Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Should Escape the Babble of K-16 Standards, If We Can

Michael Kirst blogging at College Puzzle has an insightful post (Mar. 12) on the lack of alignment between (1) K-12 standards and tests and (2) college admissions and placement tests.

Kirst points out that the two testing systems only overlap in Advanced Placement courses. He says that:

[Forty-nine] states (all but Iowa) set K-12 standards and assessments...without talking with higher education institutions and state boards for higher education....

Higher education, Kirst says, pays attention to "the upward trajectory of pupils" -- for example, an admissions test’s capacity "to predict student performance in the first year of college."

The K-12 systems pay attention to high school graduation and meeting annual state and federal growth goals.

In the past, Kirst has pointed out that a lack of alignment between K-12 standards-and-testing and college admissions deprives the K-12 accountability system of support from a civicly-engaged constituency: the parents of college-bound children. In this post, he points out that the lack of alignment leads to college students having to take remediation course on subject matter that they should have learned in high school.

Kirst points out that university officials say that K–12 tests "have not been evaluated to see how well they predict freshman grades." But he says "such evaluations are not difficult to conduct."

I would be interested in hearing good reasons why we can't have grades (advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and the like) on K-12 tests aligned to college admissions and placement levels and why we can't have admissions achievement tests aligned to placement levels . The existing "babble of standards," as Kirst terms it, sends unclear signals to students (particularly, Kirst notes, those from low-SES families).


  1. That is very kind of you to write this share for us, thanks a lot

  2. Thanks for providing such a great article, I just want to say that,the step taken by government was so good, and its necessary to evaluate the capability of student before admission in 12 standard.

  3. Its absolutely rite,there will be merit system in our education policy or i dont think so that if entry test are conducted so there is anything worst in it,its good for students also they came to know that time that by clearing or not they are able to study further or not,thanks for such a great article.

  4. Yes,there is variation between genders,i also heard in many places that they require a female for their work its really bad,because of this male got stuck in moving forward,so every thing will be on merit this thing never hurt anyone feelings.Thanks for all this.

  5. Its necessary to take these types of steps for making our generation strong and educative i appreciate your work but i forward this info in my social circle for more info.

  6. I heard about these standards so many time but never found any action on these things,why it happens that we read and write on these things people also appreciate our work but in last there is no result.