Report: Md., Va., D.C. slow on 'college readiness'
Many states have made measurable progress in recent years toward the elusive goal of college readiness, according to a new report by the nonprofit Achieve.
Maryland, Virginia and the District have made more progress than some, but less than most. Each state has achieved only one of five college-readiness goals identified in the report.
"What started off as isolated efforts among a few states five years ago has produced a national consensus: All students should receive a quality education that prepares them to succeed in college, career and life," said Mike Cohen, Achieve's president, in a release.
Achieve's fifth annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report finds that the majority of states, 31, now have high school standards in English and mathematics that align with the expectations of colleges and business. (Meaning that collegiate and business officials were involved in drafting the standards and approved the final product.) In 2005, by contrast, only three states had such standards.
The report tracks progress since the National Education Summit, co-sponsored by Achieve and the National Governors Association.
States show less progress on four other goals.
Twenty states and the District now require all students to complete four years of challenging math and four years of grade-level English to graduate, a sequence Achieve deems adequate for college preparation. Neither Maryland nor Virginia is among the 20, but Maryland has at least proposed tougher standards, according to the report.
Sixteen states have data systems that link K-12 and collegiate performance, up from three in 2005. No local state has such a database, according to the report, although I recall from past reporting that at least one local system, Montgomery County, has gathered and analyzed its own data on college success.
Fourteen states -- none of them local -- have exams in reading and math whose results could be used to measure college readiness. That's up from three states in 2005.
Only one state, Texas, has anything approaching a comprehensive accountability system that measures and rewards college and career readiness, according to the report. (Every state follows No Child Left Behind, but I don't believe that initiative measures college readiness among its many data points.) More than 20 states do, however, have at least pieces of a college-preparatory accountability system in place.
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Daniel de Vise
March 2, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories: Access , Public policy , Research | Tags: Achieve, academic research, access, public policy
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