ACT released a report this summer called Rigor at Risk. The executive summary of the study can be found at http://www.act.org/path/policy/pdf/rigor_summary.pdf I think this is a must read for students, parents, teachers, administrators, and Board members. There are many pieces that are important to consider. One item of particular interest to me stated:
■ High school teachers and college faculty also disagree about the depth and breadth of essential
state standards needed to prepare students for college. High school teachers rate a much larger number of topics and skills as being “important” or “very important” for college success than do college instructors. This parallels the tendency of many state standards to be broad and inclusive rather than specific and selective. It may be that the extensive nature of
state standards forces high school teachers to treat all topics as important,potentially sacrificing depth for breadth. In contrast, postsecondary educators indicate that a more rigorous treatment of fundamental content knowledge and skills would better prepare students for college and work.
Again, we must make sure we emphasize the mastery of skills and the ability to use information rather than the recollection of facts!