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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Blog

Thursday July 25, 2013
Thinking Big about Student Success
At Jobs for the Future, with our vision of doubling the number of low-income youth and adults who attain postsecondary credentials by 2020, we are very much aware of the importance of scaling up new approaches that effectively promote student success. We are trying to tackle large-scale problems, and to do so we need to seek out large-scale solutions. But what does it mean to take educational innovation to scale? What does the process look like? Over the past year, JFF has been investigating these questions, with a focus on community colleges; our latest publication, Thinking Big, is the...
Tags: Credentials, Developmental Education
Wednesday August 15, 2012
By guest
By Pamela Burdman College readiness is becoming the Holy Grail for policymakers, foundations, and education leaders looking to strengthen the nation’s K-12 education system. They are taking their lead from public colleges and universities: High remediation rates there among recent high school graduates are garnering increasing scrutiny, leading more and more states to include remedial placement statistics in feedback reports that go to high schools. It seems like a positive sign that K-12 is taking the issue of college preparation seriously, though I worry that the high school reforms could...
Tags: Developmental Education
Thursday August 9, 2012
Debating the Value of Placement Exams: Where to Begin?
For many years, community colleges have in good faith administered placement exams to incoming students. The philosophy behind placement testing is that we can best serve our students by accurately assessing their skills and then placing them into courses that provide them with the academic supports they need to be successful—be that college-level courses, Adult Basic Education, or dev ed. But recent research challenges this paradigm. The research comes at the question of student placement from many angles: Do students understand the high-stakes nature of tests they often take seemingly on a...
Tags: Adult Basic Education, Developmental Education
Monday March 12, 2012
You may have seen the news last week that huge numbers of community college students are being required to take remedial courses they don’t need. Two studies from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College found that more than a quarter of students who place into developmental education based on their Compass and Accuplacer test scores could actually have passed college-level classes with a B or better. Do High-Stakes Placement Exams Predict College Success? (CCRC Working Paper No. 41) Predicting Success in College: The Importance of Placement Tests and...
Tags: Developmental Education
Tuesday December 6, 2011
Only twenty-five out of one hundred students who take developmental education ever earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, a fact that is unlikely to change without more strategic use of state policy. Many community colleges are working to improve completion rates, but successful innovation typically happens in isolation. The lack of coordinated effort reflects that local, state, and national infrastructure for systemic improvement is not up to the challenge of graduating academically underprepared students. This is why the third component of the Developmental Education Initiative State...
Tags: Developmental Education