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Trends: Banging on the PK-16 Pipeline

Why am I so ill-tempered when I read a sensible report like “Bridging the Gap: How to Strengthen the Pk-16 Pipeline to Improve College Readiness”?

The authors, Ulrich Boser and Stephen Burd, know their stuff. The sponsoring organization, New America Foundation, has a great reputation. (Bias alert: It also employs one of my sons as a senior fellow, but he does California politics and direct democracy, not national education policy.)

My problem is that smart and industrious experts like Boser and Burd often unearth startling facts but don’t follow through. “Bridging the Gap,” available at Newamerica.net, details the large percentage of first-year college students in remedial courses and the duplication in federal college preparation programs. This is interesting information of which few people are aware.

But their recommendations follow the standard line: Let’s have more meetings and spend more money. Example: “We recommend that the federal government provide states with incentives to come together and adopt national college and work-readiness standards in math, science and the language arts.”

Or: “The federal government should work directly with states to foster partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions to smooth the transition between high school and college.”

You might think that sounds reasonable. I think it misses an opportunity. Why not harness the energy and ambition of a new president to shake things up?

The Obama administration doesn’t have much money to spend getting more students ready for college. The Education Department’s $100 billion in stimulus funds will mostly go to less sophisticated projects that create jobs fast.

But Education Secretary Arne Duncan can dispatch officials to ask embarrassing questions, identify glaring deficiencies and dissolve the rust that has accumulated on the PK-16 pipeline. (Jargon alert: PK, more often called pre-K, means pre-kindergarten, and 16 refers to 16th grade, better known as the college senior year.)

What will boost the chances of success in college for most students is not more money but a change of attitude. American schools, from pre-K through college, labor under the misimpression that children whose parents don’t make much money, and never went to college, aren’t up to such academic stress, and should be shunted aside to less demanding schedules. The few schools that give such students a dose of great teaching find that the assumption that they can’t learn at a high level is dead wrong, but convincing most schools of that is going to take a lot of effort, and a willingness to break some bureaucratic crockery.

Here are some ways to rattle the relevant cages. Meetings and money have their place, but I prefer forceful words to the right people, including reporters:

1. Ask elementary and middle schools why they are not preparing most students to complete algebra by the end of eighth grade, and give recognition to schools that do. I visited a charter school in San Jose last week where almost all eighth-graders successfully complete not just Algebra I but geometry. Eighty-six percent of these students come from low-income families. That math advantage will make their path to college much smoother.

2. At every news conference, call for an end to the standard high school practice of requiring high grade point averages or teacher recommendations for enrollment in Advanced Placement courses. No other policy is a greater hindrance to preparing students for college. At least half of college freshmen never took a college-level AP course and test in high school, mostly because they were not encouraged to, or more commonly barred from doing so. We have data showing that even students who flunk AP tests in high school do better in college than students who were never allowed to take AP.

3. Provide matching funds (okay, I want to spend a little money on this) to pay AP, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge test fees for any public high school that requires AP, IB and Cambridge students to take those tests. These college-level courses are often not taught very well when students are allowed to skip the final exams. The tests are written and graded by outside experts and are the best tools we have both to expose inadequate high school teaching and motivate better instruction.

4. Investigate the hidden world of college remedial classes. Who sets the passing scores on tests that determine who has to take non-credit remedial courses? Why do those scores differ from college to college? I have only suspicions, not facts, on this issue, but it is possible that colleges have turned remedial courses into cash cows -- funded by students who pay tuition but get no credit.

5. Encourage community colleges to experiment with letting students take for-credit courses even if they have failed the qualifying exams. Compare their results with those from students who do pass those exams. My hunch is that some professors are good at challenging marginal students and helping them pass credit courses. Demanding motivated students to take a dumbed-down remedial course before they take a course for credit is a great way to slow their progress toward a degree and lead them to conclude that colleges don’t want them.

6. Cut off federal funding to any college academic department that gives credit for good exam scores at the end of one-year AP courses but gives no credit for good exam scores at the end of one-year IB courses. Most departments in most colleges practice such discrimination, even though the AP and IB courses have been shown to be similar in rigor and content. The college department heads, who are responsible for this injustice, ignore the problem. They might pay more attention if their grants were in jeopardy.

