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What's Got MDC Buzzing?

What's Got MDC Buzzing?

This week Inside Higher Ed covered a new study from The National Center on Education and the Economy, “What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready?” The Center’s aim was to dig into academic expectations, drawing on syllabi, textbooks, assignments, and tests at seven community colleges in seven different states. The colleges represent a spectrum of urban and rural, as well as varying enrollment size. You can read additional summary of the findings here, including commentary from North Carolina Community College System President Scott Ralls. The findings are familiar: students aren’t prepared when they arrive on campus, which means they must take remedial (or developmental) courses. And, according to the report, current first-year courses aren’t particularly rigorous. NCEE also pointed to a mismatch between math requirements and what students need for most programs of study. The report recommends a response that involves all of the related systems: secondary, postsecondary, and workforce. Lucky for us, there are a lot of bright minds already at work on these issues. This new report from MDRC describes two programs that are accelerating students’ progress through developmental math, with promising results. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently released findings on their Statways and Quantways initiatives—efforts to accelerate developmental mathematics and focus on the math students really need. There's also the Common Core State Standards Initiative, Complete College America, and our good friends at Achieving the Dream, who are working hard with colleges and states to ensure that students are prepared for study and receive a quality education that sets them on a path to a successful career.

Also:

  • Roger Bybee says the “skills gap” is about inequality in the workforce, not unskilled or underprepared workers.
  • “You have to have a college degree to survive this economic downtown.” “Not everyone needs to go to college.” Again. Some more.
  • Is it an education problem or a poverty problem? Daniel Luzer on education reform.
  • This new guide from CFED shows how workforce development agencies can incorporate asset-building strategies into existing programs. Skills for the workforce and skills for financial stability: win win!
  • Do something creative today. You won’t regret it.