Really Ready: Preparing ALL Middle and High School Students for College, Work and Life

What does it mean to be really ready for college, work, and life?

The staff at Getting Smart worked with Apex Learning to publish Really Ready: Preparing ALL Middle and High School Students for College, Work and Life. The report finds that there is a direct connection between increasing graduation rates and student readiness. Students need opportunities to develop skills for success in a changing economy.

Really Ready skills outlined in the report include the following:

Think critically and solve complex problems.

Students apply tools and techniques gleaned from core subjects to formulate and solve problems. These tools include data analysis, statistical reasoning, and scientific inquiry, as well as creative problem solving, nonlinear thinking, and persistence.

Communicate effectively.

Students clearly organize their data, findings, and thoughts in both written and oral communication. Students are able to articulate their ideas through public performances and presentations, both online and in-person.

Be self-directed.

Students monitor and direct their own learning. They are able to learn how to learn and take on projects and tasks on their own. Students are able to manage their learning and create processes to help them accomplish their goals and work.

Have a growth mindset.

Students believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Students develop positive attitudes and beliefs about themselves as learners that increase their academic perseverance and prompt them to engage in productive academic behaviors.

Develop social and emotional skills.

Students understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The paper outlines each of these skills for middle school or high school students, shares preparation strategies, and highlights two districts that are seeing success.

To read the report, see: