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This blog about different takes on the push to get all students college and career ready came to me as I make major adjustments in my lifestyle. For the first time in 30 years I am not returning to the classroom. After Labor Day, my professional renaissance begins….

In my blog, Make no assumptions and be pleasantly surprised, I talk about my dealings with special needs kids. Even if you are familiar with eSchool News, you may be just to plain busy to have caught this collection of tech related stories and resources. Teachers With Apps thought it was worth sharing. Please check out the link below and share, lots of interesting reads here. But wait, there is more! Slate has a timely piece on how maybe all kids shouldn’t be preparing for college, backed by the PEW Research organization. You now have Two Takes on the push to get all students college and career ready.

Preparing Students for 21st Century Careers

eschoolnewsSixty percent of today’s students will have careers that don’t exist yet, which speaks to the challenge schools face in preparing them for their future. So, what are the skills they will need to be successful?

Experts generally agree that the “4 Cs”—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity—and a strong foundation in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math are the keys to success in a technology-rich, information-based economy.

Read the full collection of stories and resources: Preparing Students for 21st Century Careers

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With the generous support of DreamBox Learning, eSchool News assembled this collection to help teachers, parents, and students  prepare for college and a career. Below is another article on the flip-side – college may not be for everyone.

“Kid, I’m Sorry, but You’re Just Not College Material”

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It’s an article of faith in the school reform community that we should be striving to prepare all students for success in college—if not a four-year degree, then some other recognized and reputable post-secondary credential. The rationale is clear and generally compelling; as a recent Pew study reiterated, people who graduate from college earn significantly more than those who do not. Other research indicates that low-income students in particular benefit from college, becoming nearly three times more likely to make it into the middle class than their peers who earn some (or no) college credits. And it’s not just about money: College graduates are also healthier, more involved in their communities, and happier in their jobs.

Thus, in the reformers’ bible, the greatest sin is to look a student in the eye and say, “Kid, I’m sorry, but you’re just not college material.”

But what if such a cautionary sermon is exactly what some teenagers need? What if encouraging students to take a shot at the college track—despite very long odds of crossing its finish line—does them more harm than good? What if our own hyper-credentialed life experiences and ideologies are blinding us to alternative pathways to the middle class? Including some that might be a lot more viable for a great many young people? What if we should be following the lead of countries like Germany, where “tracking” isn’t a dirty word but a common-sense way to prepare teenagers for respected, well-paid work?

Read the full collection of stories and resources: “Kid, I’m Sorry, but You’re Just Not College Material”

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Why push students down educational paths that will likely result in them dropping out? We should give everybody options that will help them succeed.

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