In this paper, we [Matthew Gaertner, David Conley, and Paul Stoltz] attempt to clarify the readiness landscape. We introduce three readiness paradigms—the college readiness index for middle school students, the Conley Readiness Index, and GRIT—and review their goals, theoretical foundations, and empirical support.
Much of our work is based on the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness model, developed by our founder, Dr. David Conley, and EPIC staff. It incorporates over a decade of research on what it takes to succeed in college and career. Download a student-friendly poster that explains what it takes to be college and career ready.
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.
The South Carolina College and Career Readiness Toolkit was designed to foster conversation among leaders from school districts and higher education about what it means to be college and career ready, and to help develop action plans for new and strengthened partnerships. The Center of Excellence for College and Career Readiness (the Center) worked with the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) to develop these materials in support of statewide comprehensive planning efforts. The toolkit has some information specific to South Carolina, but can serve as a model for all states and districts wishing to implement a comprehensive college and career readiness action plan.
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.
Yesterday I presented to over 60 educators and community members in Tulare County specific to using a framework for college and career readiness. During the conversation, we discussed the need to articulate a clear definition of college and career readiness as a first step. A critical second step, often missed by both districts and schools,…
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.
Among my sources of inspiration are talented and insightful educators who are committed to setting up students for success – educators like those my colleague Ross Anderson and I had the opportunity to collaborate with in a recent trip to Maine. Working with the Maine Department of Education, EPIC created draft developmental frameworks for the…
From Accountability to Actionability: Making Sense of Multiple Measures in Local Control Accountability Plans
This policy brief reviews promising practices from California districts as well as insights from research on multiple measures to provide recommendations that improve how California districts generate, present, and use data in their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs).
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.