Authentic Assessment Category 6

Here is a collection of articles written on the EdVisions model and network schools.

Authentic Assessment articles

*All articles are available upon request by emailing

Category 6: Post-secondary plan formulation for all students beginning at ninth grade.

Carpenter, B. (2014). The bigs: The secrets nobody tells students and young professionals about how to find a great job, do a great job, be a leader, stay out of trouble, and live a happy life. New York, NY: Wiley Publishing.

What is The Bigs? In baseball, "the bigs" is slang for the big leagues. When you become responsible for yourself, and you are being paid to do a job, you are in the big leagues. The real world is tough, competitive, and much is expected.

This is a quintessentially American story of one man's journey through his career and life. Wall Street veteran Ben Carpenter chronicles the people he met, the experiences he had, the mistakes he made, and what he learned along the way. Readers will encounter a colorful cast of real-life characters which include Big Hank, Hoops, Sweater Girl, The Zombies, Mr. Nuts, The Cheese, Deep Throat, and The RAT. Their tales illuminate Carpenter's progress from newly minted liberal arts graduate, to the owner of an out-of-control bar in Manhattan, to the CEO of a major international investment company.

While the real world can be very fun, it's also very much a battle, and that battle is not easy for anyone. The Bigs is an eye-opening book with specific, comprehensive, and practical advice you won't hear anywhere else. This is a book that parents will want to read and give to their children—and their children will want to read and share with their friends.

Deemer, S. A., & Ostrowski, M. (2010). Students' perceptions of a program for exploring postsecondary optionsAmerican Secondary Education38(3), 79.

This paper focuses on findings from the first wave of a longitudinal study investigating high school students' perceptions and behaviors as they engage in a graduation project focused on exploring postsecondary options. Students (n=157) completed surveys regarding their achievement goals, sense of belongingness and career exploration endeavors. A subsample of these students (n=45) also participated in focus group interviews. Results indicate that students' goal emphases reflect attributes associated with mastery and performance goal orientations. In addition, students reported feeling favorably about the school and being engaged in the graduation project in meaningful ways, yet identified a need for additional explanation and support. Implications for secondary teachers and school counselors are discussed.

Haskell, K. G. (2014). Preparing students for lifeIndependent School73(3), 112.

The article presents the author's views on the lessons that she learned from conducting a life-planning seminar to 11th grade students at Bancroft School in Massachusetts. She states that discussing a vision-based process of life planning to students made her aware of issues that are crucial for private high schools and students' future. She suggests that schools integrate a strategic visioning course into the curriculum and teachers should teach students to be responsible for their own lives.


McCallumore, K. M., & Sparapani, E. F. (2010). The importance of the ninth grade on high school graduation rates and student success in high schoolEducation130(3), 447.

According to the title of a Robert Fulghum book, all one really needs to know they learned in kindergarten (Fulghum, 1989). Evaluating the national high school graduation rates over the past thirty years, and noting the steady decline in these numbers, which accelerated in the 1990s (Wheelock & Miao, 2005), it would be easy to disagree with Mr. Fulghum. While Mr. Fulghum is merely trying to give an appealing title to a book of short essays, there is really not much appealing about the reality of the problems in the American education system that permeate beyond kindergarten. Graduation rates are one of the most troubling concerns. Despite millions of federal dollars invested in research on students at risk of dropping out of high school, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates in November, 2001, that each year for the past decade over half a million students have left school before graduation (Seastrom, Hoffman, Chapman, & Stillwell, 2005). Unfortunately, this increase in the dropout rate has occurred at a time when there seems such a large emphasis on getting a college degree, much less a high school diploma, and being able to compete in a global world (Neild, Balfanz, & Herzog, 2007). Increased graduation requirements and rocky transitions from middle school to high school seem to comprise a majority of the reasons for students struggling, failing, and dropping out. Since high school graduation requirements and the transition to high school both involve the ninth grade, a lot of research has focused on the importance of the ninth-grade year. Solutions to help ease the transition to high school, including the development of freshman academies and an emphasis on students both before and after ninth grade, are underway to boost freshman success, and in the long run reduce high school dropout rates.

Radcliffe, R. A., & Bos, B. (2013). Strategies to prepare middle school and high school students for college and career readinessClearing House86(4), 136.

Trends among adolescents continue to be discouraging in terms of career and college readiness based on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) achievement reports and high school graduation rate data. In response, this article presents five goals and eight strategies we have engaged in during a seven-year research study focused on building college and career readiness among adolescents. During our final year of helping students build college and career readiness, we found associated improvements in their academic-related perceptions, beliefs, and strategies; positive personal achievement and goal orientation; rising perceptions of college; improving trends in academic performance; and stronger perseverance in high school when compared to a control group. Because the students in this study have not completed their high school senior year, we do not have data that predict their college acceptance or career readiness.

Stipanovic, N. (2010). Providing comprehensive career guidance services through career pathways frameworkTechniques: Connecting Education & Careers85(7), 32.

The article reports on the role played by school counselors and the timely aspects of the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) in South Carolina. EEDA calls for counseling services and career guidance to be available across all grade levels and include career exploration at the middle school level. EEDA includes a career guidance program model that stresses career development and planning during the ninth- and 10th-grade years of the student.