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Supporting High School Teachers' College and Career Readiness Efforts: Bridging California's Vision with Local Implementation Needs

April 2016

California’s high school teachers and its state policy leaders are generally optimistic about the potential of the Common Core State Standards (Common Core) to prepare a greater proportion of students for college and careers, according to exploratory research by the Education Insights Center (EdInsights) on the implementation of the Common Core in high schools.1 Policy leaders said the Common Core represents a shift in content in math and English, along with a greater focus on independent and critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and a host of other skills that would serve students well after high school. The educators supported these general concepts, but said they need greater clarity and more support in order to develop, use, and refine instructional strategies that will foster skills valued by colleges and employers.

The state provided new funding, some limited teaching resources, and greater flexibility to support local school districts in their implementation of the Common Core (see “State Resources” on page 3). At the same time, the state moved toward a local or regional approach for educational decision-making, and this appears to be the case for college and career readiness as well.2 For example, other states have proposed statewide definitions of college and career readiness, but California’s leaders have stopped short of doing so. In this new landscape of local control, schools, districts, and county offices of education (COEs) are now responsible for interpreting and implementing California’s vision for college and career readiness.

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Roles for County Offices of Education to Support College and Career Readiness: Bridging California's Vision with Local Implementation Needs (policy brief)

This brief focuses on the potential role of County Offices of Education (COEs) in bridging the state’s vision for college and career readiness with the implementation needs of local districts and schools. After summarizing the work of 10 COEs that are known for supporting districts in increasing college and career readiness, the brief raises questions and outlines concerns in this area for COEs across the state.

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Authors: Jodi Lewis, Thad Nodine, Andrea Venezia

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