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These Are The Biggest Skills That New Graduates Lack

Fast Company – Lydia Dishman

“Managers and employees don’t always see eye to eye. Fast Company uncovered a wide gap in the way each group thinks about business culture and their radically different ideas about work-life balance. But there’s another disconnect brewing, and this one is between managers and the newest members of the workforce: college graduates. A new report from PayScale, a provider of on-demand compensation data and software, in partnership with Future Workplace, an executive development firm, reveals that while 87% of recent graduates feel well prepared to hit the ground running after earning their diplomas, only half of hiring managers agree with them. This isn’t totally surprising, as Fast Company reported that the class of 2016 is overwhelmingly optimistic about their prospects for getting a job within their field of study. Unfortunately, recent studies reveal that underemployment was the reality for more than half (51%) of those who graduated in the past two years.”(more)

Testing College Readiness

Education Next – Ira Nichols-Barrer, Kate Place, Erin Dillon and Brian P. Gill

“The state of Massachusetts introduced a system of standardized testing in its public schools three years before the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandated such practices for all 50 states. Although the tests have evolved over time, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) has been in place ever since. But after Massachusetts adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010, its education leaders faced a decision: whether to stick with MCAS, which it had already revised to align with the Common Core, or switch to a “next-generation” test that was specifically designed for the Common Core—and to assess students’ readiness for college. More than 40 other states have signed on to Common Core, and many face similar decisions about their student assessment systems.”(more)

Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is

The Washington Post – Nick Anderson

“Many college-bound students across America are celebrating this week what appear to be impressive results from the revised SAT. But in general the scores are not as strong as they seem at first glance. It turns out the new test comes with a degree of score inflation. Simply put: a 1300 on the SAT is not worth as much as it used to be. Figuring out what the new SAT scores mean, and how they compare to old SAT scores or to ACT scores, is likely to be a major source of confusion for students and parents in the next couple of years following the debut in March of a major revision to the nation’s oldest college admissions test. Charts the College Board released Monday show that for a vast swath of students, new SAT scores are comparable to results that would have been 60 to 80 points lower on corresponding sections of the old SAT.”(more)

It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College Degrees

The New York Times – Patricia Cohen

“For seniors graduating from the University of Michigan this month, employers have been lining up since the fall to offer interviews and boast of their companies’ benefits…The outlook for many high school graduates is more challenging…the unemployment rate is disturbingly high: 17.8 percent…Younger workers have always had a tougher time finding a job than their older, more experienced counterparts. Even so, the economic recovery has progressed more slowly for young high school graduates than for those coming out of college…a growing chorus of economists, employers and educators argue more effort needs to be put into improving job prospects for people without college degrees…vocational schools should no longer be thought of as dead ends, since they can serve as steppingstones to associate degrees at community colleges or to enrollment at four­ year institutions.”(more)

As More Parents Expect Students to Pay for College Costs, Need for Financial Literacy Grows

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“A fifth annual survey from Discover Student Loans reveals that parents are increasingly expecting their children to take financial ownership of higher education costs…Danny Ray, president of Discover Student Loans notes…“With an increase in responsibility comes the need to be prepared, and we encourage families to have discussions early and often on how to pay for college,” he said. This also brings into discussion the need for financial literacy education in America’s classrooms. Because most states do not require that financial literacy be taught in schools, most students never have the option to learn money management skills and financial responsibility before taking out their first student loans…Young adults are aware that they could benefit from financial literacy courses. Last week, a survey from the National Financial Educators Conference found that above any other subject, students think that a money management course would be the most beneficial to their lives.”(more)

Where Women Thrive in STEM

U.S. News & World Report – Kim Cassidy

“For too many students, college is a time to give up on dreams of pursuing a science, technology, engineering or math career – and this is especially true for women and minorities. From 2009 to 2013, approximately 22 percent of women entered college intending to major in STEM fields, but only 9 percent of women nationally actually earned a STEM degree. But the STEM pipeline for women does not need to leak at the undergraduate level…The inherent structural advantages of a women’s college enable numerous women to persist and succeed in STEM fields. By attending to and replicating – as far as possible – these supportive structures, all institutions can build a more inclusive future.”(more)