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Taking a Quantitative Leap Toward College Success: new policy brief

California’s education systems, from K-12 through college, need to revamp their math policies to make them better coordinated and less likely to create arbitrary barriers to college success, according to my policy brief being released today by LearningWorks. The culmination of a series of conversations and a fall 2015 summit on math readiness, the brief concludes that better coordination across educational segments is needed to ensure that students face fewer arbitrary barriers to success. Focused on enabling more students to take required college-level math courses (as opposed to remedial math courses) upon college enrollment, the brief homes in on three obstacles – dueling definitions of quantitative reasoning proficiency, inaccurate measures of quantitative reasoning, and insufficient opportunities to attain quantitative reasoning – and presents a new vision for how the education systems can work together to devise better policies and more opportunities for students to attain the quantitative reasoning skills they need for college and for life.

"Just as the perceived health of the population could decline overnight if health officials were to change the definition of 'high cholesterol,' changes in definitions and measures of math proficiency at the postsecondary level can radically alter the perceived quantitative reasoning levels of students." Please share this brief with your networks, and send me comments, questions, criticisms, or compliments!

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