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.

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.

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.

A New Era for Educational Assessment

In 2010, Jobs for the Future—with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation—launched the Students at the Center initiative, an effort to identify, synthesize, and share research and effective approaches to teaching and learning at the high school level. The initiative began by commissioning a series of white papers on key topics in secondary schooling, such…

Creating Systems of Assessment for Deeper Learning

This report authored by David Conley, founder of the Educational Policy Improvement Center, and Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education describes how state policymakers and education leaders can strategically design systems of assessment and accountability in ways that support learning for students, educators, and systems, alike. Drawing on research and…

Crosswalk Analysis of Deeper Learning Skills

The Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) conducted an analysis of deeper learning skills on behalf of the Hewlett Foundation to create a crosswalk between the Deeper Learning Skills (DLS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The purpose of the crosswalk was to understand the ways in which strategies for deeper learning relate to the CCSS.…

Journey Toward Deeper Learning: An Evaluation of the Roadtrip Nation Experience in San Jose PLUS Academies

This report describes the background, methods, and findings of a “deep dive” evaluation of Roadtrip Nation’s (RTN) high school program, the Roadtrip Nation Experience. The primary focus of the evaluation was RTN pilot implementation in three San Jose Unified School District PLUS Academies during the 2011–2012 academic year, supported by analysis of program curriculum and…