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College Work Readiness Resources

September 7, 2011

Here are some resources on the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA).  An assessment developed by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE).

Description:  The College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) is an assessment that tests 9-12th grade students on their 21st century skills of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication, skills that are getting more attention as we think about preparing students for a 21st Century workplace, as well as college environments. Tests are completed online in a proctored format and are suggested for freshmen and seniors in high school.

Key Points:

  • All high schools test freshmen in the fall and seniors in the spring
  • Assessment provides several estimates of change between freshmen and senior year
  • Following the freshmen class for the remaining three years, schools can track the progress of each successive freshman class
  • CWRA allows a school to compare the performance of seniors at Westminster School to (1) the performance of seniors at other high schools with similar-ability students and (2) similar-ability college freshmen in CWRA’s national sample of colleges and universities
  • CWRA provides results after each class is tested. After freshmen are tested in the fall, the CWRA reports results that compare a freshman class’s performance to freshman classes at other participating schools. After seniors are tested in the spring, the CWRA reports students’ estimated growth between freshman and senior years. The CWRA also includes comparisons of your seniors to college freshmen and other high school seniors.
  • The tests are taken on-line, proctored by the school’s faculty. Testing time is 105 minutes. Proctor training and technical support is provided.
  • Each School receives Institutional Reports and Student Data Files. All results are kept in strict confidence.

CWRA Scoring Guide–rubric used to score the assessment.

Scoring Criteria for CWRA

Link to Jonathan Martin’s blog post on the CWRA at St. Gregory’s and articles published by Richard H. Hersh.  Also, another good post by Martin on the CWRA that gives a good overview.  He also posted on a session given at NAIS 2010 on the CWRA.

There is a college equivalent assessment called the College Learning Assessment (CLA).  Much more research seems to have been done on the CLA than on the CWRA.

Here is an article that appeared in a recent Independent School Magazine on the CWRA by John Austin from St. Andrews School in Delaware, Creating an Academy of Learning.  St. Andrews has been using the CWRA for many years and has a good track record with its use.

Here is a You Tube Video of three St. Gregory School (Arizona) students talking about the value of CWRA.  In the interview, the students compare taking the CWRA to other types of learning or assessment experiences they have had in school.  Worth viewing for more information on the topic from students’ perspective.

A good link to Virginia Beach City Public Schools website devoted to FAQ that students have about the CWRA.  Worth reading.

A good link to Virginia Beach City Public Schools website devoted to FAQ that parents have about the CWRA.  Worth reading.

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