetings with 2-year and 4-year college faculty: Define math content and skills needed for success in credit-bearing courses Articulate and prioritize these competencies Determine degree to which state standards contain these competencies Identify gaps

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**American Diploma Project**

Convergence of workplace and postsecondary findings: Similar intellectual demands Some variation in relative emphasis Importance of reasoning and problem-solving skills

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**ADP Post-secondary Institution Study: Key findings**

In math, graduates need knowledge and skills typically taught in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry, as well as some Data Analysis and Statistics. In English, graduates need strong reading, writing and oral communication skills equal to four years of grade-level coursework, as well as research and logical reasoning skills often associated with honors courses.

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**To be college and work ready, students need to complete a rigorous sequence of courses**

To be college and work ready, high school graduates need: In math: Four years Content equivalent to Algebra I and II, Geometry, and a fourth course such as Statistics or Precalculus In English: Four years Content equivalent to four years of grade-level English or higher (i.e., honors or AP English)

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**American Diploma Project**

The final steps: Synthesizing preliminary workplace and postsecondary expectations for review Convening content area expert/employer panels Gathering tasks and assignments from employers and postsecondary faculty

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**ADP Math Expectations ADP Math benchmarks cover:**

Number sense and numerical operations Algebra Geometry Data interpretations, statistics and probability Math reasoning skills Typically taught in four courses with content equivalent to: Algebra I Geometry Algebra II Additional advanced course such as Statistics or Precalc

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**American Diploma Project Mathematics Benchmarks**

Benchmarks, supported by examples Asterisks used to identify content recommended for all but required for students planning to take calculus Technology as an important tool in problem solving but not as a replacement for fluency and accuracy in computation

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**American Diploma Project Mathematics Benchmarks**

How are they being used? Benchmarking state high school standards Comparative analyses in states embarking upon the development of college-readiness standards Basis of comparison in analysis of tests Backmapping to create a secondary progression and sequences of high school courses

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**K-12 progression and high school course descriptions**

ADP benchmarks are for all students. They are cumulative— “end-of-high school” (but not through calculus) In mathematics, we are currently “backmapping” from end of high school to create a K-12 progression (building on pre-existing K-8) Developing course descriptions as well

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**American Diploma Project Mathematics Benchmarks**

So how are we “unpacking” the ADP benchmarks? Identifying prerequisite knowledge and skills Defining a “universe” of content and skills that “bleeds into” middle school Creating a progression of knowledge and skills “Evening out” the grain size

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**American Diploma Project Backmapping Progression**

Where are we now? Draft strands of the universe of content Working to parse expectations into course sequences - traditional and integrated

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**American Diploma Project**

What do we expect of our high school graduates? Standards Course-taking requirements Assessments

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**State high school standards not always anchored in real-world expectations**

In most states, standards reflect a consensus among discipline-based experts about what would be important for young people to learn – not a reflection of what would be essential to know to succeed at the next level. Few states’ postsecondary faculty and employers have verified that state high school standards reflect their expectations.

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**Do state graduation requirements reflect “college- and work-ready” content?**

To answer this question, Achieve: Reviewed minimum high school course requirements in all 50 states. Compared each state’s requirements to what students need to be successful in college and the workplace.

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**44 states require students to take certain courses to graduate from high school**

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**23 states require Algebra I**

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**16 states require Geometry**

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**Only 8 states require Algebra II**

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**Algebra II critical for college and work**

High school graduates extremely or very well prepared for expectations of college/work The number and difficulty of core classes taken in high school is strongly associated with how prepared high school graduates feel for the math-related challenges of college and the workplace. O College students who took Algebra II or higher-level math courses in high school are more than twice as likely to feel prepared for the math they are expected to do in college (60 percent feel well prepared) as students who did not take Algebra II (26 percent). O Sixty-eight percent of those who took Algebra II or higher feel prepared for the math they are expected to do at work, compared with 46 percent of those who did not take Algebra II. Source: Peter D. Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies, Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work? prepared for Achieve, Inc., 2005.

