Three ideas worth considering

With everyone hunkered down over A-to-F school grades, Common Core, and Tony Bennett’s emails, it’s refreshing to hear new and interesting ideas for improving education. Here are three, presented in an Indianapolis Star op-ed by Terry Spradlin of Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy and gleaned from multi-state conversations aimed at creating a “blueprint for college and career readiness.”

Redesign the senior year of high school: Students who are ready for college should focus on AP or dual-credit college classes, Spradlin writes. Students who plan to go to college but aren’t ready should take classes that combine remediation with college gateway credits. Those who aren’t college-bound could use the year to become certified for jobs that are in demand.

Review math requirements for college programs: “It is becoming apparent that the math remediation problem in college is somewhat of a manufactured crisis because of our ‘one size fits all’ singular math pathway,” Spradlin writes. Not all careers and not all college curricula require the same math skills. Intro math can function as a “wash-out” class; and in this day and age, washing kids out of college should be the last thing we want to do.

Reinvent college assessment and placement: The argument is that colleges rely too much on test scores to place students, when other measures such as high-school GPA and course completion, motivation and study habits are better predictors of success. The sooner that students start earning real college credits, the more likely they are to graduate.

There may be good arguments against any or all of these ideas. But given Indiana’s long-standing interest in increasing college completion rates, they seem to make a lot of sense.

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2 thoughts on “Three ideas worth considering

  1. All of those ideas make perfect sense. When I watched the meeting in Indianapolis on August 5, the reason cited for Indiana students K-12 NEEDING Common Core was that the math skills of students entering college weren’t up to par. My own experience as an Indiana student entering a big state college was that I had received a BETTER education from the small Indiana school I attended than the kids from Michigan. However, IF it is true that math is a problem for Indiana students it seems to me that instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater and REDOING EVERYTHING to try out an “unknown program” which according to the testimony of

  2. (continued from above post) Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who said she helped put the Common Core curriculum together, is NOT as GOOD as the curriculum Indiana is ALREADY using. What should Indiana give up something that IS working for an unknown.

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