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Can You Boost College-Readiness Without Counselors?

Renee Moore points to a potential hitch in all the recent strategizing around college and career readiness: We have "chronic lack of counselors in our nation's high schools." She highlights data from the The American School Counselors Association showing that in California the ratio of students to school counselors is 815-to-1. Nationally, the ratio is a little better but still eye-catching at 459-to-1.

One solution, says Moore, would be for the counseling role to be taken on by trained cross-functional teams in schools. Under this plan, "cohorts of students [would be] served by a team of teachers, counselors, and other support personnel throughout their high school experience. Not just at a few select schools, but as a matter of general practice."

One advantage of this approach, arguably, is that teachers might get a closer understanding of students' ambitions and the opportunities available to them. At the same time, students would presumably be getting support that goes beyond the classroom. That often seems to be the missing link in educational-improvement initiatives.

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