7. Do the same for any college academic department that fails to give credit for AP students who score 3 or above on the five-point exams, unless they provide data showing that those students do less well on follow-up courses than students who have passed the department’s introductory course. Many selective colleges refuse to give credit for 3s, and even 4s, on AP exams but have done no research to justify the policy. This discourages high school students from taking the AP courses that would lubricate the PK-16 pipeline.

Got any more suggestions? Send them to me or put them in the comments below. We might persuade New America Foundation to do a whole new report on outrageous solutions that might actually get somewhere.

By Washington Post editors  | February 20, 2009; 3:00 AM ET
Categories:  Trends  
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Comments

Hi there,

5. Encourage community colleges to experiment with letting students take for-credit courses even if they have failed the qualifying exams. Compare their results with those from students who do pass those exams. My hunch is that some professors are good at challenging marginal students and helping them pass credit courses. Demanding motivated students to take a dumbed-down remedial course before they take a course for credit is a great way to slow their progress toward a degree and lead them to conclude that colleges don’t want them.

Call your local community college and check on their view of this topic.
I teach at a community college and we have only recently moved to strongly urging students to take remedial courses when their preliminary scores warrant. This is a touchy subject that really does need to be addressed in the K-12 arena. If students show up at a community college unprepared for college algebra, the students should be given a chance to succeed. This success will include some remedial (or if the students have never learned the subject is it medial?) course work.

Posted by: haggerty9 | February 20, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Education starts, right out of the womb. If your kid cannot read and write their own name by age two, and be able to complete full sentences by age 5, they will never be successful students at any level.

Posted by: demtse | February 20, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I teach U.S. history to large numbers of freshmen at a major state university. Many of them have never read a book cover-to-cover and get upset when they learn they will have to read four of them in my class.

I suggest that high schools require more reading.

And I doubt that anyone will take such a proposal seriously. Even many well-educated professionals do not value history today, failing to realize that the intense reading transfers to other disciplines and enhances study skills across the board.

Posted by: ryanj1 | February 20, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

The problem, even at good high schools, is that the HS system is still segregated by socio economic class. The top kids (generally from affluent homes) take a full schedule of ap or Ib classes in 11-12th grade and are overprepared for all but the most rigorous college curriculum. The rest of the school (poor and middle income kids), even if they take 1 or 2 easier AP classes before they graduate, are served by less motivated, less prepared teachers who keep the bar very low. I know. My son has all AP and IB classes in 11th grade except for one "regular" history/politics class. That class is a joke--he says it requires less thought and effort than a middle school class.

I agree with the view of the college prof. The worst aspect of the class is that THEY NEVER READ anything but an easy text book. Why don't they read at least one book like "All the Kings Men" or a book by Gore Vidal? Even at my lousy public high school years ago we read at least one novel or biography per quarter for almost every class. I remember having to read a biography of Madam Curie for my chemistry class. Can you imagine what that would do for preparation for college if every student for every class (not just English) had to read one book every 9-18 weeks? They would read, gasp!, perhaps 8-10 books in the year. They can do it...the AP/IB kids are reading 1-2 books per 9 weeks in their native and foreign language classes and social studies classes--my son reads at least 4 books a quarter. These AP/IB students will have no trouble with the workload in college. On the other hand, kids in the regular classes are going to be slammed to the ground in all but the easiest college systems. Some will survive but many will drop out. One first step is to require all high school students to read a book (not a text book) each quarter for each of their social studies and language classes. Of course, this means that teachers would also have to read....

Posted by: samclare | February 20, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Why is college the only choice for so many students? I have seen special education students enroll at the comm college because they didn't know what to do after high school. Even where vocational classes are available at the high school level, they have strict academic prerequisites and discourage special education students. These students (and the slackers who never cared about school through high school) look around after graduation and quickly run to the nearest CC. It is a safe place to grow up.

