Success of College-Readiness Intervention Hard to Gauge
Stubbornly high college remediation rates have revealed a painful equation: High school completion does not equal college readiness. That disconnection has prompted national leaders to focus like never before on figuring out how to ensure that high school graduates are truly ready to succeed in college. In that quest, a California program is often cited as a model.
The Early Assessment Program draws praise for doing something few thought possible: It brought together K-12 and higher education and got them to agree on the knowledge and skills that constitute college-level mastery. They created a test that sends rising high school seniors an early signal about their readiness in mathematics and literacy, and allows those who meet the mark to go right into credit-bearing coursework as college freshmen, skipping remedial classes. To complete the picture, they crafted a suite of courses to bring lagging 12th graders up to college-level snuff and added training for preservice and in-service teachers.
Fusing all those elements into one system was unheard of a decade ago, when the EAP took shape. The most striking element was that the test, coursework, and training were infused with college expectations, since they were written jointly by faculty members from K-12 schools and California State University, one of the state’s...
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