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College & Career Ready? What does this really mean and look like?

Session 3
Lee Finkelstein — Council for Aid to Education, PAECT

For the past 10 years the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) has been heavily invested in the schooling (K-12 and higher education) to working space. Our work includes 10 years at the college level with our Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+), an assessment of higher order critical thinking skills, and 7 years with high school members of the College and Work Readiness Assessment CWRA+) which assesses the same skills. The assessments take a performance task and constructed response approach to measuring these skills.
The roles, responsibilities, and activities undertaken in college, in the world of work, and life are simply not practiced in many classrooms. We’ll spend a few minutes discussing what preparation for college and life really looks like. Our goal is to demonstrate how effective performance tasks in the classroom can be a bridge to inquiry and a means to foster critical thinking with our students. We will role play, form groups to build model performance task frameworks where skills like effective writing, problem solving & analysis, quantitative & scientific reasoning, critical reading & evaluation, and critiquing an argument may be assessed.

Conversational Practice

We’ll use a modified version of the 4a text protocol. We’ll reads a selected passage from Tony Wagner’s The Global Achievement Gap book on testing and college readiness (chapter 3) text silently, and then respond to the prompts:

• What Assumptions does the author of the text hold? • What do you Agree with in the text? • What do you want to Argue with in the text? • What parts of the text do you want to Aspire to? In a round, each person will identify one of the A’s, citing the text, and allowing for follow up questions and comments.

We’ll end the round with an open question, like the one below.

Initial discussion of the problem – too much classroom is time taken up preparing students for standardized tests that can be considered irrelevant when preparing students for future academic pursuits, the new world of work, and engaged citizenry. Can we align classroom routines with assessment better?

Session ends with shared Aspire statement, and commitment to collaborate on development of performance tasks developed by teams at participant schools. We will facilitate this collaboration in late March.

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Presenter Profiles

Lee Finkelstein
Lee Finkelstein


Lee Finkelstein

I now have multiple copies of Tony's book, which we'll use to frame our conversation. The College & Career Ready convo will center around the real life experiences we have outside of the classroom, and how we can embed more relevance in our classrooms. For those not familiar with The Global Achievement Gap, copies can be taken back to be used for study groups with your colleagues. Let me know

Lee Finkelstein

Part of our conversation will be looking at pages 131-135 in The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. The chapter is headed "College Ready?"A number of copies will be available and will serve as a jumping off point.

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