Bridging the Gap to College and Career Readiness

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By Scott Sterling

This might be the most intensive time in the history of education. It’s a perfect storm of political mandates, changes in standards, and scrutiny over the profession of teaching. From all of these fronts, teachers are expected to make their instruction more rigorous and foster 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving.

It’s not just the new standards—it’s how the standards require a completely new approach to what happens daily in your classroom.

You’ve been left behind. It’s not your fault that the goalposts have moved. Your district might even be providing as much help as possible to make sure you and your students are ready for the college and career readiness standards, but a lot of this help might be on a grander, theoretical scale. No one has had time to work on individual strategies that create more rigor in the classroom.

When it comes to becoming a better teacher, you want strategies and ideas that you can actually implement in your classroom. In other words, don’t just tell me what I’m doing wrong—give me ways to get better.


Teach to Reach isn’t a place for complicated pedagogical theory. We may not ever use the word “pedagogy” again! We’re here to bring together a digital teachers’ lounge (without the gossip and venting) all about how to prepare teachers for this new era in education.

We all know teachers are not above stealing good ideas to use in their own classrooms. Think of Reach to Teach as an unlocked supply closet. Take what you need. Add what you can share.

In the following weeks, we’re going to be sharing ideas from the Essentials for Achieving Rigor, Learning Sciences’ newest initiative that grounds new learning strategies for these rigorous new standards in the research of Dr. Robert Marzano, as well as other knowledge from our considerable experience in shaping education. To start, we’re going to discuss the following topics:

  • How to fill the gap between current practice and college/career readiness
  • How goals and scales form the backbone of student success
  • Working together: collaborative planning changes the game
  • Ritual engagement strategies that help assess learning and build 21st century skills
  • And more!

But this isn’t a one-sided conversation. We want you to feel free to share your own ideas. What’s worked in your classroom? How does your situation dictate a change to the ideas we’ll cover here? As long as it’s enlightening and helps everyone improve their craft, it’s fair game.

Come along as we demystify this new frontier in education!