About Achieve • Achieve, Inc., was created by the nation’s governors and business leaders in 1996 following the National Education Summit. • Achieve is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship. • Achieve currently is working with 30 states through the American Diploma Project Network to design and implement policies that aim to close the expectations gap
Why are states taking aggressive action to improve preparation in high school?
High school graduation rates too low Source: Manhattan Institute, April 2006, Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates. * Top States represents the median of the top five states for each transition point.
College remediation rates too high Percentage of U.S. first-year students in two-year and four-year institutions requiring remediation • Nearly three in 10 first-year students are placed immediately into a remedial college course. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Remedial Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000, 2003.
Most U.S. college students who take remedial courses fail to earn degrees Percentage not earning degree by type of remedial coursework • Many college students who need remediation, especially in reading and math, do not earn either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2004: % of 1992 12th graders who entered postsecondary education.
A high school diploma is not the last educational stop required Share of new jobs, 2000–10 Jobs that require at least some postsecondary education will make up more than two-thirds of new jobs. Source: Carnevale, Anthony P. and Donna M. Desrochers, Standards for What? The Economic Roots of K–16 Reform, Educational Testing Service, 2003.
Jobs in today’s workforce require more education & training Change in the distribution of education / skill level in jobs, 1973 v. 2001 -9% -23% +16% +16% Source: Carnevale, Anthony P. and Donna M. Desrochers, Standards for What? The Economic Roots of K–16 Reform, Educational Testing Service, 2003.
How does earning power differ between H.S. & college graduates? Educational Attainment and Median Earnings
Too many U.S. students drop out of the education pipeline Source: Student Pipeline 2004, unpublished data from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, October 2006. Data are estimates of pipeline progress rather than actual cohort.
Do high schools prepare students to meet the demands of college and work?
What does it take to be prepared for postsecondary education and good jobs?
ADP Research Phase 1: 2002 - 2005 • Partnership of Achieve, Education Trust, Fordham Foundation and National Alliance of Business • Initial ADP research study conducted in Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada and Texas. • Involved wide variety of K-12, higher education and business representatives. • Examined the work high school graduates do in the college classroom and on the job, and the preparation they needed to do the work. • Identified “must-have” knowledge and skills graduates will need to be successful in college and the workplace.
Key Finding: Expectations are the same for both college and “good jobs” • ADP found a high degree of convergence. • The knowledge and skills that high school graduates will need to be successful in college are the same as those they will need to be successful in a job that: • pays enough to support a family well above the poverty level, • provides benefits, and • offers clear pathways for career advancement through further education and training.
In math: Four courses Content equivalent to Algebra I and II, Geometry, and a fourth course such as Statistics or Precalculus In English: Four courses Content equivalent to four years of grade-level English or higher (i.e., honors or AP English) To be college and work ready, students need to complete a rigorous sequence of courses To cover the content in the ADP benchmarks, high school graduates need:
Rigorous courses are pre-requisites for growing # of jobs • Requirements for iron workers: • Recommended high school courses include Algebra, Geometry and Physics. • Requirements for sheet metal workers: • Four or five years of apprenticeship • Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and technical reading • Requirements for tool and die makers • Four or five years of apprenticeship and/or postsecondary training • Algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics Sources: American Diploma Project, 2002; The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) http://www.agc.org/page.ww?section=About+AGC&name=About+AGC.
Rigorous courses are pre-requisites for growing # of jobs • Requirements for draftsmen: • Recommended high school courses include Geometry and Trigonometry. • Draftsmen may wish to seek additional study in mathematics and computer-aided design to keep up with technological progress within the industry. • Requirements for electricians: • Recommended high school courses include Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Physics. Sources: American Diploma Project, 2002; The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) http://www.agc.org/page.ww?section=About+AGC&name=About+AGC.
Key Finding #2: Expectations Gap between High School & Postsecondary • Academic standards in HS not aligned with postsecondary entry requirements • HS graduation requirements too low • HS assessments not meaningfully connected with students’ college or career aspirations • RESULT: Students can earn a high school diploma without the skills necessary for success in college and work.
The 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools • In February 2005, Achieve and the National Governors Association co-chaired the National Education Summit on High Schools • Forty-five governors attended the Summit, along with corporate CEOs and K–12 and postsecondary leaders. • Addressed the fact that our schools are not adequately preparing students for college and 21st-century jobs • Reached the common conclusion that aggressive action is needed to address the expectations gap. • As a result of the Summit, Achieve launched the American Diploma Project Network.
ADP Network launched at 2005 Summit: 13 states committed to improving student preparation
ADP Network today: 30 states now committed to improving student preparation
ADP Network Policy Agenda Governors, K-12, Higher Ed, Business Commit to: • Align high school standards with the demands of college and work. • Require students to take a college- and work- ready curriculum to earn a high school diploma. • Build college-ready measures into statewide high school assessment systems. • Hold high schools and postsecondary institutions accountable for student preparation and success.
