PROVO -- Timpview High School recently participated in an ACT study on college and career readiness. The report provides an inside look on how teachers and administrators can improve college and career readiness among their students as they begin using the Common Core State Standards.
Timpview was selected because it is considered one of 63 higher performing high schools in the U.S. where students are progressing more rapidly toward college and career readiness. Among the 272 educators interviewed from those schools, 12 were from Timpview.
According to national findings, specific school qualities -- the practices and aspects of the school's climate -- made the greatest difference.
"We were honored to be chosen to participate in this study; it helps us understand where we stand with implementation of the Common Core State Standards," Timpview principal Todd McKee said.
McKee said Timpview agreed to be one of the schools last fall. Data was collected through the winter and the results came out this summer.
In the study's press release, Jon Erickson, president of ACT's Education Division, lauded Timpview High School for the work it is doing to help students progress toward college and career readiness.
"College and career readiness for all students is a critically important yet challenging goal, and we commend the teachers, administrators and others at Timpview High School for demonstrating strong progress toward reaching this goal," Erickson said. "They are leading the way in preparing students for college and career readiness, and we thank them for sharing their insights and perceptions."
McKee added, "They thought we were an excellent school; however, I was not privy to what the teachers said in their interviews."
He noted the data he received was a reaffirmation of the things Timpview has been trying to do from the beginning when it comes to focusing on college and career readiness.
Assessment data from grades eight to 12 were used to identify schools where students have "progressed toward college and career readiness at atypically fast rates."
Students were asked to fill out an ACT survey online last fall. According to the study, those responding to the survey reported the school qualities believed to contribute most to college and career readiness include:
• Strong relationships between students and teachers;
• A safe and orderly school environment;
• High expectations for students and teachers;
• Classroom management and maximization of instructional time in core academics;
• Clear communication to teachers of expectations about student learning standards and curriculum;
• Access to and effective use of quality curriculum and teaching resources; and
• Use of formative assessment tools and alignment of classroom assessments and instruction.
The survey also asked about progress on implementation of the core standards. The study said, "these standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs."
According to information from the Provo School district, "The CCSS initiative represents one of the most significant reforms to U.S. education in recent years. As of June 2012, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards. The initiative drew on ACT's longitudinal research identifying the knowledge and skills essential for success in postsecondary education and workforce training. The ACT College Readiness Standards were among the resources used to create the CCSS."