California’s system of measuring school performance should not give secondary status to college readiness. But the state’s current approach obscures the glaring mismatch between K-12 policy and college expectations. The state needs to bridge that gap, and part of that task includes providing stronger incentives for schools to focus on college preparation.
The reality is that for all the talk about encouraging college attendance, the state’s accountability system stresses other goals. The emphasis is on improving the performance of low-achieving students — the 43 percent of pupils who scored less than proficient in English-language arts in 2012 and the 49 percent who did the same in math. But the system concentrates on that vital objective at the expense of another key issue: readiness for college.