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Cradle to Ivory Tower: College, President Obama, and Common Core

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union proposal for tuition-free community colleges, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni cites “Expectations and Reality,” a report released by America Achieves, and results from the Programme for International Student Assessment, to make the case that students are too often ill-prepared for college.

The America Achieves report produced some startling findings, including the fact that “middle-class parents who expect their kids to finish four-year college degrees are wrong more than half the time.” And PISA testing of 15-year-old students around the world finds that U.S. students are middling in their math and science performance. In short, our K-12 schools are inadequately preparing students for college.

Bruni concludes that, “If we take the right steps — including more aggressive recruitment and rewarding of exemplary teachers and the continued implementation of higher standards — we can help kids at every rung of the economic ladder.”

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