Improving college preparedness may be the main reason why the Montgomery County Public Schools system is making major changes towards the Seven Keys to College Readiness program, the Washington Post reports. As education experts refine their criteria for which constitutes readiness, the proposed changes would be the district’s attempt to keep up.
The \”seven keys\” are metrics that every student should hit because they move through their academic careers in order to be considered on track for college. The metrics discuss subjects such as math and reading, and can include preparedness for exams like the PSAT and the SAT.
The new Seven Keys program may also be altered to become more using the Common Core Standards that are beginning to be adopted by most states within the next two years.
While it is unclear exactly what the new benchmarks is going to be, the facelift of the Seven Keys comes as Montgomery Superintendent Joshua P. Starr?seeks to broaden the system\’s meaning of student success to incorporate skills?not measured in standardized tests?- for example persistence, motivation and grit – along with traditional academic knowledge focused on reading and math.
The changes which will put the enter in line using the new, tougher math curriculum are required to be rather straight-forward since standardized tests results will be used to determine if students are meeting the metrics. The greater difficult changes can come when county officials and district administrators start considering \”keys\” that are much harder to define and test, like the ability to set and meet academic and achievement goals, and improvement in communication skills and \”drive.\”
While the purpose of the program remains the same C that students will be able to be ready for college upon graduation from senior high school whatever their background C how to meet that standard is way from clear.
Furthermore, this program C although popular C has its own share of critics. The major problem appears to be it puts an excessive amount of pressure on students.
Since the Seven Keys?launched in \’09, the county goals happen to be plastered on school walls and distributed in e-mails and pamphlets, with a focus on reaching families for which college was not a tradition. Despite gains in academic performance, Montgomery is constantly on the?grapple?with the proper way to change and use the Seven Keys to close its achievement gap and make preparations students for life after high school.
At least among the parents thinks the revamp may be beneficial, if only because it will change the mindset of both students as well as their families. She said that the version currently in use sets the standards too low,so low that even those students who meet all seven might not be at a level to be considered college-ready.
Just hitting all the keys wasn’t enough to accomplish this goal. It required some nebulous quantity of additional work. The brand new system should address this problem by setting the standards in such way as to assure that students who meet them could be safely assumed to be ready for college-level work.