The report underscores the importance of the “skills that are most essential and associated with career and college readiness,” [Paul Weeks] says. Since many secondary school teachers aren’t familiar with the skills that have been identified as the most essential to succeed in college, high school educators cover a breadth of skills. “Postsecondary instructors would rather see more depth, not a broad range that are only an inch deep,” asserts Weeks. For example, two students can pass algebra but have vastly different experiences and their knowledge can vary greatly. Colleges review class titles but rarely evaluate the essential skills mastered in the class.
“Now we know what skills lead to college and career readiness,” suggests Weeks. “And the more high school teachers are aware of those skills and can teach them, the better their graduates will perform in postsecondary education.” Boone County schools also are collaborating with Northern Kentucky University to develop basic math programs. “We want to make sure that every student is at that level of mastery. It drives everything we do,” [Karen Cheser] says. To prepare students to be college ready, it requires “conversations, transparency, and a willingness to put out data. It takes community-will and providing resources,” she remarks.