Closing the Expectations Gap: 2013 Annual Report on the Alignment of State K-12 Policies and Practice with the Demands of College and Careers

With all 50 states and the District of Columbia having adopted college- and career-ready (CCR) standards in English and mathematics, Achieve's eighth annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report shows how states are aligning those standards with policies and practice to better ensure that all students are academically prepared for life after high school. Based on a survey of all states, this report provides an overview of state transitions to CCR standards, progress in adopting CCR graduation requirements, development and/or transition to new assessments, and progress in reaching key accountability goals. The report also provides a series of recommendations on each major topic.

Content Comments 

The 2013 Achieve Closing the Expectations Gap Annual Report provides states and technical assistance providers with a clear analysis of next steps for building out state accountability systems tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While critics of the CCSS suggest that the CCSS do not fully prepare students for advanced college study, this report shows that many states' systems have not made strong progress to have in place the systems needed to fully prepare students for the college and career readiness (CCR) outlined in the CCSS (e.g., graduation requirements, approved materials aligned to CCR standards, accountability indicators aligned to CCR). This report provides excellent content, which is communicated in a well-organized format utilizing numerous graphics, charts, and maps that add to the visual appeal and clarity in presenting findings.