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ERIC Number: EJ913040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-26
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
College-Readiness Program Hard to Gauge
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v30 n18 p1, 14-15 Jan 2011
Stubbornly high college remediation rates have revealed a painful equation: High school completion does not equal college readiness. That disconnection has prompted national leaders to focus like never before on figuring out how to ensure that high school graduates are truly ready to succeed in college. In that quest, a California program is often cited as a model. The Early Assessment Program (EAP) draws praise for doing something few thought possible: It brought together K-12 and higher education and got them to agree on the knowledge and skills that constitute college-level mastery. They created a test that sends rising high school seniors an early signal about their readiness in mathematics and literacy, and allows those who meet the mark to go right into credit-bearing coursework as college freshmen, skipping remedial classes. To complete the picture, they crafted a suite of courses to bring lagging 12th graders up to college-level snuff and added training for preservice and in-service teachers. Fusing all those elements into one system was unheard of a decade ago, when the EAP took shape. The most striking element was that the test, coursework, and training were infused with college expectations, since they were written jointly by faculty members from K-12 schools and California State University, one of the state's two public university systems. Some of the program's admirers, though, are frustrated by the lack of key data about its impact and worry that execution of the EAP might not fulfill its promise. The accomplishments of California's EAP--as well as the unanswered questions about it--are particularly pertinent now, as educators and policymakers across the country try to define, build, and assess students' readiness for college. One part of that work is in carrying out new common academic standards that were written to reflect college-level skills and have been adopted fully or provisionally by all but seven states. Another part lies with two big groups of states that are collaborating to design new tests for those standards. Leaders of those efforts cite the EAP as a model as they endeavor to fold elements of it into work they hope will ultimately make college remediation unnecessary: aligning K-12 study and tests to college expectations, creating a feedback loop to inform learning, and providing supports to students and teachers. Few dispute the significance of the EAP's pivotal victory: getting precollegiate and higher education to agree on what college-level mastery looks like. But gauging its impact has been trickier. Since the test was first given in 2004, the program has generated a confounding mix of results.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California