I made this post at CollegeRedi
I found the No Excuses University Network, which is a set of schools at the K-8 levels determined to help students get ready for college. That’s right, there are elementary schools that are a part of this. This stems from the culture that’s been created in the wake of the reports like “College Readiness Begins in Middle School,” by the ACT.
These policy/professional development movements are based in some reality: students who start thinking about college early as well as have accesses to resources for and encouragement to plan and execute a program of rigorous coursework through late middle and early high school are more likely to get admitted to competitive programs and succeed in them.
Unfortunately, what’s happened in education has been to turn this into a policy of trumpeting the virtues of college to younger and younger audiences who have no possible way to take on a curriculum that would get them prepared for college. You can hum college to a fetus all you want, but that’s not going to get them doing full on research projects with multivariate regression.
True college readiness lies not in the planning and the number of AP exams, but in the rigor of the output of the classes they do take, particularly at ages 16 and 17 when the brain has started coping with bodily hormones and the social labyrinth enough to start internalizing process schema for intellectually rigorous work.