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Do "College-Preparatory" Courses Live Up to Their Labels?

Abstract

"A growing number of educators and policymakers have begun focusing on the goal of preparing all or nearly all high school students for college and other advanced postsecondary learning opportunities. To meet this goal, states are adopting policies to encourage nearly all students, not just those seeking entry into competitive four-year colleges, to take a full core curriculum of college-preparatory courses in high school. Yet it is much easier to give students credit for a course labeled "Algebra II" than it is to ensure that those students actually learn algebra. So how do educators and policymakers know that students are actually learning the content implied by the course titles?"

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