Posted by: pittypatt | February 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I really don't see why we need to do any of this. We already have more college graduates in this country than there are jobs that require a BS. What is the point in making it even easier to get in and dumbing the classes down further so that even more people can get degrees. Most likely the people that barely get into college will be the ones with unemployable grade point averages. Those people will end up taking jobs that you used to be able to get without a degree but now implicitly require one because all the other applicants have one. That doesn't seem like good policy to me.

Posted by: bill3 | February 20, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Bill3 ought to look at the data, and just look around. Even in bad times, college grads are more likely to find jobs, and more likely to succeed in them. Over a lifetime, college grads make twice as much money as high school grads. Even if the job does not technically require college skills, a college experience adds depth and maturity and confidence. As well as satisfactions in other parts of life.
Samclare has it exactly right on all counts, and Demise REALLY ought to read more, or just ask successful people how well they read at age 5. We have a ton of data showing that great teaching can overcome such slow starts and lead to great success in work, and in life. I have been writing about this for 27 years. Just google me and KIPP, or AP, to see what I mean.

Posted by: jaymathews | February 20, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Many selective colleges refuse to give credit for 3s, and even 4s, on AP exams but have done no research to justify the policy. This discourages high school students from taking the AP courses that would lubricate the PK-16 pipeline."

Where is the data that supports this notion of "discouragement"? In general, the students planning to go to selective colleges take the most AP classes.

Posted by: achachi | February 20, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

As a community college professor who teaches the whole composition sequence, I am dismayed to see your ignorance of the genuine lack of preparation - on so many levels - that developmental English students usually exhibit. My students typically claim that they have never written a paper, studied grammar or composition, or been held to deadlines, and their skill level and behaviors make it clear that they are telling the truth. I agree that students need to be challenged in high school, but not just in AP courses. Moreover, if AP courses are going to have open enrollment policies, they need to make sure that students are still learning how to express a coherent idea, understand a reading, and follow the rules of Standard Written English.

Mr. Mathews, I wish I could invite you to one of my classes to see the bright, determined students who have taken AP courses but are still unable to understand a basic hierarchy of ideas or write a correct sentence. The fact that so many developmental students are able to make up for the defecits in their entire high school educations in a semester or two and then go on to be successful in college is testimony to how profoundly they are being robbed of a solid K-12 education. Before you accuse community college of undermining our developmental students, I would encourage you to look at the writing that correlates with their test scores and to observe the multiple levels at which these students are inexperienced at functioning even in a highly supportive academic setting like a community college.

My radical solution? Figure out how to prepare students in K-12 so that my developmental courses are no longer necessary.

Posted by: paperball | February 20, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

As a community college visual arts instructor I have to agree with what other instructor's have posted. Not only do I have students who don't read and are so far from understanding how to write a sentence that they do not know what nouns and verbs are, but I also have students who do not come to class, expect to pass, and then I get questioned when I fail them. I contact these students personally to let them know why they need to come to class and they often never respond to the phone messages or emails I leave and then are furious and protest their grade when they get an F. When I graduated from high school in the late 70's we had to pass an English essay exam with a B or higher. That was an excellent measure of college preparedness.

College faculty cannot use attendance as a criteria for grading and have to substitute terms like participation. The first thing I'd like to do is have a minimum attendance policy, if you miss X hours of class, you get an F, a D, a C etc. This would give students one concrete guideline for success, a guideline that is
taken for granted in the world of work.

This is particularly important in lab classes, the sciences and art where there are no lectures and the learning is hands on.

If a student won't regularly come to a drawing or painting class, do they even want an education? It is definitely time to expect more, from K-12, and the students themselves.

Posted by: seattleteach | February 20, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Mathews,

It may be true that "AP and IB courses have been shown to be similar in rigor and content," but that is not the question. We would also need to know that the two sets of tests are also comparable. More precisely, we would need to know that the scores can be compared meaningfully.

And you seem to be somewhat disdainful of looking at the scores rigorously -- though I could be mistaken. It appears to me that you want to put the burden on colleges and universities to accept that what ETS claims is a passing score on their exam is not good enough. I'm a huge fan of AP courses and AP exams, but I cannot say that a 3 really is a high enough scores or each exam to merit college credit and college placement.

