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Alliance for Excellent Education Calls for Teaching That Prepares All High School Students for College

Press Release:

Alliance for Excellent Education Calls for Teaching That Prepares All High School Students for College

High school teaching must focus on college-ready skills if students are to be truly prepared for the challenges of the twenty-first century, according to a new brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education.

High School Teaching for the Twenty-first Century: Preparing Students for College, made possible by a generous grant from MetLife Foundation, suggests that meaningful high school reform hinges on teaching that is cognizant of and aligned to the expectations of colleges and employers. It recommends that efforts underway in some states and districts to raise high school standards and increase course requirements for graduation should be expanded, and that those efforts should be coupled with a systemic push to increase the rigor of instruction so that high school teaching is fully aligned with college expectations.

“Too many of our students are proudly graduating from high school only to find themselves unprepared to succeed in college or the workplace,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “High school can no longer be viewed as the last leg of an academic journey, but rather the gateway to developing sophisticated thinking skills for success in the twenty-first century.”

“Teachers shape the future in their classrooms every day,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation. “Their high standards and expectations are crucial in preparing students for success in college and in life.”

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 85 percent of current jobs and almost 90 percent of the fastest-growing and best-paying jobs now require some postsecondary education. And emerging research indicates that the skills required for success in college – “college readiness” – are similar to those required for most post-high school work experiences. Nevertheless, a major disconnect continues between what is taught in high school and what is needed for success in college or the modern workplace.

In addition to addressing the fundamental disconnect between the structure of high schools and college expectations, the brief considers ways that individual teachers can incorporate college-readiness skills into their instruction. It also examines the need to support teachers in their efforts to improve the quality of their teaching, including professional development, using measurements to determine college readiness so that teaching can be adjusted to the students’ needs, and ensuring that teachers are properly assigned.

High School Teaching for the Twenty-first Century: Preparing Students for College is available here

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MetLife Foundation was founded in 1976 and supports programs that increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, create connections between schools and communities, and strengthen relationships among parents, teachers, and students.

For more information about MetLife Foundation, please visit: www.metlife.org

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.

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