The Path to Readiness: It Takes a System

As our research suggests, no single program or isolated reform can substitute for a coherent, long-term, system-wide approach to improving teaching and learning. We all want our students to graduate prepared to take on future opportunities with success. So, what are consistently higher performing schools doing to place more students on the path to college and career readiness?

The Core Practice Framework, built upon the study of more than 550 schools across 20 states, identifies the core practices that distinguish a higher performing school from its average performing counterparts. We study the practices of those schools and school systems that have more success in preparing their students for college and careers than their peers who serve similar student populations.

Diagram of the ACT Core Practice Framework

Reading from bottom to top, the path to readiness begins with ACT's College and Career Readiness Standards, State and Common Core Standards, and District Learning Objectives (curriculum) as the foundation. Applying the 15 Core Practices to the development and teaching of this curriculum leads to high-quality instruction, which in turn, creates the opportunity for college and career readiness for all students.