Of course, one might argue the other way. That is, with grade inflation so rampant in the higher ed realm, it is inconsistent to be so strict with AP -- and potentially IB -- scores. However, I think that that we should be very thoughtful about which standard we want to extend. That is, do we want to use the inflated grades as precedent to accept lower AP/IB exam scores, or do we want to use high AP/IB exam scores as a lever to address grade inflation?

So, we have potentially three different standards (i.e. AP, IB and college grading). We should try to figure out how to treat them consistently, no doubt. But we should do so carefully, not casually.

Posted by: ceolaf | February 20, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: morse99 | February 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

How many students out there who would score a 3 (or 4) on an AP exam believe there is a 0% chance they would receive a 4 (or 5) and therefore decide to just skip the exam?

I got a mix of 4's and 5's on my AP exams, and I could not have predicted before I signed up which subjects I would receive the higher scores in. Now, AFTER I took the exams I had a fairly accurate idea about what scores I was likely to receive. But at that point, the college credit policy had no impact on my decision to take the test.

Posted by: CrimsonWife | February 20, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I have no data to prove that the restricting of college AP credit discourages students from taking AP courses and tests. It seems logical to me that the better their chances of getting credit the more likely they are to take the exam, particularly for students heading for big state schools where credit is important. I still search for such data. As for the professor who said the colleges need to know more about what the AP test measures, and how it compares to the college test, note that the AP tests are there to look at, and the results public. What I asked in this column was for the colleges to show me THEIR data (of which there is usually none) showing that students who take and pass their intro course do better on the next tier course in that subject than students who skipped their intro course because they got AP credit. I would love to look at the community colleges that the posters kindly invited me to. Email me at mathewsj@washpost.com. But i would also like to see actual data on student preparation and success, rather than just their anecdotal impressions. I would also like to know if those former AP students in their courses actually took the AP exam, and what their scores were. As I have said many times, AP courses in which few students take the AP exam often are AP courses in name only. That is why I support requiring all AP students to take the AP exams.

Posted by: jaymathews | February 20, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's a suggestion - get rid of ridiculous policies such as Virginia's King's Dominion law which stipulates schools can only start in September (and thus ending in June to meet the 180 federal mandated school days) - effectively rendering the last 1.5 months of school useless for AP/IB kids whose examinations are in early-mid May. Thus the average VA AP/IB student would be receiving significantly less instruction hours than the average non-KD student and may well perform worse than they would have had their academic calendar actually been coordinated with the national examination schedule.

Posted by: eloquensa | February 21, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I teach at a moderately selective college 990 to 1210 SAT scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles. I have asked my students on a number of occasions to equate AP scores with college grades. They tell me that a 3 is between a C and a C+.

Jay, for a non-prerequisite course, I'm fine with giving credit for an AP 3. But for a required course -- either as a baseline course (English Comp.) or for a major (AP History for those who intend to major in history), 4 should be required in my college and 5 should be required in selective ones.

I address the problem experrienced by Seattleteach by giving a weekly quiz on the assigned reading (after answering any questions students may have). Students who miss the quiz get a 4 of 10 (below 60% is failing). I don't care whether someone's body is in a seat -- I care whether he.she has prepared minimally for class.

Your critique of Bill3 seems a bit off base. He's saying that most jobs do not require a BA/BS (I think Jerry Bracey would agree). It is likely that the same characteristics that are associated with earning a degree (getting work done on time, being able to read and write some English) are also those that have value in careers.

Same point as to Samclare. Bright, hard-working students are disproportionately represented in AP classes (except perhaps those in high schools trying to game your rankings by having everyone take AP courses even if none pass them). Such students also do well in college. While I agree that a decent AP course helps prepare students for college, you ignore this self-selection factor.

And unless you're funding the study, please don't ask colleges to divert funds from academics to do studies of AP vs. intro courses.

Posted by: mct210 | February 21, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

So what are your hopes for the America Diploma project to coordinate curriculum standards across the US?

Posted by: dgalager | February 21, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I posted a comment a while back and it was held for the owner--and hasn't appeared. Just checking to see if this one is.

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | February 22, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Aha. For some reason, my last comment (yesterday) was held. No idea why.

