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David T. Conley, Ph.D. Professor, University of Oregon

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1 Improving Readiness for College for All Maine Students: Challenges and Strategies
David T. Conley, Ph.D. Professor, University of Oregon Director, Center for Educational Policy Research CEO, Educational Policy Improvement Center Maine Superintendents Conference June 25, 2010

2 Today’s Topics The nature of college and career readiness and what schools can do to make more students ready for college and careers. National education policy as it relates to college and career readiness, state standards, and state assessments. The Maine Course Pathways as a tool to help improve student performance on Common Core Standards and college and career readiness

3 Findings and Recommendations Discussed Today Are Explained In More Detail In:

4 Nature of the Challenge
The proportion of students going on to postsecondary education has steadily increased over the past 100 years and is likely to continue to increase. National education policy is beginning to emphasize college and career readiness over basic skills instruction. Today’s young people will need to be better educated and prepared as the US continues to move to a knowledge/information economic model. Getting more students ready for college means succeeding with an increasingly challenging student population, but one that needs the opportunity.

5 Key Assumptions The goal of high school is to equip as many students as possible with a core set of knowledge, tools, strategies, and skills necessary for college and career success. In other words, to be able to continue their education beyond high school College eligibility is not the same as college readiness. The definition of “ready” is a student who can succeed—without remediation—in credit- bearing general education courses or a two-year certificate program. “Succeed” is defined as being able to progress successfully in the chosen program. College readiness and career readiness are similar but not the same. The capacity of students to learn is malleable and not fixed Achievement is a function of effort, not solely ability, or, worse yet, “intelligence.”

6 The Four Dimensions of College Readiness
Key Cognitive Strategies Problem formulation, research, interpretation, communication, precision and accuracy. Key Content Knowledge Key foundational content and “big ideas” from core subjects. Academic Behaviors Self-management skills: time management, study skills, goal setting, self-awareness, and persistence. Contextual Skills and Awareness (College Knowledge) Admissions requirements, college types and missions, affording college, college culture, and relations with professors. Contextual Skills and Awareness Contextual Skills and Awareness Academic Behaviors Academic Behaviors Key Content Knowledge Key Content Knowledge Key Cognitive Strategies Key Cognitive Strategies 6

7 The Key Cognitive Strategies Model

8 College Readiness and Career Readiness: Same or Different?
EPIC’s analysis of the content of two-year certificate programs is identifying the overlap between college readiness and career readiness. Most certificate programs require a sound academic content knowledge base and solid competency in the Key Cognitive Strategies. Additionally, students in both types of programs need strong skills in the Academic Behaviors and a grounding in College Knowledge. Readiness for four-year institutions requires more intense and specialized preparation and skill in Key Content Knowledge and Key Cognitive Strategies.

9 Welding Technology Certificate (A. S
Welding Technology Certificate (A.S.): Sample Student Learning Outcomes (from Los Rios Community College) Select the correct electrode classification and parameters for various thickness of material and welding positions on ferrous and nonferrous metals. Define principles of gas metal arc welding. Interpret GMA electrode and classification and specification. Select correct electrode amperage settings for the job application. Interpret graphic welding symbols. Describe shielded metal arc welding operations of various positions using selected electrodes on different joint designs. Explain the reason for the formation of each discontinuity type and distinguish different discontinuities. Interpret fabrication blueprints using a systematic process. Relate the requirements for welding ferrous and nonferrous metals.

10 Landscaping or Nursery Certificate (A. S
Landscaping or Nursery Certificate (A.S.): Sample Student Learning Outcomes (from Los Rios Community College) Identify and select plant materials that are used for landscapes in the northern California regions. Analyze a landscape site and create a complete landscape design for that site. Analyze a landscape design and apply the installation procedures necessary to implement the design. Assess a soil analysis and apply the appropriate steps for plants health and soil sustainability. Demonstrate horticulture skills in a work environment. Apply safe operating procedures and practices to all landscape operations. Assess a landscape and apply the maintenance operation techniques required.

