Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

The Importance of Gauging Rigor To Demonstrate Meaningful Results

October 04, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The recent article “Are Dual-Enrollment Programs Being Oversold?” (Sept. 7, 2016) highlights the difficulties of transferring credits earned in high school dual-enrollment programs to a student’s chosen college destination. But it misses the bigger point of whether those credits should transfer.

Researcher David Jenkins aptly points out that “dual enrollment is like the Wild West” when it comes to the issue of credit transfer. At the heart of the matter is that without any external benchmark to measure and ensure quality, university officials have no way to gauge the rigor of a given dual-enrollment course or the extent to which participating students have mastered the course content.

Policies that grant credit for college-level coursework must be based on research results that demonstrate meaningful student outcomes. That research should include measurable results of how students who have completed dual-enrollment programs perform in subsequent college courses and the impact of the program on these students’ college persistence and graduation.

In contrast, the Advanced Placement framework and the AP exams not only provide external validation of teaching and learning in the classroom, but also a standard means ofcomparison between AP courses nationwide, so that colleges and universities can gauge the extent to which participating students have mastered the necessary course content and skills. Moreover, research indicates that students enrolled in AP programs are better prepared for college-level work than their non-AP peers and show higher rates of college persistence and graduation.

There are many paths to college preparation and success that provide valuable opportunities for students to experience academic rigor in high school. However, without an external measure of the quality of student learning, we risk doing a disservice to students of college-credit programs by granting them credit when they may not have met the bar of content mastery.

Matthew Randazzo

Chief Executive Officer

National Math + Science Initiative

Dallas, Texas

A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2016 edition of Education Week as The Importance of Gauging Rigor To Demonstrate Meaningful Results

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Spotlight Spotlight on Inspiring Innovation through STEM Education
This Spotlight will empower you on ways to include more students of color, locate gifted students in unexpected places, and more.
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The High School Network Providing Students With On-the-Job Training
Rick Hess speaks with Cristo Rey Network President Elizabeth Goettl about the network's innovative work-study program.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Class of COVID: 2021's Graduates Are Struggling More and Feeling the Stress
COVID-19 disrupted the class of 2020’s senior year. A year later, the transition to college has in some ways gotten worse.
7 min read
Conceptual illustration of young adults in limbo
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>