A new era of educational equity and opportunity is dawning in America. The preparationneeded for students to be ready for college and careers today requires an exceptionallevel of partnership between K–12 and higher education.
For the rst time in our nation’s history, 46 states and theDistrict of Columbia have agreed that all K–12 students willbe educated along a common continuum of high academicexpectations known as the
Common Core StateStandards
(CCSS).Having clear, consistent standards in Englishlanguage arts/literacy and mathematics willhelp ensure that all students, regardlessof zip code, graduate fully prepared tosucceed in college, careers and life.In addition, 45 states and the Districtof Columbia also have committed toadministering common assessments basedon these standards, including 24 statesparticipating in the
Partnership for Assessmentof Readiness for College and Careers
PARCC willassess students to indicate whether they are on track asthey progress through the grades and will signal the needfor additional support.The adoption of the CCSS and the development ofthe common assessments provide an unprecedentedopportunity for the postsecondary community to work withK–12 to demonstrate what being college ready means andto connect the dots between K–12 expectations and rst-year, freshman college courses.Thus, the PARCC Higher Education Leadership Team, whichconsists of the primary postsecondary contacts for allPARCC states, created this document, and other forthcomingbriefs, as a call to action for other postsecondary faculty,leadership and policymakers in our states.Working together, K–12 and postsecondary can help ensurethat students make successful transitions from highschool to college and reduce the need for remediationat the postsecondary level — ultimately bolstering highereducation completion rates for certicates and degreesand ensuring a better prepared workforce for our nation tocompete in the global economy.
Leveraging the pportunity for Change
Leveraging this opportunity to achieve a new level ofeducational equity and achievement requires postsecondaryeducators to engage meaningfully with our peers in ourstates’ K–12 systems to better understand how to createstrong, sustainable change around the CCSS and commonassessments. We can start by asking a few key questions:
How do we collaborate with K–12 leaders to design thecommon assessments
that measure the CCSS and serveas a valid and reliable indicator of a student’s ability tosucceed in our rst-year, credit-bearing courses?
How do we prepare teachers
who are well versed inthe CCSS and in how to use the PARCC assessments toimprove student achievement in our K–12 schools?
How do we engage high school teachers
in the reviewand creation of syllabi to ensure that our rst-year,credit-bearing courses build upon the rigor of the CCSS?In the coming years,
how do we serve stdents
whohave been educated with the CCSS and measured bythe common assessments to ensure that our coursesreect and build upon the type of learning they areexperiencing in K–12?Some states have already started the process of activelyinvolving faculty and administrators from their technical,two-year and four-year colleges and universities to begintackling these difcult, but necessary, questions.
The development o the CCSS and commonassessments provides anunprecedented opportunityto connect the dotsbetween K–12 expectationsand frst-year, reshmancollege courses.