11 Automotive Collision Technology Certificate: Sample Student Learning Outcomes (from Los Rios Community College) Identify and estimate automotive collision damage. Develop a repair plan. Repair automotive collision mechanical damage. Repair automotive collision body damage. Refinish automotive collision damage. Electrical Systems This course covers the principles, operation, and diagnosis of auto- motive electrical systems including fundamentals of electricity (DC), electrical circuits, battery operation, fundamentals of magnetism, charging systems, starting systems, and electrical schematics.

12 If Only It Were This Easy…

13 Seven Key Principles of College Readiness
Principle 1: Create and maintain a college-going culture in the school. Principle 2: Create a core academic program that is aligned with and leads to college readiness by the end of 12th grade. Principle 3: Teach key self-management skills and expect students to use them. Principle 4: Make college real by preparing students for the complexity of applying to college and making the transition successfully. Principle 5: Create assignments and grading policies in high school that more closely approximate college expectations. Principle 6: Make the senior year meaningful and challenging. Principle 7: Build partnerships with and connections to postsecondary programs and institutions. These principles are derived from the CREST study and the 38 value-added high schools on some college readiness indicator that were visited.

14 Principle 1: Create and maintain a college-going culture in the school
Make college readiness a key schoolwide goal. Signal to students that the school is about preparing students for postsecondary success, not just admission. Set expectations for all students to be college ready. Send the message in numerous symbolic and substantive ways that the school is about college readiness. Encourage students to set a goal of going on to some form of postsecondary education.

15 Principle 2: Create a core academic program aligned with college readiness
Examine the content and logic of the course sequence in English, math, science, social studies. Review and revise syllabi to ensure all courses align with college readiness standards. Identify how the instructional program as a whole: develops key cognitive strategies focuses on key content develops academic behaviors presents key college knowledge.

16 Principle 3: Teach key self-management skills and expect students to use them
Have student set goals and gauge completion of them Short-term goals for coursework Medium-term for classes Longer-term goals for postsecondary plans and aspirations Provide students with tools for managing assignments and due dates. Agree on method students will be taught to take notes. Have all students participate in study groups each academic term.

17 Principle 4: Prepare students for the complexity of applying to college
Familiarize students with college and the application process each successive year from ninth grade on. Instruct all students and parents on the major timelines and requirements for college applications and financial aid. Consider requiring all students to complete a college application. Be prepared to provide extra support to students who would be first in family to attend college.

18 Principle 5: Align assignments and grading policies with college expectations
Expect students to complete at least some homework without submitting it for points or a grade. Give complex assignments that require independent work, team work, or study groups to complete. Be cautious granting extra credit, limiting it to additional academic opportunities, not substitute activities. Develop assignments that infuse college-type expectations into courses. Lots of writing, higher grading criteria, more persistence, more individual initiative required

19 Principle 6: Make the senior year meaningful and challenging
Ensure that all students have a full, academically challenging schedule senior year that includes math and writing. Encourage or expect all students to have college-like experiences through: campus visits dual enrollment courses Advanced Placement courses senior seminars Administer a college placement test early in the senior year. Require a senior project judged against college readiness criteria.

20 Principle 7: Build partnerships with and connections to postsecondary education
Make personal connections with local postsecondary administrators and faculty. Explore ways for high school and college faculty to coordinate and align their expectations and teaching strategies. Take advantage of physical proximity to any postsecondary institution by offering dual enrollment opportunities. Collect data on student performance in college to determine how well your students are succeeding in entry-level courses.

21 How To Get There Develop a profile of the school’s college readiness capacity. Identify short-and long-term measures of success. Assess the school or district’s capacity to support improvements. Institute specific programs to address the four dimensions of college and career readiness. Start with small, incremental changes. Plan for larger systemic changes. Engage outside partners.

22 How To Get There Institute professional development to support college readiness. Help teachers strengthen content knowledge, instructional strategies, and awareness of college knowledge. Recognize the importance of culture and change culture. Change behaviors to change beliefs. Make symbolic changes. Gauge the progress of changes in the high school. Determine the effects on student performance in college.

