college readiness

If everyone is to graduate ‘college ready’, does that translate to everyone can go to college?  What did we learn about the unattainable NCLB goal of 100% of students being ‘proficient’?  It’s utopia and doesn’t take into consideration children’s abilities or interests.  Just as 100% of children did not reach that proficiency level, it is probably safe to say that college readiness may be a goal for everyone to strive for, but not everyone will reach that goal.

‘Effective’ teachers can be placed in every classroom in every school, but there are some students not able for various reasons who can/want to learn.  Not every student wants to go to college or should attend.  But let’s play along with the Common Core edict that it will make ALL kids ‘college ready’ for a minute.  Let’s pretend that ‘all kids go to college’.  What does that look like for the ‘four year institution’ and those students not equipped with the content knowledge or ability for successful admission?

If the goal is that everyone attend college, it is incumbent upon the four year colleges to make certain that  students can handle the university level courses so they don’t fail.  How do these colleges address remediating those students not really ready for a 4 year university setting?  Regardless of the lofty theory that CCSS will make students college ready without remediation, common sense and data demonstrates there is no 100% success rate when setting a goal.  It didn’t work for NCLB; it won’t work for CCSS.

Look at this tweet addressing such a conundrum:


privacy rights


DePaul University is using Common Core curriculum track (there goes the talking point of Common Core is NOT a curriculum) or if you want a more ‘intense challenge’ (does that mean you might be smarter than the average Common Core bear?), you can take courses from the Honors College.  From depaul@edu and Core Curriculum:

Undergraduate Core Curriculum

At DePaul, our core curriculum — the  Liberal Studies Program — consists of two primary components: the Common Core and six distinct learning domains. Both components emphasize critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills, all taught in small classes with professors who care about students as individuals (93% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 40 students). If you’re looking for a more intense challenge, you can apply to the university Honors Program as an alternative to the core curriculum.
Common Core courses are required each of your four years of study. The First-Year Program includes a Chicago Quarter course, during which you will learn more about two foundational characteristics of DePaul: our Chicago setting and our Vincentian nature. You’ll hone your critical thinking and learning skills through first-hand observation, community service and personal discovery. After the First-Year Program, you’ll continue with the Seminar on Multiculturalism in the United States, followed by a Junior Year Experiential Learning course​; and the Senior Year Capstone course.



This Undergraduate Core Curriculum college course of study sounds like the K-12 description of Common Core instruction.  Here’s the description of the Honors Program:


Honors Program Admission Information

If you are an already-admitted student who demonstrates strong academic motivation and would like to be challenged by a rigorous academic curriculum at the university level, you are encouraged to apply to the University Honors Program. The Honors Admission Committee individually reviews each Honors application, taking into consideration all components of the student’s academic profile, particularly the content and quality of the essay responses.


Reading between the lines, is the Depaul Common Core program for those students not ‘ready’ for a rigorous academic curriculum at the university level?  But then again, if all a student gets in high school is a Common Core standards aligned program of study (especially in math), he/she would only be ready for ‘colleges that most kids go to’, as the college/career readiness definition is that of minimal readiness, not for STEM and not for ‘selective colleges’, according to Jason Zimba:



Four year universities must ready themselves for these students not possessing higher academic courses from high school that would make them eligible for traditional university academic tracks. Is the answer for universities to maintain admission rates and financial profit to offer a ‘remediation’ track of Common Core curriculum to those ‘unprepared’ for ‘rigor’?  Since everybody ‘goes to college’ is the educational mantra of the day, it seems that how universities must respond.


An expectation of all students attending a four year university dictates colleges must adapt their coursework to those students who are not ‘college material’ due to lack of interest or lack of academic preparation.  If Common Core theoretically makes kids college ready, the universities must modify the coursework for those Common Core educated kids who did not take the prerequisite math traditionally required for university admission.  The university loosens their requirements for these kids and offer a track for those students not ready for academic rigor.


There doesn’t seem to be a difference in tuition for the Core curriculum track or the honors path. Depaul cost of tuition 2014-15:


depaul tuition


It might be more affordable if your Common Core educated child who might not be ready for a selective college (because of the CCSS academic courses offered or not offered) attend community college to get ready for a rigorous academic course of study.  Community college tuition would be much less than ‘Common Core curriculum based studies program’ tuition at a university charging $35,000 a year.


Do you agree that college is indeed the new high school?
Published October 6, 2014



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