Ready or Not

January 1, 2004

iii R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
ADP Partner Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Agenda for Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
College and Workplace Readiness Benchmarks and Samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
English Benchmarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Mathematics Benchmarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Workplace Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Postsecondary Assignments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
?We cannot employ people here who cannot articulate
clearly, cannot think clearly, who do not have the ability to
absorb data, read effectively, write effectively ??
n n head of a holding company with employees ranging from
executive-level managers to administrative staff
v R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
ADP Partner Organizations
Achieve, Inc. (
Michael Cohen, President
Created by the nation?s governors and business leaders, Achieve, Inc., is a
bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards,
improve assessments and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary
education, work and citizenship. Achieve has helped nearly half the states benchmark
their standards and tests against the best examples in this country and abroad and
work in partnership to improve teaching and learning. Achieve serves as a significant
national voice for quality in standards-based reform and regularly convenes governors,
CEOs and other influential leaders at National Education Summits and other gatherings to
sustain support for higher standards and achievement for all of America?s schoolchildren.
The Education Trust (
Kati Haycock, Director
The Education Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students
at all levels, kindergarten through college. The organization focuses its work on
the institutions most often left behind in initiatives to improve education ? those serving
concentrations of low-income, Latino, African American or Native American students. The
trust was established in 1990 by the American Association for Higher Education as a special
project to encourage colleges and universities to support K?12 reform. Since then, it has
grown into an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to help schools and
colleges work for all of the students they serve. The trust staff spends most of its time providing
assistance to local, state and national leaders in developing both policies and
improvement strategies to raise achievement and close gaps between groups, K?16.
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (
Chester E. Finn, Jr., President
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation supports research, publications and action
projects of national significance in elementary/secondary education reform, as
well as directs programs in the Dayton, Ohio area. Its focus is on higher academic standards,
accountability, equality of opportunity, educational diversity and competition, and
capable teachers. The foundation is proactive, designing projects and seeking out suitable
partners to further its missions of public awareness and education reform. The foundation?s
program seeks to make a difference in education not by adding resources to established
organizations or supporting conventional ideas, but by seeking out well-conceived projects
that go against the grain, challenge the conventional wisdom, alter the status quo and work
outside the box.
?Regardless of a student?s major, the ability to formulate and
analyze arguments, both orally and in writing, is absolutely
essential to academic success ? . We can develop these
skills at the postsecondary level, but students need to get a
solid foundation in these basics when they are in high
school, or they will fall behind quickly in college.?
n n English professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
or too many graduates, the American high school diploma signifies
only a broken promise. While students and their parents may still
believe that the diploma reflects adequate preparation for the intellectual
demands of adult life, in reality it falls far short of this common
sense goal. The confidence that students and parents place in the
diploma contrasts sharply with the skepticism of employers and postsecondary
institutions, who all but ignore the diploma, knowing that
it often serves as little more than a certificate of attendance. In fact, in
much of the United States, students can earn a high school diploma
without having demonstrated the achievement of common academic
standards or the ability to apply their knowledge in practical ways.
The diploma has lost its value because what it takes to earn one is disconnected from what
it takes for graduates to compete successfully beyond high school ? either in the classroom
or in the workplace. Re-establishing the value of the diploma will require the creation of an
inextricable link between high school exit expectations and the intellectual challenges that
graduates invariably will face in credit-bearing college courses or in high-performance,
high-growth jobs.
2 I N T R O D U C T I O N
Establishing a stronger link between the secondary and postsecondary worlds is what
Achieve, Inc.; The Education Trust; and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation set out to do
two years ago by launching the American Diploma Project (ADP). (The National Alliance
of Business was originally a partner as well, and it made an important contribution to this
project before closing.) This report presents the starting point for restoring the value of the
American high school diploma by describing in
specific terms the English and mathematics that
graduates must have mastered by the time they
leave high school if they expect to succeed in postsecondary
education or in high-performance, highgrowth
jobs. The report also presents actual
workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments
that illustrate the practical application of the ?musthave?
competencies described in the benchmarks
themselves. ADP?s college and workplace readiness
benchmarks offer the solid foundation upon which states can raise academic expectations
and build education systems that will enable students to reach these goals. Without clear
academic expectations that have currency beyond 12th grade ? as those described in this
report do ? states? efforts to improve high schools undoubtedly will fail.
The Problem
Although almost 90 percent of 8th graders expect to participate in some form of postsecondary
education1 and nearly two-thirds of parents consider college a necessity for
their children,2 our education system sends a confusing set of signals to students about
how they can reach that goal. High school students earn grades that cannot be compared
from school to school and often are based as much on effort as on the actual mastery of
academic content. They take state- and locally mandated tests that may count toward
graduation, but very often do not. College-bound students take national admissions
exams that may not align with the high school curriculum the students have been taught.
