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EdSource Highlighting Student Success
October 31, 2014
Ensuring that California's K-12 students are ready for college and careers by the time they graduate is the  goal of all major reforms currently underway in California schools including the Common Core and the Local Control Funding Formula -- and  a major challenge that confronts us as educators, parents and citizens.

This issue offers resources and news about this topic, including new research about the characteristics of students most and least likely to transition successfully to college. We also bring you a look at a new study on the challanges district leaders encountered in the first year under the Local Control Funding Formula.

Erin Brownfield
Editor, Leading Change

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By Michelle Maitre, EdSource


A new report and online database provide a national snapshot of how states are working to prepare students for college, showing how California's "college readiness" policies stack up against those in other states. The Blueprint for College Readiness from the Education Commission of the States provides a look at where states stand in implementing what the report calls the 10 most "critical" policies that promote college readiness and success. Read more. 

By Jill Barshay, The Hechinger Report


It won't surprise anyone to learn that wealthier high schools send more students to college than low-income high schools. But a October 2014 report from the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college students, reveals that a quarter of low-income urban high schools are doing better than a quarter of their high-income counterparts. Read more.
Study finds Local Control's debut greeted with enthusiasm but marred by major challenges

College and career readiness is explicitly named as one of the areas of state priority that must be addressed in a district's Local Control Accountability Plan, under the "Student Achievement" category.

A new study of the first year of implementing California's Local Control Funding Formula revealed that the idea of a funding model that provides more support for high needs students received an enthusiastic reception from district leaders--but implementing the new law was hampered by lack of time, information, skills, and resources. Read more.  
High school students get early college credit
By Michelle Maitre, EdSource 

An increased focus in California on better preparing students to succeed in college and careers is translating to more interest in programs like those offered at "middle college high schools" and their similar counterparts, "early college high schools". The programs are generally tailored to students who are underrepresented on college campuses, such as low-income students or those who are first in their families to attend college. Read more.  

  • A new Gallup poll of U.S. public school teachers finds the majority of teachers who work in schools where the Common Core standards have been fully implemented feel good about it: 61% view it positively versus 35% negatively.
  • EdSource Executive Director Louis Freedberg writes that California's adoption of the Common Core standards is on track to proceed more smoothly than in other states, in this buzz-worthy opinion piece. Read more.
  • In "The Science of the Common Core Standards: Experts weigh in on its developmental appropriateness" Forbes' Alice G. Walton looks at whether the new standards and assessments are too rigorous, especially in the early grades. Read more. 


On Our Reading List

This brief from the Education Writers Association probes definitions of college and career readiness, and what research tells us about which skills are most critical for success in college. Read more
By Linda Darling-Hammond, Gene Wilhoit, and Linda Pittenger

This new policy brief draws on research, actual practice of states and nations, and input from leading policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to develop a new vision of accountability, which is portrayed in an imagined "51st state." Click here for a free download of the full report or summary, or read John Fensterwald's post on the study here.

Listen Up

David Conley, renowned expert on readiness for college and career, talks about his model for student success, "Four Keys for College and Career Readiness" and his take on how Common Core fits in, in this online interview from Daily EdVentures. Click here for the interview.

A thought-provoking radio documentary from American Radio Works, "Ready to Work"  explores the question of whether all students should be on the college track, or whether vocational training deserves wider acceptance. Click here to listen.

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