The research studies referenced in this news article from Inside Higher ED (and another article in the New York Times) reinforce the case that multiple measures, including indicators related to HS performance, are more useful than a single standardized test score. We’re already talking about those issues as part of our system efficiency work, but of course the capacity challenges we face make taking that kind of approach daunting at best. One encouraging possibility on the horizon, at least for students coming into our colleges more or less straight from high school, is the potential of using the new Smarter Balanced 11th-grade assessment, currently in development, in conjunction with HS course-taking (transcript information) and perhaps GPA in lieu of the current placement tests. This tool will be a college-readiness assessment for math and English Language Arts based on the Common Core State Standards, and we have the opportunity through our new Core to College project to explore whether or not the standards and the assessment will in fact be useful to us in this process. We’ll be starting this work in the spring and hope to engage a number of faculty and colleges in the work that runs between now and December 2014; I’ll post more details very soon on how to get involved!