College Readiness Replacing Test Scores as Measure of High School Effectiveness

Will new get-tough measures for evaluating high school performance really improve schools?

What makes a high school effective? Is it the number of students who graduate? Sky-high test scores? Those are the traditional measures, but the majority of recent high school grads say they don't feel high school prepared them for college or the workforce, and college placement tests slot students into endless remedial classes that don't count toward their degrees. So a new model is emerging, one that aims to evaluate high schools based on how well they prepare students for college.

Both New York City and Chicago will begin evaluating high schools according to college readiness indicators. According to recently released data from the City University of New York—where 60 percent of the city's college-bound high school grads enroll—only a quarter don't require remedial classes. In order to better determine if schools are preparing students for college-level work, the New York City Department of Education intends to evaluate data on how many students pass tougher high school classes like physics and chemistry, Advanced Placement tests, and International Baccalaureate exams.

Similarly, the Chicago Tribune reports that 76 of the city's 122 high schools are on probation for poor academics, some of which have underperformed for five years or more. Chicago Public Schools intends to begin evaluating the city's high schools according to still-to-be-announced college readiness indicators. And like in New York, schools that don't make the grade will face closure.

Ensuring students are college- or career-ready should certainly be a priority for high schools, but proposals like the ones under consideration in Chicago and New York City can feel a little hollow. Revising the way a school is evaluated doesn't change the fact that too many students are behind in both reading and math by the time they get to high school. It's great that school districts want kids to take more AP classes, but a freshman whose reading skills are on a sixth-grade level isn't going to be able to cut it in AP English. Without additional financial resources to support teachers and get kids up to speed, too many high schools will earn failing grades on these new measures, too.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less