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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

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JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself again. Now we’re in the forefront of College and Career Readiness, and our antennae are alive to all signals.

INNOVATION - It's in JFYs DNA

It’s in our DNA

JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself –again.

Now we’re in the forefront of College and Career Readiness.

JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself —again. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. Innovation is our idiom, our instinct, our identity. It’s entwined in our DNA.

President urges action on common goals

White House, Washington DC

President urges action on common goals

“Education is an investment in human capital,” President Obama said, kicking off the White House College Opportunity Day of Action on December 4. “It’s both a moral and an economic issue. When we give young people the opportunity to chase their dreams, we’re investing in our collective future.”

The President was addressing a group of 500 college presidents, school superintendents, nonprofit executives and other education and business leaders who had been invited to join the White House Summit on College Opportunity to support the President’s goal of leading the world in college attainment by helping more students prepare for and graduate from college.

‘We can’t afford waste of human resources’

Common Wealth Magazine | Gary Kaplan

‘We can’t afford waste of human resources’

December 12, 2014 | by David Driscoll and Gary Kaplan | commonwealthmagazine.com

Massachusetts prides itself on having the best public education system in the country, and our pride is justified. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of teachers, principals, superintendents, and other administrators – and the hard work of tens of thousands of students – we lead the country in every category of measurable student achievement. But the bright banner headlines obscure a subhead that should shock us into renewed action.

MassINC and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education reportsTwo recent reports, from Mass INC and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, sound an urgent warning: Massachusetts is not producing enough college graduates to support our economy’s need for skilled workers. Not only is the rate of increase flattening almost to zero; incredibly, the actual number of working-age college graduates is about to start going down just when the economy’s need for them is spiking up. State officials project a shortfall of 6,000 graduates per year from 2015 to 2025. Skilled workers are the fuel of economic growth, and our pipeline is drying up. The Massachusetts economy is running on empty.

Lowell Sun
November 5, 2014

College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning | JFYNetWorks

By David Driscoll and Gary Kaplan

We often pride ourselves on the fact that our public schools lead the country in student achievement. We point to ever-increasing MCAS scores, favorable international performance, and historic high school graduation rates. Those achievements are laudable and a tribute to the efforts of many — primarily teachers, principals and the students themselves.

But the banner headlines overshadow a troubling subhead, one that state and federal education leaders all have underscored. Each year, according to state Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland, 11,000 Massachusetts high school graduates cannot pass the entrance exams to community colleges and end up in noncredit remedial courses. Worse yet, 90 percent of those young people drop out without a degree, often after using up their financial aid and even taking out loans.

by Gary Kaplan April 22, 2014

JFYNetWorks directs towards College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Reports of the redesign of the SAT resonate with many parents and their school-age children who have had personal experience with the controversial college gatekeeper. But another test in the College Board portfolio, though not in the news, is arguably even more important to the future—or lack of a future—of high-school age students. It’s the Accuplacer. Accuplacer is, like the SAT, a suite of tests. It assesses concrete English and math skills—things like decimals, percents, equations, reading comprehension and basic writing skills.

Accuplacer tests are used by community colleges, state colleges and public universities in all New England states to place incoming students in the right courses. “Right courses” doesn’t refer to the choice of academic subjects they will be studying. Crucially, Accuplacer tests determine whether they will take regular, for-credit courses—or instead take non-credit “developmental” courses. That is, remedial courses. Astonishingly, and sadly, in Massachusetts, 65% of incoming community college students score too low on the Accuplacer tests, and as a result they find themselves assigned to as many as three or four remedial courses. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in Boston recently, called our remediation rate “a staggering number.” That is a scandal that you should be reading about on the front pages. And it gets worse. Students pay the same tuition and fees for these courses as for regular, for-credit courses, and the courses take up the same 16 weeks of study—but the developmental courses don’t count toward a degree.

Lynn English

Published  April 10 2014 in CommonWealth Magazine

Another approach to college readiness gap
Assessment and instruction are key
by Gary Kaplan

ON A VISIT to Massachusetts last month, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan cautioned against resting on our laurels. Despite the Bay State’s nation-leading test scores, he chided, “Four in ten of your high school graduates aren’t ready for college. Forty percent are taking remedial classes. That’s a staggering number.”

The secretary didn’t quite have his facts right. Four of every ten students entering public colleges and universities in Massachusetts aren’t ready for the course work and require remedial classes. The number for community colleges alone is even higher: 65 percent of students entering the two-year colleges need to take remedial math.

But Duncan needn’t have worried about complacency in the Commonwealth. Even as he scolded, Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland was wrapping up his critique of remedial education for the spring issue of CommonWealth magazine. In his article, the commissioner gives a thorough review of the importance of public higher education as the workforce pipeline of our skill-based economy; and he zeroes in on developmental education—especially the 65 percent rate at the community college level – as the bottleneck at the mouth of that pipeline.