Building a Bright Future

November 2015 / Abell-Supported Research / Education
young man working at a computer in a computer lab
A Fund for Educational Excellence report on college readiness in Baltimore City public schools.

Many Baltimore City Public Schools students face significant challenges in their everyday lives, so how do we ensure that they stay on-track to graduate from high school prepared to be successful in college?

A new report from the Fund for Educational Excellence, “Building a Bright Future: Understanding College Readiness in Baltimore City Public Schools,” argues that we should start early. The earlier educators and families begin to monitor students’ readiness and intervene with students who have fallen off-track, the better the chances of success. The research on college readiness yields a wealth of indicators that begin with enrollment in a formal pre-kindergarten program and run through the assessments used for college admissions and course placement. With funding support by the Abell Foundation, the Fund surveyed the research and mapped the indicators. What does it mean to be academically ready for college and how can City Schools – in partnership with students and their families – track student readiness at every grade level?

While academic preparation is a critical component of college readiness, it is not the whole story. Drawing on conversations with 225 individuals in 27 focus groups, “Building a Bright Future” identifies the qualities and skills City Schools students need to be college-ready.