States with College- and Work-ready Graduation Requirements have taken different approaches • 8 states have made core curriculum the default option. • 9th graders are automatically placed into college- and work-prep curriculum, but can “opt out” into less rigorous course of study with parental and school permission • 6 states require all students to complete college- and work-ready course of study w/no opt out provision. • Some states—Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island—are exploring innovative approaches more appropriate in local control environment
Indiana’s Core 40: more challenging courses yield results 40th in nation 10th in nation
The highest level of math reached in high school is the strongest predictor of BA attainment — regardless of race, family income or background Percentage of students attaining a bachelor’s degree Source: Adelman, Clifford. The Toolbox Revisited, U.S. Department of Education, 2006.
A strong high school curriculum* improves college completion and narrows achievement gaps 13% 30% *Completing at least Algebra II plus other courses. Source: Adapted from Adelman, Clifford, U.S. Department of Education, Answers in the Toolbox, 1999.
Majority of graduates would have taken harder courses Knowing what you know today about the expectations of college/work … Would have taken more challenging courses in at least one area Math Science English Would have taken more challenging courses in: Source: Peter D. Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies, Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work? prepared for Achieve, Inc., 2005.
Different Approaches States are Taking to College-Ready Assessments • California State University System – augmented state high school assessment • City University of New York and State University of New York use higher-than-passing cut scores on selected NYS end-of-course Regents Exams • Texas uses higher-than-passing cut score on high school graduation exam (TAKS) • Some states use ACT or SAT as part of high school assessment system • 13 states are preparing to use a common end-of-course exam in Algebra II
ADP Algebra II End-of-Course Exam • 13 states are developing a common EOC exam in Algebra II (AR, AZ, HI, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, NJ, OH, PA, RI, WA) • Test content aligned with ADP math benchmarks • Purposes of the test: • To ensure consistent rigor in Algebra II courses within and among states • To provide for comparisons in performance among the states • To be used for postsecondary placement purposes • Test will be first administered in Spring 2008 • Additional states will be able to use this exam & Consortium will consider additional exams
Recommendations for Higher Education Leaders • Clearly define & communicate your expectations • Standard should be skills/knowledge required for success in first year credit bearing courses • Don’t let admissions & placement tests become de facto college readiness standard • Speak with a unified voice; K-12 cannot work toward multiple targets • Collaborate with K–12 on the development of… • End of high school standards aligned with college readiness • High school tests that fully reflect these expectations
Recommendations for Higher Education Leaders • Adopt policies that support K-12 efforts to raise standards • Endorse newly aligned K-12 standards • Line up requirements for entry into 4 year institutions with new, rigorous high school diploma requirements states are adopting • Waive placement tests for students scoring high on college ready tests given in high school • Scrutinize current placement tests to determine whether they reflect skills required for success • Support the development and use of P–20 longitudinal data systems that allow record sharing between K-12 and higher education
Achieve examined 2000 items from common college admissions & placement tests • National Admissions Tests: • ACT & SAT • National Placement Tests* • ACCUPLACER & COMPASS • ACCUPLACER Math: “Elementary Algebra” & “College-Level Math” • COMPASS Math: “Algebra” & “College Algebra” • State or System-wide Tests • Texas & Washington • Institution Level Tests • From institutions in nine states & the Mathematical Association of America
Achieve’s Main Findings:Admissions & Placement Study • Tests used for admissions and placement do not fully reflect the standards college faculty say are essential. • There is significant variability across college tests – and only a limited common core. • Despite variation among tests, some areas stand out as priority skills for college readiness.
Detailed Findings: Reading • Reading passages on admissions tests are robust; those on placement tests are less so. • Although the passages are less than rigorous, placement tests better reflect the types/genres of reading students will do in college than admissions tests do. • Although some questions on admissions and placement tests tap advanced skills, the majority measure lower level skills. • Overall, college admissions tests present a far greater level of rigor in reading than the placement tests.
Complexity of Passages on Reading Tests : Admissions tests more robust than placement tests. Note: Note: The ACCUPLACER items were not included in these data because the test presents only sentences or short paragraphs that were not given a reading level on the Achieve scale. Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Cognitive Demand of Reading Tests: Majority of items measure lower level skills Note: Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Overall Rigor of Reading Tests:Admissions tests more rigorous Note: Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Detailed Findings: Mathematics • The admissions and placement tests place their heaviest emphasis on algebra. • Algebra is important, but there too much emphasis on pre-algebra & basic algebra than expected of tests used to place students into college algebra. • Placement tests in particular are very narrow and do not reflect the range of content that college professors value. Admissions tests are more balanced across topics. • Too few questions on admissions or placement tests tap higher-level cognitive skills critical to success in college.
Content on Math Tests Note: Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Algebra Content on Math Tests Note: Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Cognitive Demand of Math Tests Note: Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.