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College eligible vs. college ready

What does it mean to be “college ready”? It’s more than just getting a good score on an SAT or ACT, says The Hechinger Report:

“We know a ton about what it takes for kids to be college eligible, what is the level of knowledge you need to do well in a college course, if you get a certain score on the ACT, it is predictive of whether a student will get a B in a college class,” said [Laura] Jimenez, director of the American Institutes for Research’s college and career readiness and success center. “What it can’t tell you is if your class is at eight in the morning, are you going to be able to get up and get to class? Are you going to seek help when you need it? That’s where the social and emotional learning conversation is starting to take off, there are plenty of kids who are eligible but not ready.”

Other educators and academics across the country have come to agree that content knowledge isn’t enough to prepare students for life after high school… Now, in addition to teaching students fractions and conjunctions, many educators are increasingly grappling with how to address social and emotional skills like collaboration and students’ sense of belonging.

There’s been a lot of debate about how to incorporate social-emotional skills, or “21st Century Skills,” such as problem-solving and collaboration into the classroom. Some schools, like the charters in Chicago mentioned in the article, have dedicated classes for them.

New Hampshire is tackling the issue in a different and innovative way–through competency-based learning and student-centered practices. NH’s PACE districts are transforming their classrooms into hubs of learning where students use projects to demonstrate their understanding of content rather than standardized tests. The projects incorporate skills like teamwork, communication, time management, and other core skills students need to succeed after graduation. Skill building is an important outcome of the process, and students and teachers are seeing a real difference in the classroom.

Read the full article here.

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