Two Goals, One Path: Why Interesting Work Makes for Better Test Scores

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 15:28 -- Hillary Procknow

When the CRAfT team began meeting with teachers across Texas to provide professional development for the implementation of College Readiness Assignments (CRAs), a number of teachers expressed concern that, while using CRAs in their class appealed to them because the depth and scope of thinking they required was commensurate with their expectations for their students, these assignments might interfere with preparation for end-of-course exams.

Student Testimonials, vol. 2

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:26 -- Emily Johnson

Throughout the course of our research on college readiness, the CRAfT team has frequently taken the opportunity to talk with current college students and faculty about what readiness means to them. Last year, we asked first-year Posse students at The University of Texas at Austin what they wish they had known when they entered college and what advice they have for future college students. This year, we asked these same questions of the new first-year Posse cohort.

HB5 College Prep Courses - First Semester Update

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:17 -- Emily Johnson

As most of you know, in 2013, HB5 mandated the creation of college preparatory courses to be offered in high schools for students who do not pass end-of-course exams (EOCs) in mathematics and English/language arts their junior year. These courses require a partnership with an institution of higher education (IHE) and are designed to improve students’ readiness skills prior to entering college and/or the workforce.

Advice for Future College Students

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:05 -- Emily Johnson

Last fall, we asked the first-year Posse Scholars at UT Austin to share their perceptions of readiness with us: What does readiness mean to you? What do you wish you’d known before entering college? We encourage you to read what they said because their thoughts reflect much of what we say regularly about the importance of building skills, not just content knowledge. This fall, we asked these same students (now sophomores) to think on this topic of readiness again.

Establishing Good Routines

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:37 -- Hillary Procknow

Back-to-school season signals a fresh start with new students and a chance to try out lesson ideas that you’ve reflected on (and let’s be honest, obsessed over) during the summer.  This is also the time that educators hear so much about the importance of establishing routines right from the start.  Routines are not only a way to help keep order in class; they also free up space in your brain to make more important decisions.

Focus on Pedagogy: Adapting CRAs to Your Classroom

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:35 -- Emily Johnson

This is the final installment in our four-post series on pedagogy.


Pedagogy is the art and science of education.1 To me, this means that while there is a tremendous amount of science (data) to guide us as educators, in each individual classroom, pedagogy is also an art. Sometimes it’s a paint-by-number, and everything fits in its place.


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