Yesterday I attended the presentation from Dr. David Garcia, “Why are Fewer Maricopa County High School Graduates Ready for College-Level Coursework?” hosted by the Arizona Community Foundation in partnership with Arizona Indicators. Dr. Garcia and his students measured college readiness as taking a college-level course in college, freshman or sophomore year; specifically, math and English classes of Maricopa County high school graduates. The findings included:
– More and more students are entering community colleges every year
– The number of charter schools doubled between 2005 and 2008 in Maricopa County
– The largest difficulty was faced by students in community colleges being prepared for college-level math courses (compared to community college students prepared for college-level English courses, or university students being prepared for college-level math and English courses).
Discussion among attendees included talk of better linking common core measures of English and math to measure college-readiness among Arizona students; better integration of K-12 and higher education assessment; and raising expectations, not just standards.