Stanford course prepares educators for the new school year

The ability to communicate effectively is increasingly recognized as an important skill for students entering the workforce. Two new initiatives that guide educators – the College and Career Readiness Standards and the Framework for 21st Century Learning – identify communication and collaboration as key elements of student learning. The standards particularly describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using critical thinking.

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education has launched a short online course designed specifically to help educators create rich and meaningful opportunities for communication within the classroom. The course, Effective Conversation in the Classroom, launches this August with three online sessions. K-12 classroom instructors, instructional coaches, and educational administrators are invited to enroll.

Each session includes expert video screencasts, classroom video clips, readings and resources, and assignments that will help participants create a strong foundation of communication within the classroom. The course has been developed by Understanding Language/SCALE, a Stanford research and practice center focused on K-12 language and performance assessment. The teaching team consists of Stanford Professor Emeritus Kenji Hakuta, Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Zwiers and Lecturer Dr. Sara Rutherford-Quach.…Read More

How to teach skills for post-school success

Pomona USD is ensuring that students are ready for college or a career by redesigning its curriculum to include a focus on the ‘soft skills’ needed for success

Career readiness must go hand-in-hand with academic standards.

Will every student pursue higher education? Not necessarily. Should every student be prepared for and have the choice to attend college, or pursue other types of post-high school opportunities—whether it’s to attend a trade school, serve in the military, or enter the workplace? Absolutely.

College and career readiness has become an important topic of conversation across the nation as policy makers, educators, community leaders, and business professionals look for new ways to ensure all students are prepared to succeed after high school.

What makes this so imperative is that, despite our current unemployment rate of nine percent nationwide, nearly 3.2 million jobs go unfilled across all industries, because the individuals applying for these positions simply lack the required skills (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2011).…Read More

Stakeholders differ on college and career readiness

A large majority of students and executives believe few career opportunities will exist for those without some postsecondary education.

A new report reveals that while teachers, parents, students, and executives believe that college and career readiness is essential to students’ post-high school success, the groups rate this differently in terms of importance.

As a group, 73 percent of parents say the goal “must be accomplished as one of the highest priorities in education,” in contrast to 54 percent of teachers and 48 percent of executives.

When it comes to students, most agree with parents on the importance of this goal. Eighty-four percent of middle and high school students believe it is absolutely essential or very important that all students graduate from high school ready for college and a career, while only 16 percent say that it is somewhat important or not at all important.…Read More

ACT results show slight increase in college, career readiness

Students slowly move toward college and career readiness while racial and ethnic gaps remain.
Students are slowly moving toward college and career readiness, though racial and ethnic gaps remain.

Only 24 percent of 2010 high school graduates who took the ACT met or surpassed all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, and while there is much room for improvement, college and career readiness advocates are encouraged by the increase in this year’s figure—up from 21 percent in 2006 and 23 percent in 2009.

The results reflect a slow but steady increase in college readiness as the population of ACT-tested graduates has grown to new levels—up by 30 percent since 2006—and become more diverse. Ethnic and/or racial minority students this year made up 29 percent of all ACT-tested graduates, up from 23 percent in 2006. The highest growth was in the number of Hispanic graduates tested, which has nearly doubled since 2006, increasing by 84 percent. College readiness is determined in English, reading, math, and science.

But that increase in the number of minority students who took the test showed that college and career readiness gaps between some racial and/or ethnic groups remain wide. The largest readiness gap in the ACT results was between Asian students at 39 percent and black students at 4 percent.…Read More