Monday, May 20, 2013

Going Into the College Readiness Weeds

I'm somewhat suspicious about all the statistics and rhetoric about "college readiness," not so much because I believe all our students are ready for college -- or that we thought it was the minimum standard for getting a high school diploma until the day before yesterday -- but because there is no particular reason to take numbers reported by colleges at face value. They certainly have their own interests and biases, and neither college administrators, professors, or especially adjuncts or TA's have any particular training or expertise in the subject of "college readiness."

Anyhow, The Readiness is All has a good post illuminating some of the practical complexities entitled THE FOG OF COLLEGE READINESS: ALARMING FACTS ABOUT THE CSU EAP/EPT:

This year Assistant Principal Kirk Kennedy and I attended an informational meeting on the CSUF campus regarding the EAP and EPT. When I found out that 95% of all students pass the EPT after taking a three week course on their campus I raised my hand and asked, “Can you please distribute the curriculum of this course because I would like to see how you get students prepared to pass this test in three weeks with a 95% pass rate when we have students for four years and can only achieve a 55% pass rate.” This question was met with stony silence. I then asked a follow-up question, “Can you at least show us our student scores disaggregated by multiple choice section and essay component so we can see what we need to work on at the high school level.” This question was answered by an emphatic “No we are not going to do that.” I found this shocking since the college board does this for the AP and SAT test and the entire purpose of the EAP test as stated by the CSU system is to help students see what they need to work on senior year to get ready for the CSU system, but yet they won’t tell the schools where the students need more assistance.

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