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Claiming Common Ground: State Policymaking for Improving College Readiness and Success

Abstract

"There is widespread agreement among policymakers, the business community, and educational leaders that the United States needs to raise the educational achievement of its young population. Many states have sought to meet this challenge by developing policies to advance and support student achievement in K-12 schools. ...Yet the reforms of K-12 schools have not improved the college readiness of high school graduates, as measured by the percentage of college students who take remedial education, or by college completion rates. Likewise, state policies to expand access to higher education, which have been limited by setbacks in the affordability of college, have not led to higher percentages of the young population obtaining a college degree. Reforming K-12 schools and broadening access to college are necessary but not sufficient conditions for advancing educational opportunity. ...states need policies that require K-12 and postsecondary education to collaborate to improve the college readiness of all high school students. This report identifies four state policy dimensions for improving college readiness and success: the alignment of coursework and assessments; state finance; statewide data systems; and accountability."

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