four keys reference guide report cover

Four Keys Reference Guide

Many educators, families, and students are taking a hard look at the current educational system in the United States and finding there is a significant gap between what is and what ought to be if we want our country to succeed in the 21st century. The Four Keys to College and Career Readiness (the Four Keys) provides a framework and common language to use as we work to close this gap by developing systems that support all students as they prepare for the future.

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Policy Brief: More Than One C

More Than One C: Educating Students to Be Ready for Careers and College

This policy brief from EPIC discusses the United State’s bias toward college-going as the gold standard and how to counteract that singular mode of thinking. EPIC outlines why definitions of K–12 success should balance an emphasis on each C (college and career). EPIC also shows the related pitfalls of districts failing to attend to the issues that are most salient for their communities. To avoid those dangers, EPIC recommends democratizing postsecondary pathway access to ensure equity, localizing districts’ definitions of success to suit community needs, and personalizing educational experiences so students can become ready on their own terms.

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Essential Skills and Dispositions: Developmental Frameworks for Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Self-Direction

This set of developmental frameworks was created to facilitate discussion within communities of practice and to enhance a shared understanding of the dynamic nature of four essential skills—collaboration, communication, creativity, and self-direction in learning. The frameworks define components inherent to each skill and describe performance across a beginner to emerging expert progression, informed by research on the development of expertise. Unlike discipline-specific learning progressions and rubrics, the developmental progressions reflect components essential to the skill itself and describe growth dependent on many years of active exploration, experimentation, setbacks, and reflection.

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Defining a New North Star: Aligning LCAPs to College and Career Readiness

In this policy brief, EPIC recommends that college and career readiness serve as the “North Star” in California’s recently reformed accountability system. A district seeking to use its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to promote a college- and career-going culture should take the following steps:

• Adopt, modify, or generate a consistent and shared definition of college and career readiness.
• Evaluate the current LCAP for alignment to that definition.
• Revise the LCAP to align with college and career readiness as its new North Star.

By following these steps, district leaders will help ensure that the goals and actions outlined in their LCAP describe a coherent system instead of a collection of eight competing priorities.

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Measures for a College and Career Indicator: Final Report (cover image)

Measures for a College and Career Indicator: Final Report

In 2012, California Senate Bill 1458 added a measure of college and career preparedness to the Academic Performance Index (API). The Public Schools Accountability Act Advisory Committee was charged with making recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education regarding measures that could serve as indicators of college and career preparedness at the high school level. EPIC was commissioned to evaluate potential measures identified by the Committee.

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Four Keys Look-For Documents: Finding the Four Keys in Action

As we partner with educators to develop a common understanding around a holistic definition of student readiness, many school communities are utilizing explicit and common language to operationalize what readiness means to their community. Many schools already have a holistic definition that their staff, students, and families have bought into to or sometimes have even helped to design.

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In the future what jobs will be automated? Probability by wage.

The Future of Jobs: What Jobs Will Be Automated?

Occupations with higher hourly wages face a substantially lower likelihood of being automated. We need to help students develop strong skills through a robust training and education agenda to ensure that they benefit from changes in technology, and are able to stay employed as the workers of the future.

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Are All Biases Bad? Collaborative Grounded Theory in Developmental Evaluation of Education Policy

This study argues that varied perspectives should be a critical component in the methodological and analytical choices of education research, especially when the sought after outcome is deeper understanding of the impact, both positive and negative, of an education program or policy. In this study, rather than using one researcher to confirm the reliability of the other, the study explores the outcome of drawing on the positional reflexivity of two researchers, each with a distinct perspective, as a potential strength to cogenerate themes and theory in the evaluation of complex policy or programs.

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ArtCore Booklet Cover

ArtCore: Paving the Way for a New Education Paradigm: An Immersive Arts-Integration Program for Middle Schools

ArtCore is an evolving model for arts-based school enhancement that unites community based teaching artists with middle school educators to generate creative, challenging and sustainable learning opportunities for historically marginalized students. Teaching artists work side by side with one grade level of educators per year during three years, modeling arts integration approaches across the school. This collaboration cultivates skilled cohorts of students and renews a strong school culture that values the unique creativity of every student and educator. By engaging every member of the school community as a learner, ArtCore goes to the heart of integrative, imaginative and culturally responsive learning.

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