MOBILE, AL –Superintendent Martha Peek joined Dr. David Schuler, national president of The School Superintendents Association, in announcing today that Mobile County Public Schools is Redefining Ready.
Redefining Ready is a national initiative launched by the AASA to introduce new research-based metrics to more appropriately assess that students are college ready, career ready and life ready. The initiative is a response to dismal college and career readiness scores reported by standardized test makers that fail to portray a comprehensive picture of student potential.
Schools should not focus on one test score, Schuler told an audience of about 200 principals, educators, state legislators and community partners. Instead, they should provide innovative ways to encourage young students to start exploring career options as well as opportunities for high school students to earn college credit and to get to Algebra II or beyond.
“I am already excited about the work that is already happening here in Mobile County, and with the Signature Academies,” Schuler said. “I think this is a great next step.”
Each of Mobile County’s 12 high schools has a Signature Academy that focuses on a specific career field as well as several smaller academies. The district has in recent years expanded the number of Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment courses and has more than 10,000 students annually earning career credentials.
“As a lifelong educator, I join my colleagues in the belief that student success should not be determined by just a single test score,” Peek said.
“Strides are being made in Mobile County in preparing students for post-secondary success through the Signature Academies and career pathway programs,” Peek said. “By providing rigorous educational experiences and real world learning opportunities – made possible through strong partnerships with business, industry and higher education – we know our students are more than a single test score.”
By joining this national initiative, Mobile County Public Schools will use multiple data points to confirm that students are college, career and life ready.
“This is exactly what we need to be doing,” said Theodore High School Principal Chip Menton, adding that he would like to expand his career preparation programs such as nursing at Theodore as well as offerings of dual enrollment and Advanced Placement.
“If the children put in the work, if they achieve the grades, if they are exposed to the right kind of coursework, they’re going to be successful in life and in college if that is where they choose to go,” said Dr. Bill Foster, vice president of the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners.
According to the AASA:
- Our nation’s high schools provide students with rigorous academic programs, personalized and career-specific learning experiences, along with social and emotional skills that prepare them to be global citizens in an ever-changing world.
- Students learn in a variety of ways. They should be able to demonstrate readiness in a variety of ways.
- The new readiness indicators, developed from research by world-class organizations, more accurately reflect the educational landscape of the 21st century. Multiple metrics include Advanced Placement courses, Algebra II, early college credits, industry credentials, attendance, community service, among others.
“Our students learn in a variety of ways; they must be able to demonstrate readiness in a variety of ways,” Schuler said. “We never want to be in a position where we are developing a workforce where everyone has the same skillset – the ability to take a test well.”
Under Redefining Ready, students are College Ready if they meet either the academic indicators OR standardized testing benchmarks listed here:
GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0 and one or more of the following academic indicators:
- Advanced Placement exam (3+)
- Advanced Placement course (A, B or C)
- Dual enrollment college credit in English and/or Math (A, B or C)
- College Developmental/Remedial English and/or Math (A, B or C)
- Algebra II (A, B or C)
- International Baccalaureate exam (4+)
STANDARDIZED TESTING BENCMARKS
- SAT: Math (530); Reading and Writing (480)
- ACT: English (18); Reading (22); Science (23); Math (22)
- College Readiness Placement Assessment (determined by post-secondary institution)
Students are Career Ready if they have identified a career interest and meet two of the behavioral and experiential benchmarks listed below. In addition, students entering the military upon graduation must meet the passing scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) for each branch of the military.
- 90 percent attendance
- 25 hours of community service
- Workplace learning experience
- Industry credential
- Dual Credit Career Pathway Course
- Two or more organized co-curricular activities
Being Life Ready means students leave high school with the grit and perseverance to tackle and achieve their goals. AASA and the Redefining Ready campaign are currently studying how to best measure these life ready skills.
For more information, visit: www.redefiningready.org