Opening the Gates

As grade 8 draws to a close, students pass through two critical gates. The objective for each student: Get those gates open as FAR as possible.

Gatekeeper 01: High School Entrance Placement Exams

Most high schools have three levels: Advanced, Regular, and Remedial. Well-known high school entrance exams correlate between 0.85 and 0.90 with the IOWA 8th grade test.

Gatekeeper 02: College Entrance Placement Exams

Very high college placement scores will open the doors of about any post-secondary experience. That first tier may not be accessible, but many state and private schools accessible here. Low-level performers will be limited to community colleges and a few specialized private schools. Well-known college placement exams correlate between 0.85 with the IOWA 8th grade test.

Both high school and college placement exams test the firmness of the foundation each student has established by eighth grade.

Must the student and parent wait for the 8th grade scores to determine how far each gate will be opened?

No! As early as grade 4, each student receives a prediction like this:

FFE-chartWithout any improvement between 4th and 8th grades:

  • High School will be: Regular level (Not advanced)
  • College: Selective Colleges (Below “Highly”)

The predictions are reliable. Does that mean these results are chiseled in stone, unchangeable? Find out in the next Foundation for Excellence post!


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