23 The National Educational Policy Environment
Rapid shift toward common expectations across states, higher, clearer standards, and more complex assessments Accountability will remain a key element in federal policy Greater openness to growth model approaches and performance assessment Focus on low-performing schools Sincere desire to bring about real change and to confront the status quo to do so

24 The Blueprint for Reform
All students college and career ready by 2020 Raise standards for all students and align standards with college and career Create a new generation of assessments aligned with college and career readiness Improve professional development and institute evidence-based practice Great teachers and great leaders in every school Define, recognize, and reward excellence in teaching Create incentives for teachers to teach in high-needs schools Strengthen recruitment and preparation of teachers and principals

25 The Blueprint for Reform
Equity and opportunity for all students Support implementation of rigorous and fair accountability systems Meet the needs of diverse learners Create greater equity of resources across all schools Raise the bar and reward excellence Conduct the Race to the Top competitions Support effective school choice Increase access to dual enrollment and support college-going models & strategies Promote innovation and continuous improvement Conduct the Investing in Innovation (i3) competition Support, recognize, and reward local innovation Nurture comprehensive school redesign, community partnerships

26 The Common Core Standards
Spell out in greater clarity expectations at each grade level Are “fewer” and “higher” than what exists in many states currently Attempt to recognize the importance of applying knowledge in cognitively complex ways, not just retaining factual information Are designed to culminate at a college and career level by end of high school Are subject-specific in math at the high school level Are contextually-defined in English at the secondary level Open the door for potential improvements in curriculum and instruction

27 Maine Course Pathways and Common Core Standards
Common Core Standards enhance the value of an aligned program of instruction that addresses all the standards Maine Course Pathways is designed to let schools know how well their program aligns with a set of standards Initially designed to gauge alignment with Maine Learning Results Being adapted to align courses with the Common Core Standards Can be a powerful tool to ensure that all students take a course of study aligned with the Common Core Standards

28 Maine Course Pathways Based on the following principles:
Students will learn state standards better if they have the opportunity to learn them in the first place. Teachers will teach better if they know what they are expected to teach. A school’s program of instruction will be more effective if it systematically aligns with a set of learning standards that cover important material and progresses appropriately across grade levels and courses. Administrators will be better able to mange school improvement when they know what is going on in all classes and how classes relate to one another. States will need less intrusive accountability systems if there is assurance schools are following a program of study aligned with state standards.

29 Possible Next Steps for Maine Course Pathways
Align high school courses with Common Core Standards Identify areas of high and low alignment and develop resource networks and supports for specific topics and subjects Determine alignment between a school’s overall course of study and the Common Assessments Apply Course Pathways model to teacher preparation to ensure prospective teachers have requisite knowledge and skills to teach Common Core Standards

30 The Common Assessment Competition
Two major consortia: SMARTER Balance Assessment, PARC Proposals just submitted, awards in September, 2010, up to $160 million Implementation by Computer adaptive testing to get to right challenge level for all students Growth models that allow better measures of student progress and, potentially, of teacher effectiveness Interim benchmark assessments for diagnostic purposes Performance tasks to assess more complex skills

31 EPIC’s Work in These Areas
Conducting a Gates-sponsored validity study of the Common Core Standards How well do the College and Career Readiness Standards do what they say they do? Analyze the content of 25 courses titles (over 3,000 total courses, both general education and career pathway course) at 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions. Working with states to align high school and college systems better South Carolina Paired Courses Project Texas College Readiness Assignments Working with the College Board to diagnose district and school’s ability to prepare more students for college Developing the CollegeCareerReady System

32 The CollegeCareerReady™ System
The system measures and improves readiness at multiple levels and in multiple components. DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEMS School Diagnostic Performance Assessment Student Profile QualityCourse Design System SCHOOL ALIGNMENT QualityCourse Alignment System QualityCourse Pathways SECTOR ALIGNMENT Secondary/Postsecondary Partnerships CollegeCareerReady 32

33 Educational Policy Improvement Center

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