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**A strong high school curriculum**

A strong high school curriculum* improves college completion and narrows gaps 13% 30% Clifford Adelman, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Education, reviewed student transcripts as part of a longitudinal study. In his report, Answers in the Toolbox, Adelman considers which high school indicator best predicts college success (i.e., degree earned): curricular rigor, test scores or class rank. Among all college students, there is a 30 percent gap in college completion rates between white and African American students. However, that gap narrows significantly when students take a rigorous college-prep curriculum in high school. The data are a stunning endorsement of what curricular intensity and quality can do, particularly for African American and Latino students. *Completing at least Algebra II plus other courses. Source: Adapted from Adelman, Clifford, U.S. Department of Education, Answers in the Toolbox, 1999.

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**Only four in 10 high school students complete a college- and work-ready math curriculum**

Taking a math course beyond Algebra II* by graduation (2002) The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) issues a biennial report that estimates the percentage of high school students who have completed advanced math and science courses. To make such estimates for the class of 2002, CCSSO divided the total course enrollment in grades 9–12 in fall 2001 by the estimated number of students who were part of the class of 2002 cohort during four years of high school. O CCSSO estimates that the percentage of high school students in the United States taking math courses beyond Algebra II (i.e., Trigonometry and/or Precalculus) by graduation in 2002 was 41 percent, up 12 percentage points from a decade earlier. NOTE: From Clifford Adelman’s Answers in the Toolbox: “Of all the components of curriculum intensity and quality, none has such an obvious and powerful relationship to ultimate completion of degrees as the highest level of mathematics one studies in high school. This is a very critical equity issue because not all high schools … offer their students the opportunity to learn the higher levels of mathematics that propel people toward degrees — no matter what their eventual major field of study. [T]he precise point at which opportunity to learn makes the greatest difference in long-term degree completion occurs at the first step beyond Algebra 2, whether trigonometry or pre-calculus.” *Trigonometry or Precalculus. Source: Council of Chief State School Officers, State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 2002, 2003, p. 27.

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**Do assessments measure “college-ready” skills?**

Half the states require students to pass one or more exams to earn a high school diploma. What does it take to pass these tests?

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**The tests Achieve analyzed**

Achieve conducted a detailed analysis of the mathematics and English exams in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. Achieve launched this study to help answer some basic questions about the expectations states are setting for their high school graduates through the use of exit exams: Do the tests reflect material that students should be familiar with by the time they complete high school? Is it reasonable to expect all students to pass these tests before they graduate? If they pass these tests, does it mean students are ready for their next steps in life? Source: Achieve, Inc., Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams, 2004.

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**Good news: States are measuring algebra and geometry**

When Achieve divided the questions on the math tests into the discipline’s four major domains — number, algebra, geometry/measurement and data analysis — the tests looked like one would expect at the high school level. O The majority of the questions focused on algebra and geometry/measurement, followed by data analysis and number. That algebra and geometry receive top billing on these tests represents a welcome shift from the minimum competency tests states used in the 1980s, which focused heavily on arithmetic and computation. From our ADP research, we know that students today need strong algebra, geometry and measurement skills to succeed when they graduate. These skills are considered prerequisites for success in college and in the new economy. Source: Achieve, Inc., Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams, 2004.

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**Bad news: States tend to measure lower-level content**

A closer look at the particular algebra and geometry/measurement topics being measured on these tests reveals that a majority of the points students can earn are associated with the least-demanding topics. O In algebra, for example, more than half (56 percent) of the points students can earn are based on facility with prealgebra skills — skills students should have mastered before high school. O Less than one-third of the points are dedicated to concepts such as linear equations, basic relations and functions, which typically are associated with basic algebra or Algebra I — a course commonly taken in the freshman year of high school or even earlier. O An even smaller proportion of the algebra points (15 percent) reflect advanced algebra concepts typically encountered in Algebra II courses. O The same pattern of emphasis on the least-demanding topics holds true in geometry and measurement. Source: Achieve, Inc., Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams, 2004.