Jay--you have some serious misconceptions in your post, and I can't for the life of me see how you could responsibly make those statements.

First, and most risibly:

"I have only suspicions, not facts, on this issue, but it is possible that colleges have turned remedial courses into cash cows -- funded by students who pay tuition but get no credit."

You have no *knowledge*, is what you don't have. Remediation costs a ton of money for public universities. Many states don't pay a per student fee for remediation classes, thus the universities bear the cost on their own. As usual, you talk to whatever teeny tiny colleges you're familiar with on the east coast, rather than get clued into the decisions made at the largest university systems in the country (Cal State and UC California).

So I suggest you go read up. When you learn that the UCs are trying to redefine remedial classes as actual credit courses so they can get state funding, and when you learn that the Cal States have limited students to a year of remediation in order to try and stem the inordinate costs of trying to get students ready to even begin to think about college level work, and when you check out other states' rules restricting payment for remediation, maybe you'll realize how utterly absurd your charges are.

I have more, but I'm going to post this to see if it shows up.

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | February 22, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Next, another statement utterly at odds with reality:

"Encourage community colleges to experiment with letting students take for-credit courses even if they have failed the qualifying exams. Compare their results with those from students who do pass those exams."

But Jay. Your own data, the data you constantly hype, shows that putting unqualified kids in AP classes doesn't mean they are more likely to pass the test. You just argue that the students themselves do better in college, *even if they fail*. And as has been pointed out, we don't know if the course or the student determines the better outcome.

So now you want to take that strategy to college? Let students take courses that they aren't prepared for, on the off chance that *even if they fail* they will be better off? Or are you seriously going to argue that suddenly, a miracle will occur and these kids will pass? Because--wait for it--community college "professors" will just do a magically good job?

Really, it boggles the mind. I mean no insult to community college *instructors* who teach these courses, but please. These are kids who haven't managed to learn in high school, and you have nothing but hope that they'll do better in college. For that, you want to further degrade whatever standards we have in community college.

Have you ever considered the fact that your plans do nothing but degrade the value of high school, AP courses , college degrees, and the like as *credentials*? Spare some thought for the ultimate value of the institutions you consistently seek to use as self-improvement vessels for the unqualified.

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | February 22, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"I visited a charter school in San Jose last week where almost all eighth-graders successfully complete not just Algebra I but geometry. "

This is almost certainly untrue, unless those eighth graders came into the classes with higher than average math scores. They may pass the class, but that's not the same thing. If this claim is true, then the performance gap has just disappeared forever!

Not.

"Provide matching funds (okay, I want to spend a little money on this) to pay AP, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge test fees for any public high school that requires AP, IB and Cambridge students to take those tests. These college-level courses are often not taught very well when students are allowed to skip the final exams."

Okay, let's start with the last sentence. Total nonsense, Jay. You have no evidence for that claim and you should retract it. In fact, the quality of the course instruction will be almost completely correlated with the SES of the school district, and you know it.

But go back to the first part of the paragaph: why are you so eager to fund the College Board and IB? They are BUSINESSES, Jay. Let them act like businesses. If they want more participation, they can *lower their prices*.

A similar response for your demands that the federal government interfere with colleges' academic decisions. It's their call, Jay. Not yours. Not the federal government's. A guy who openly admits he doesn't understand data all that well is really not the person to declare that he knows better than colleges what competency signals they want to accept.


Posted by: Cal_Lanier | February 22, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't accept the premise that anyone, prepared or not, should be able to take an AP course. They are, by definition, college-level courses; why, then should a student who has not taken the relevant high school course be allowed? Why shouldn't successful completion of a good high school course not be a prerequisite? Why is it fair to kids who have done well in honors world history to have kids in their AP European history who don't know the difference between the Reformation and the Renaissance or the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution? Why are the kids who have planned their schedules to accommodate AP classes being penalized - and I have had 4 kids in AP classes and allowing unprepared kids in does penalize the prepared ones, by slowing the pace/amount of material covered.

