K-12 Education

Core-aligned exams will qualify grads for college courses

Washington state’s new Common Core tests will be used to decide whether students can start in college-level classes at community colleges and state universities, reports the Seattle Times. Students who score at the top two levels –considered “college ready” — won’t need to take placement exams. Students who just miss qualifying on the “Smarter Balanced” math […]


Closing the skills — and earnings — gap

By 2020 there will be a shortage of 875,000 machinists, welders, industrial-machinery mechanics and industrial engineers, according to a Boston Consulting Group report Manufacturers are working with high schools and community colleges in hopes of closing the industrial skills gap, writes Katherine Peralta on U.S. News. Unlike other teenagers’ summer jobs, Brett Fledderman’s begins at 6 o’clock in the […]


Bridging the gap between high school and college

Early college programs are bridging the gap between high school and college, reports Community College Daily. it’s important for community college leaders to work with high school faculty on their turf, said Mary Aycock, former director of Early College Health Science Academy at Butler Community College  (BCC) in Kansas. She spoke at an American Association of Community […]


‘I saw college as a foreign country’

Karina Madrigal “thought college would be too challenging,” perhaps “impossible,” she writes in an Education Week commentary. Her parents, Mexican immigrants, hadn’t made it past middle school. “I saw college as a foreign country that my kind . . . dare not enter.” Dual enrollment made college possible for her. As a high school student in La […]


Dual diplomas for 2 sets of twins

San Jacinto College dual credit students (from left) Saige and Shianne Willingham; Travis and Trevor Blackwood. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College Graduation was twice as nice for two sets of Texas twins who earned two diplomas apiece as dual credit students at San Jacinto College and Crosby High School. Saige and Shianne Willingham […]


High school grades vs. placement tests

High school grades are a better predictor of success in college courses than placement tests, argues Eloy Oakley, president/superintendent of Long Beach City College (LBCC) in California. He testified at a Senate education committee hearing on improving minority students’ college success. A few years ago, when LBCC relied on placement tests, 90 percent of new students […]


Manufacturers see skills gap

More than half a million skilled manufacturing jobs remain unfilled due to the labor skills gap in the U.S., according to one estimate. Many job applicants lack the basic math and computer skills needed to train for high-tech manufacturing jobs, employers complain. U.S. manufacturing employs more than 12 million workers.  An estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs are […]


Pell aid for dual-enrollment students?

Extending Pell Grants to dual-enrollment students would encourage low-income students to get a head start on college, advocates argued before a congressional briefing yesterday.  “For low-income students, they are essentially penalized for taking college early,” Adam Lowe, the executive director of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, told CollegeBound. Dual-enrollment students are more likely […]


Success paths for all

How can high schools ensure graduates are college- and career-ready, asks an Education Next forum. Students need multiple pathways, writes Robert Schwartz, a Harvard professor emeritus who coleads the Pathways to Prosperity Network. “We have allowed a very important idea—that all students need a solid foundation of core academic knowledge and skills—to morph into a not-so-good idea: that all […]


Obama touts job training, but where’s the money?

President Obama’s “rhetorical support for vocational training” hasn’t been matched with money, writes Avi Yashchin, CEO of CleanEdison, a vocational education company. In 2012 the federal government spent more than $166 billion on aid and $14 billion on tax benefits, but only $1 billion on vocational education. Rejuvenating vocational education and skill-specific certificate programs would do more for students […]