Overcoming barriers to college and career success has become a hot topic of discussionin the media and among educators, policymakers, students, and parents. It was also on the agenda at ACT's annual meeting.
While barriers vary, the one of most concern for participants at this year's meeting was academic rigor. They all agreed that rigorous, high-level courses benefit students. The more such courses students take, the more prepared they will be for the future, whether that means going on to college or directly into the workforce.
Building the case for more academic rigor in the classroom requires increased awareness on its importance. School officials in Knox County, Tennessee, agree. In this issue, you'll discover how they are using our EPAS (Educational Planning and Assessment System) as they work with teachers, parents, and students to enhance academic rigor in their schools.
As the stories in this issue demonstrate, overcoming barriers is a central theme of our workwhether it's raising academic rigor, helping workers learn new skills, using data to improve education, assessing general education outcomes,
or connecting job seekers and employers.