Higher Ed and the Common Standards: A Partnership
One of the central ideas of the movement toward common standards and assessments is that shared, higher standards will mean that more students are ready to handle the demands that will be placed on them by good jobs and postsecondary study. A new partnership aims to address the postsecondary part of that equation.
Announced last week, the partnership brings together key higher-education organizations and the education chiefs of states that have signed on to support common standards. They will be brainstorming about ways to implement the new standards and improve college readiness, and thinking about ways to make sure that both in-service teachers and those still being trained get the support they need to teach to the new standards.
One of the requirements for the groups of states that are designing tests for the common standards was that they enlist the support of higher education in using the new tests to decide whether students can skip remedial classes and go right into credit-bearing coursework (in other words, as a true marker of college readiness). The teams of folks who crafted the common standards worked with higher education, as well, in an effort to have a set of standards that truly reflect college-level expectations. So the new partnership falls in line with the vision of having the new standards and tests embody higher education's expectations.