No agreement on what’s ‘college ready’

If a student has a 75 percent chance of earning a C or better in college English, does that mean she’s college ready? College and K-12 leaders couldn’t agree at a Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers ( PARCC) meeting. One of two federally funded state assessment consortia, PARCC is working on tests linked to the new Common Core Standards.

The draft discussed at the June 20 meeting would deem “college ready” students who scored at “Level 4” or above on a five-level test. Level 4 would be pegged to the “proficient” level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and be set so that 75 percent of students who reached that level would earn Cs in entry-level, credit-bearing courses in English composition and literature, or college algebra and introductory statistics.

For the 11th grade test, scoring at Level 5 would mean that students are “very likely to succeed” in those courses, and scoring a 4 would mean they are “likely to succeed,” according to the draft statement. Those who score 3s “may succeed,” while 2s are “unlikely to succeed and 1s “very unlikely” to do so.

Some argued C is not a measure of college success.  Others want to eliminate the “may succeed” level.

PARCC hopes colleges will use the test instead of placement tests to determine whether students can start in college-level courses.

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