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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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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A Complete Definition of College and Career Readiness

In many circles, efforts are under way to develop a definition of college and career readiness. This brief contains a definition that is the culmination of 18 years of study and research on this topic…A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit- bearing college courses leading…

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Lining Up: The Relationship between the Common Core State Standards and Five Sets of Comparison Standards

EPIC completed an alignment study on the Common Core State Standards. The study determines the extent of correspondence (alignment) between the exit level Common Core State Standards and each of five sets of existing standards (California and Massachusetts state standards, the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards, the Knowledge and Skills for University Success, and…

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Reaching the Goal: The Applicability and Importance of the Common Core State Standards to College and Career Readiness

The CCSS gave states an opportunity to voluntarily adopt common expectations in English language arts and literacy, and mathematics. With common standards in place, states could more easily and efficiently share best practices in curriculum and assessments, while still retaining flexibility on how best to teach these subjects locally (Phillips & Wong, 2010). As of…

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Redefining College Readiness

In this report, EPIC’s founder, Dr. David Conley, suggests that “college readiness” has been defined primarily in terms of high school courses taken, grades received, and scores on national tests. He proposes widening the scope and redefining college readiness to include Key Cognitive Strategies, Key Content Knowledge, Academic Behaviors, and Contextual Skills.

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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) logo

NGSS: Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks

The Classroom Sample Tasks blend content, practices, and concepts from both the NGSS and the CCSS. Teachers across the disciplines have collaborated to write sample tasks, which are the result of a vision of integrating science, engineering, and mathematics for classroom use.

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Mathematics Assessment Resource Service

Mathematics Assessment Project

The Mathematics Assessment Project tools are relevant to any curriculum that seeks to deepen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and develop their ability to apply that knowledge to non-routine problems.

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