Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life

At a Glance

Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life offers a provocative look at how high schools can help students become truly prepared for college, career, and civic life.

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Rethinking Readiness offers a provocative look at how high schools can help students develop far more than academic skills and content knowledge to become truly prepared for college, careers, and civic life. The edited volume contains chapters by some of the nation’s most well-respected education scholars, who explore the implications for schools, teachers, and district leaders of replacing the narrow learning goals of No Child Left Behind.

Today’s students must cultivate the full range of intellectual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal capacities that have been grouped together under the banner of “deeper learning.” These include communicating effectively, coming up with novel solutions to complex problems, monitoring their own learning, and much more. Rethinking Readiness focuses on how educators and policy makers should move forward to provide these educational experiences—including changes in curriculum, instruction, teacher evaluation, and student assessment—to young people of all backgrounds.

As state leaders chart a new course for K–12 education in the Every Student Succeeds Act era, Rethinking Readiness offers a succinct and compelling vision for a new agenda for school reform so future generations can prosper in a rapidly changing world.

Praise for Rethinking Readiness

"The editors have assembled leading experts in the nation to provide a very thought-provoking work on the purposes of secondary education, access and opportunity, and suggestions for implementation of deeper learning for college and career readiness in schools. Parents, educators, and policy makers should find this compilation an excellent resource."

— Terry Holliday, chair, National Professional Teaching Standards Board, and former commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education


"A provocative and insightful road map—rooted in research and wisdom of practice—about bringing deeper learning to scale across all levels of system change. Rethinking Readiness is a must-read for everyone committed to equity and excellence, reinforced by the inclusion of multiple examples of effective practice, including the identification of risks, opportunities, and examples of misapplications embedded in practice."

— Ray Pecheone, professor of practice, Stanford University


"Rethinking Readiness addresses what needs to be said today about high school ‘reform’ in general and reforms that reflect new ways of looking at education for vocation. The contributors cover everything, from closely observed actual classroom exchanges and lesson plans, hard data from the field at large, to important thinking about the past and future. A major contribution to our work today."

— Deborah Meier, senior scholar, New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and MacArthur Fellowship recipient


About the Editors

Rebecca E. Wolfe is the senior director of Students at the Center at Jobs for the Future (JFF). Adria Steinberg is vice president at JFF. Rafael Heller is the managing editor of Kappan and a former policy analyst at Jobs for the Future (JFF).