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Students can pass state math tests knowing content typically taught in 7th and 8th grade internationally Grade when most international students cover content required to pass state math tests Tests such as the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) show that the performance of U.S. high school students in math lags behind that of students in other industrialized countries. Therefore, it is valuable to compare what is expected of students on these tests with expectations in other countries. To do this, Achieve used the International Grade Placement (IGP) index developed by Michigan State University as part of its ongoing work on TIMSS. The IGP index represents an “average” or composite among 41 nations (both high performing and low performing) of the grade level when a mathematics topic typically appears in the curriculum. For example, decimals and fractions typically are focused on in the 4th grade internationally. Therefore, this topic has an IGP rating of four. Right-triangle trigonometry, on the other hand, is taught most often at the 9th grade level around the world, so it receives an IGP rating of nine. When Achieve applied the IGP index to the state exit exams, it revealed that the content measured on the tests is taught, on average, at the 8th grade level internationally. In other words, the material on the exams states are using as a requirement for high school graduation is considered middle school content in most other countries. Although there was some variation across the states, this finding held true for all of the math tests. No test had an average IGP rating higher than the 8th grade. To pass the tests, Achieve found students need to know what is taught, on average, at the 7th or 8th grade level internationally. That is, the questions on the tests that students scoring at the cut score are likely to answer correctly measure concepts that students around the world focus on in the 7th and 8th grades. When the tests were compared across the states, Maryland’s end-of-course algebra test appeared to be the most challenging in terms of content difficulty. The Texas, Ohio and Massachusetts tests followed, and these three resemble each other closely in topic challenge at the cut scores. FL MD MA NJ OH TX Source: Achieve, Inc., Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams, 2004.

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**American Diploma Project**

What will it take to close the expectations gap?

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**Closing the Expectations Gap: ADP Policy Agenda**

Align high school standards with college and work expectations. Require all students to take curriculum aligned with standards. Include “college-ready” test, aligned with state standards, in high school assessment system. Hold high schools accountable for graduating students college- and work-ready, and hold postsecondary institutions accountable for student success.

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**ADP Network: 25 states committed to improving student preparation**

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**ADP Math Tools and Support: Standards**

K-12 Math Benchmarks High School Course Descriptions Traditional math sequence Integrated math sequence Capstone Courses Applied Sequence Alignment Institute and other technical support

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**Achieve provides alignment support to 18 states**

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**ADP Math Tools and Support: College-Ready Assessment**

Common Algebra II Test Do Graduation Tests Measure Up?: A Closer Look at High School Exit Exams Study of what commonly used college admissions and placement tests measure

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**ADP Algebra II End-of-Course Exam**

Nine states will issue RFP for development of Algebra II test in the Fall of 2006. Test content aligned with ADP math benchmarks Purposes of the test: To ensure consistent content and rigor in Algebra II courses within and among states To provide for comparisons in performance among the states To be used for postsecondary placement purposes Test will be administered no later than Spring 2008 Additional states will be able to use this exam

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**States working together to develop a common Algebra II EOC test**

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**Math Tools and Support: Improving Instruction**

Urban Math Leadership Network in partnership with Charles A. Dana Center/UT Austin Focus on developing tools and strategies to help urban districts increase success in Algebra I Aligned Instructional Systems Formative assessments Model Curriculum Sample Lessons and Assignments Professional Development Supports for Students

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**Math Tools and Support: Advocacy**

Making the case for Algebra II Research that supports necessity of advanced math skills for 21st Century work as well as for college Examples of successful state, district and school initiatives

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**please visit Achieve, Inc., on the Web at**

For more information, please visit Achieve, Inc., on the Web at

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