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College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

K-12 Educators, College Teachers Far Apart on College Readiness

By Caralee J. Adams — April 23, 2013 1 min read

High school teachers think their students are ready for college, but college professors beg to differ.

A survey by ACT Inc. finds that 89 percent of high school teachers report their students are “well” or “very well” prepared for college-level work in the subjects they teach, while just 26 percent of college instructors say incoming students are “well” or “very well” prepared for entry-level courses.

Those percentages from the 2012 ACT National Curriculum Survey results, released last week by the Iowa City, Iowa-based assessment company, are basically unchanged from when the question was asked in 2009.

Considering that the Common Core State Standards represent a big change in expectations for what students need to know and be able to do before high school graduation, it is notable that two-thirds of educators surveyed who said they were aware of the standards anticipate they will need to change their curricula no more than slightly in response to the standards, according to the report.

The research suggests that state and local efforts to bring high schools up to new college- and career-readiness standards have a long way to go, and that familiarity with the changes ahead varies widely among educators.

To bridge the divide, ACT recommends greater collaboration between K-12 and postsecondary educators on curriculum and academic expectations.

The survey also points to the need for better computer technology in classrooms to be able to use digital assessments aligned with higher standards.

“Wherever possible, states and schools may need to consider channeling limited resources toward ensuring students efficient access to computer technology to prepare for the types of innovative assessments that are likely to accompany implementation of college-and career-ready standards,” the report says.

The study results are based on a national sample of 9,937 participants, including elementary, middle, junior high, and high school teachers, and college instructors in English, math, reading, science, and writing.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 2013 edition of Education Week as K-12 Educators, College Teachers Far Apart on College Readiness

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