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Curriculum for College and Career Readiness Committee Meeting EMC Corporation May 22, 2006


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Title: Curriculum for College and Career Readiness Committee Meeting EMC Corporation May 22, 2006

Curriculum for College and Career Readiness
Committee MeetingEMC CorporationMay 22, 2006

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Why are we here?
  • Purpose of the task force
  • Context for our work
  • Relevant data
  • Related initiatives
  • What are the challenges?
  • Michael Cohen, President, Achieve, Inc.
    Washington D.C.
  • What are your perspectives?
  • Next steps

Purpose/Role of the Committee
  • Advise the Department of Education, the Board of
    Higher Education, and the University of
    Massachusetts Presidents Office on a course of
    studies all students should complete in high
    school that will increase the likelihood that
    they graduate prepared for college and workplaces
    that require individuals with similar skills and
    knowledge as college entrants.

Related State, National, and Regional Initiatives
  • Massachusetts Board/Department of Education
  • Competency Determination Graduation Requirement
  • MA Board of Higher Education
  • STEM Pipeline
  • National Governors Association (NGA)
  • State Honors Grant Program Redesigning the
    American High School
  • Achieve Inc., Washington D.C.
  • American Diploma Project
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant Program
  • New England Board of Education
  • College Ready New England Initiative

Whats the good news?
Context Student Achievement
  • MA 4th and 8th grade NAEP reading and math
    results are among the highest in nation.
  • More than half of tenth graders are Proficient or
    Advanced in both ELA and Math.
  • For the past two years, over 80 of 10th graders
    have earned a CD on their first attempt, up from
    68 in 2001, 48 in 2000.
  • 2005 marked the 14th year in a row that SAT
    results have improved. MA SAT scores exceed the
    regional and national average.

Whats the problem?
  • Achievement Gap
  • MCAS scores have improved in almost every grade
    and every subject, but the achievement gap is
  • High School Graduation Rate
  • Graduation rates are unacceptably low for all
    student groups, especially black and Hispanic
  • College/Career Readiness
  • Too few high school graduates are prepared for
  • Too many students are not completing college.
  • Global Competition
  • While at the top nationally, MA students are not
    at the top on international measures of

High School Achievement Gap
Percentage of 9th Grade Students Graduating from
High School, 2002
Graduation Rates
Source Manhattan Institute Public High School
Graduation and College-Readiness Rates
19912002, February 2005
College-Readiness Rates
Too few students graduate college-ready
Source Manhattan Institute, Public High School
Graduation and College-Readiness Rates
19912002, February 2005, http//www.manhattan-ins
College-Bound Does Not Mean College-Ready
  • Nearly three in ten, first-year students are
    placed immediately into a remedial college course.

Percentage of U.S. first-year students in
two-year and four-year institutions requiring
Source National Center for Education Statistics,
Remedial Education at Degree-Granting
Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000, 2003.
Remedial Coursework Does Not Lead to Degree
Many college students who need remediation,
especially in reading and math, do not earn an
associates or a bachelors degree.
Percentage of college students not earning degree
by type of remedial coursework
Source National Center for Education Statistics,
The Condition of Education, 2004.
New Jobs Will Require More Education
  • Jobs requiring at least some postsecondary
    education will make up more than two-thirds of
    new jobs.

Share of new jobs, 20002010
Source Carnevale, Anthony P. and Donna M.
Desrochers, Standards for What? The Economic
Roots of K16 Reform, Educational Testing
Service, 2003.
New Job Growth Along Educational Spectrum
According to the Massachusetts Division of Career
Services, jobs requiring at least an associates
degree or higher will account for 62 of all new
Comparing Course Requirements
Current Massachusetts for HS Graduation (MGL) Four-Year Public Higher Education for College Admittance (BHE)
English 4
Math 3 years, including Algebra II
Social Studies/US History 1 3
Science 3 years (2 with lab)
Foreign Language 2 years in a single language
Health/PE 1
Schools Graduation Requirements
Percentage of Local, Regional, and Vocational
High Schools Requiring Math and Science to
NGA State Honors Grant
  • Goal
  • Increase high school graduation rate
  • Increase the proportion of high school students
    who are college and career ready
  • Strategies
  • Strengthen the value of the high school diploma.
  • Close the college completion gap of white and
    minority students
  • Use data to hold ourselves accountable

Strategy 1 Strengthen Value of the High School
  • Develop a Recommended Curriculum for College and
    Work Readiness.
  • Align high school standards with what is expected
    of students in their freshman year of college.
  • Develop an optional Algebra II test.
  • Redesign and restore dual enrollment.

Strategy 2 Close the College Completion Gap
  • Develop a Career and Education Planning website
    and informational materials for students and
    their parents.
  • Develop a public awareness and understanding
    campaign that targets especially needy
    communities with the message that just getting by
    in high school is no longer enough.

Strategy 3 Use Data to Hold Ourselves
  • Develop a K-16 data system to measure and improve
    student performance over time
  • Provides ability to use results for increased
    alignment at the secondary and college level.
  • Provides data that high schools can use to better
    prepare students.

Alignment Initiative
  • Massachusetts is partnering with Achieve in the
    American Diploma Project (ADP)
  • One of the goals of ADP is to determine if state
    standards are aligned with expectations for
    college and a career.
  • Over the past four months conducted four regional
    focus groups with 30 college math and English
    faculty (2-yr, 4-yr, public and private).
  • Determine appropriateness of standards in
    preparing students to succeed in
  • college 101 English and math classes.
  • Examine trends in student preparation.

Bottom Line Math Findings
  • Massachusetts standards for grades 9-12 are fine.
    If kids knew the math standards they would
    exceed (college) entry level expectations and be
    ready for calculus.
  • The problem is that many students do not have a
    deep understanding of some standards and have not
    mastered basic skills arithmetic, number sense,
    algebra and fractions.

Math Recommendations
  • Reduce reliance on calculators in lower grades so
    that students can understand and master key
    problem solving skills.
  • Help students know where they stand prior to
    their senior year by
  • - Increased administration of Accuplacer in
  • - Development and administration of a
    voluntary Algebra II assessment to help
    determine college readiness.
  • Consider development of a senior year transition
    math course designed to address math
  • Require a 4th year of college prep math in HS.

Bottom Line English Language Arts Findings
  • Standards are excellent and sufficient for
    college readiness, but dont appear to be used in
    grades 1112.
  • Reading high school focuses on elements of
    narrative genre, while higher education focuses
    on short essays on a topic from a variety of
  • Writing high school focus upon five-paragraph
    essay, while higher education is focused upon
    persuasive/argumentative writing from multiple
    sources for identified audiences and purposes.

English Language Arts Recommendations
  • Increase emphasis in high school on
    persuasive/argumentative writing.
  • Increase number of writing assignments across the
    high school curriculum.
  • Make available examples of high school and
    college syllabi, course assignments, and student
    work course.
  • Convene regional teams of HS and College English
    and math teachers for curricula alignment.