What Does 'College- and Career-ready' Mean?

Forget John Fogerty, for a moment. The Obama administration is co-opting the name "CCR" for its revision to parts of the No Child Left Behind...

Forget John Fogerty, for a moment. The Obama administration is co-opting the name "CCR" for its revision to parts of the No Child Left Behind law.Among the changes it has proposed is a redefinition of accountability. Originally, schools were supposed to bring all their students to proficiency in math and reading by 2014. The Obama plan is replacing that goal-which Education Secretary Arne Duncan referred to as "utopian"-with the target of getting students "college- and career-ready" (CCR). If that's too nebulous for you, here's an elaboration from an article in the Times:
States would measure school performance and differentiate schools on the basis of progress in getting all subgroups of students on track to CCR, the growth of individual students toward CCR, progress toward closing subgroup achievement gaps, graduation rates (at the high school level) and other measures as appropriate ...
It appears the administration is replacing a lofty but specific goal with a vague but possibly more germane target. But, as with everything in Obamaland, this move isn't without data to back it up. A recent report from the nonprofit education think tank Education Sector specifically addresses this topic, showing how schools that rate highly against NCLB standards aren't necessarily turning out kids that are successful in college or in life.That said, I am still not sure what my own definition for "college- and career-ready" would be. How would we measure it? Would this require earlier specialization, depending on what students want to do later in life?The video below has some ideas on what to look for. Can you think of any other metrics to look at to predict future success?[youtube] (cc) by Flickr user talkradionews.
via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

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