The best way to have more kids ready for that level is to strengthen the k-12 curriculum so that more kids are prepared. That means real phonics, real math, real subject-area content, more reading (including non-fiction), and more writing instruction and practice. Get rid of educationally useless artsy-crafty projects and the touchy-feely middle school attitude. Expect both teachers and guidance counselors to stress academics and to steer college-bound kids into a 6-12 plan that will ready them for real college work.

I am also a huge fan of good vocational programs, which should be planned just as carefully. I don't think that all kids have to go to college right after high school, but all kids should be able to read well, to write correct English, to know math through fractions/decimals/percents/basic statisics, and to know enough science/history/geography/civics to be an informed citizen. One of the strong points of our system is the flexibility to do college later.

So far, Jay Mathews hasn't convinced me of the wisdom of allowing entry into a college course without having a high school one. Have I missed something?

Posted by: kevinoc5 | February 22, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Addendum: The issue of guidance counselors doesn't get much press, but I feel that it is definitely an issue, especially for kids whose parents are less familiar with the system as it relates to post-high school preparation and in weaker schools generally.
In 4 highly competitive school systems in 3 states, I have never found a counselor who didn't show more interest in emotions than academics and they were not very knowledgeable about academic preparation and opportunities. At a DC-area school where a B average with no honors/AP classes was automatically in the bottom half of the class and where the entire top quarter had taken all academic classes at the honors/AP level, the middle and high school counselors were still telling kids that "no one takes more than 1-2 honors classes." BS, piled high and deep.

Fortunately, most families knew better. All freshman/sophomore classes honors, commonly including 2 honors sciences as sophomores. Juniors - AP Spanish language, double-period AP science, 3rd honors science, honors pre-calc, an AP history and honors English. Seniors - another double-period AP science, AP calculus BC, 2nd AP history, honors or AP English and AP Spanish lit.

Posted by: kevinoc5 | February 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Cal,

Jay and I have discussed (and I think agreed) that having two sections/levels of each AP course would appreciably ameliorate the problem of unprepared students taking AP courses. One section would be those who we can predict would be successful and the other for students who are more of a gamble. The "gamble" students are still likely to attend college and exposing them to a course with required reading and tough tests could improve their preparedness and lesen the need for remedial courses in college.

As for remediation in community college, isn't it far cheaper than funding high school? The instructors work for perhaps 1/10 of what unionized public school teachers are paid (1/20 counting benefits).

BTW, I was surprised to be told by virtually all my students that AP teachers tend to teac to the level of students who are likely to pass (and willing to do the work). The others either drop the course or get a "gentlemen's C.

Posted by: mct210 | February 23, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"As for remediation in community college, isn't it far cheaper than funding high school? "

See, questions like this make it clear that some people really don't understand the term "credential" or "signal".

High school is high school. The academic level *should* be lower than that found at college.

Instead, our best kids are doing work in high school that half our college students will never attain, and our weakest high school students are expected to go to college to learn how to read.

And your response is "yeah, but hey, it's cheaper!"

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | February 23, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I have only suspicions, not facts, on this issue, but it is possible that colleges have turned remedial courses into cash cows -- funded by students who pay tuition but get no credit. JM

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004, remedial classes cost California State University system $10 million annually. In 2000, CSU announced a plan to cut the number of students needing remediation to 10% by 2007. They are nowhere near that goal as the percentage of students needing remediation in either English or math or both is still around 60%.

Just my own bias, but doesn't there come a point when the cost of remediation should be born, not primarily by the taxpayers, but by those students who would like to go to college but do not have the requisite academic skills?

California has also begun a program in which high school students are tested in their junior year to identify which students would then require remediation in college. The point is to filter those kids into math and English classes their senior year that will allow them not to have to take the remedial classes during their first year in college.

Posted by: patrickmattimore1 | February 24, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

We know today that 50% of the achievement gap that exists in 12th grade is already present at 1st grade (Black-White Test Gap, Harvard University, 2004). How can any changes to high school or early college practices ever fully eliminate the achievement gap without strong early education?

How can we hold low-income students - or their teachers - to the highest standards when many enter school unprepared to learn? Shouldn’t high-quality pre-k be a part of a sound, research-based plan for school reform?

Posted by: pinelakeadam | February 24, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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