The purpose of this program is to greatly increase the proportion of high need high school students who leave high school ready to do college-level work and greatly reduce the proportion of students who enter our colleges who never get beyond taking a few remedial courses before they drop out. Excellence for All, formerly known as the Board Examination Systems program, brings the well proven idea used by high performing countries of aligned instructional systems to U.S. high schools. Excellence for All is being piloted in four states in a manner that will change the dynamics of high school, as students who succeed in these programs will have the option to attend open admissions colleges as early as the beginning of their junior year and do so without remediation. The program is in alignment with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) so this initiative is enabling high schools to implement these standards as early as Fall 2011.
A Technical Advisory Committee, composed of some of the world’s leading psychometricians, cognitive scientists and literacy experts, has been established to take on the required technical work. This will include establishing cut scores that reflect the best empirical data on the actual literacy and numeracy requirements of the initial credit-bearing courses in open-admissions postsecondary institutions, and assuring that each program meets the prevailing professional standards for validity, reliability and fairness and is compatible with the CCSS . A Higher Education Task Force has been formed to guide the work in each of the states to align high school and college policies so students who succeed have the choice of starting college after their sophomore year, enrolling in a rigorous technical education program or staying in high school to prepare for admission to a selective college or university. And an Advisory Board representing the participating states and localities has come together to work with NCEE in developing policies and plans for implementation, expansion, and sustainability.