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College readiness declines when school’s focus is improving test scores, study finds

By May 13, 2015No Comments1 min read

Education reform policies that penalize struggling schools for poor standardized test scores may hinder—not improve—students’ college readiness, if a school’s instructional focus becomes improving its test scores, suggests a new study that explored efforts to promote a college-going culture at one Texas high school.

Published recently in The High School Journal, the case study reveals the unintended consequences of school reform policies, and how these mandates may warp schools’ instructional focus and thwart students’ academic success.

In 2008, Texas adopted statewide College and Career Readiness Standards that established student performance benchmarks for math, science, reading and geography. Texas also is one of 26 states that require students to pass an exit exam—usually taken during students’ junior year—to receive a high school diploma.

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