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College and career readiness: the key to the future

We need to make sure that when a student steps foot on a college campus for the first time that they are ready and able to excel on a college level.  This is where strong college and career readiness standards come into play.

College and career readiness standards are simply what students need to learn in each grade level to make sure they are prepared for college and career when they graduate from high school. The standards are designed to represent a full range of knowledge and skills that students need to succeed in entry‐level college courses, as well as in a wide range of majors and careers.

First and foremost, we recommend that states and school districts have a clear, well-documented definition for college and career readiness standards.

At the district level, this includes:

  • Having curriculum and pathways for graduation that are aligned with state and and/or national college and career readiness standards.
  • Appropriate distribution of resources to ensure adequate personnel and monitoring are in place to improve the number of students who are on-track to meet the standards.
  • Alignment with college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT; Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate tests, participation and success rates; on‐time graduation rates; FAFSA completion rates; and college admission rates.

At the state level, there must be:

  • Alignment between the high school diploma standards with college and career readiness standards
  • A requirement that districts report on students who are on track to meet these standards.

States should also require school districts to have a system that identifies and targets students who are not on track in order to provide them the supports they need.

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