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Exploring Charter High School English Teachers’ Perceptions of College-Ready Literacy


Students entering college underprepared for the standards and expectations of post-secondary schooling is a persistent academic problem. More specifically, students lack college-ready literacy skills, an important skill to access multiple disciplines. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and its goal of career and college readiness for all students, it is crucial to examine how high school teachers are understanding and implementing college-readiness standards. Furthermore, if there is a gap in perception of college readiness standards between high school instructors and college instructors, it is important to find out what high school teachers define as college preparatory instruction. Using a phenomenological approach to understand the lack of college-readiness for students, teachers at independent charter high schools were interviewed and some observed to explore teachers’ perceptions of college-ready literacy. The study had several significant findings: teachers’ background impact their perceptions of their students’ college-ready needs; teachers support Common Core but new standards do not prepare poor students for college; teachers believe student apathy, not their curriculum, is to blame for lack of college-readiness; teachers believe a college-ready model limits their students’ post-secondary options; and teachers are not thinking about students attending community college when thinking about college-readiness.

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