One thing every person in education and every parent can agree on is that we want our students to be prepared when they graduate high school to thrive in college or a career, but some feel the system that measures that readiness is flawed. So, what do you do? Well, here's one idea.

Many high schools across the country are offering dual enrollment opportunities were students can earn an associate degree or higher at the same time that they’re getting a high school diploma. For example, Colorado Early Colleges offers regular high school classes, college classes that are taught on their campus, and the opportunity for juniors and seniors to take all their classes off campus at partnering community colleges and universities.

“It’s not just concurrent enrollment like you would at a high school where you can take an AP course and get college credit for it,” says Braden Shindell, a Colorado Early Colleges student. “They’re specifically trying to get you into all college classes and it’s just like college, but at a high school setting.”

But while some high school students like Shindell are taking real college courses and graduating high school with enough credits to transfer to a college or university as a junior, some entities aren’t recognizing these students as “college-ready.”

“Eighty-two percent of high schools in the U.S. offer dual credit classes,” according to David Schuler, past president of AASA, The Superintendents Association. “If a student is earning college credit by passing a dual credit class, shouldn't they be considered college ready? Yet, that isn't even a component that goes into readiness definition of our testing companies.”

Schuler is also the Superintendent of Township High School District 214, a large high school district outside of Chicago. When his district's ACT scores came out, they reported less than half of his students had met all the benchmarks for being college ready, yet 90 percent of them go on to college and many of them were earning dual credit. He thought they were more than prepared, yet this measurement said they weren't and he thought that was crazy.

Schuler believes that standardized tests can be one way to measure readiness, but it’s not the only way. So in partnership with AASA, he launched the Redefining Ready! Initiative that introduces new research-based metrics to more appropriately assess that students are college ready, career ready and life ready.

In the last year, Redefining Ready! has become a movement, and Hobsons is partnering with AASA to offer America's students the chance to compete for more than $25,000 in postsecondary scholarships. Learn more about this opportunity here.

To hear more from David Schuler, listen to our recent Upgraded by Hobsons podcast.


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