If they reach college, students face an assortment of placement tests unrelated to any
of the tests they have taken already, and these tests vary from campus to campus, even
within a single college system. This confusing array of exams diminishes the potential
value of standards-based high school exit assessments, even in the minority of states
where they currently count as graduation requirements.
The situation is no better for graduates who want to begin careers. For the most part,
employers never ask about high school achievement or performance on standards-based
assessments. Moreover, states offer no easy access to information about graduates? academic
records, even if employers want it.
Ours is a service organization, first and foremost
? . If a person doesn?t know they were served
and doesn?t feel served ? if it doesn?t occur
for the customer ? it didn?t occur, and so
communication ? in our company is of critical
n n human resources professional
3 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
The troubling result is that far too many young Americans are graduating from high
school without the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Consider:
n Most high school graduates need remedial help in college. More than 70 percent of
graduates quickly take the next step into two- and four-year colleges,3 but at least 28
percent of those students immediately take remedial English or math courses.4
Transcripts show that during their college careers, 53 percent of students take at least
one remedial English or math class.5 The California State University system found that
59 percent of its entering students were placed into remedial English or math in 2002.6
The need for remedial help is undoubtedly surprising to many graduates and their
parents ? costly, too, as they pay for coursework that yields no college credit.
n Most college students never attain a degree. While a majority of high school graduates
enter college, fewer than half leave with a degree. Significantly fewer blacks and Hispanics
than whites attain bachelor?s degrees.7Many factors influence this attrition, but the preparation
students receive in high school has been found to be the greatest predictor of bachelor?s
degree attainment. The courses students take in high school are more predictive of success
than family income and race.8 In fact, the gap in degree attainment is cut in half when white
and minority students all enter college having completed a strong high school curriculum.9
n Most employers say high school graduates lack basic skills. More than 60 percent of
employers question whether a high school diploma means that a typical student has
learned even the basics, and they rate graduates? skills in grammar, spelling, writing and
basic math as only ?fair? or ?poor.?10 Employers are
paying a stiff price for the lack of academic preparation
among workers. One study estimated the
cost of remedial training in reading, writing and
mathematics to a single state?s employers at nearly $40 million a year.11
n Most workers question the preparation that high schools provide. A majority of workers
give high schools a grade of C, D or F for their success in preparing students for success
on the job.12 They rate literacy and critical-thinking skills as much more important
than job-specific or computer skills.
The Solution
What will it take to restore value to the American high school diploma? First, state policymakers
need to anchor high school graduation requirements and assessments to the standards
of the real world: to the knowledge and skills that colleges and employers actually
expect if young people are to succeed in their institutions. In return, colleges and employers
If they can write, I?ll take them.
n n power plant manager
4 I N T R O D U C T I O N
need to start honoring and rewarding student achievement on state standards-based assessments
by using these performance data in their admissions, placement and hiring practices.
To help states get started, ADP worked closely with K?12, postsecondary and business leaders
in our five partner states (Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada and Texas) to identify
the English and mathematics knowledge and skills needed for success in both college and
work. We first asked leading economists to examine market projections for the most promising
jobs ? those that pay enough to support a small family and provide real potential for
career advancement ? and to pinpoint the academic knowledge and skills required for success
in those occupations. We also worked closely with two- and four-year postsecondary
leaders in the partner states to determine the prerequisite English and mathematics knowledge
and skills required for success in entry-level, credit-bearing courses in English, mathematics,
the sciences, the social sciences and humanities.
The result of the research is a set of benchmarks that should serve as the anchor for every
state?s system of high school standards-based assessments and graduation requirements.
States also can use the benchmarks to map back through the earlier grade levels to refine the
standards, assessments and proficiency levels in English and mathematics required by the
federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). As we conducted the research, we found an
important convergence around the core knowledge
and skills that both colleges and employers ? within
and beyond the ADP states ? require. Students who
meet these standards therefore will be prepared for
success, whatever path they choose to pursue after
high school.
Although high school graduation requirements are
established state by state, a high school diploma
should represent a common currency nationwide.
Families move across state lines, students apply to colleges outside their own state and employers
hire people from across the country. States owe it to their students to set expectations for
high school graduates that are portable to other states. The ADP benchmarks can help make
this portability a reality. States that adopt these benchmarks will have a ready and persuasive
answer for students when they ask, ?Why do I have to learn these things??
The ADP benchmarks are ambitious. In mathematics, they reflect content typically
taught in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry, as well as Data Analysis and Statistics. The
English benchmarks demand strong oral and written communication skills because these
skills are staples in college classrooms and most 21st century jobs. They also contain analytic
and reasoning skills that formerly were associated with advanced or honors courses
Where are you going to get information to figure
out what went wrong ... ? Maybe it?s in a manual,
maybe it?s on the Internet, maybe it?s a discussion
with a manufacturer?s rep ... maybe it?s another
technician in another department, maybe it?s an
n n human resources director
at a manufacturing company
in high school. Today, however, colleges and employers agree that all high school graduates
need these essential skills.
Although most states have worked hard in the last 10
years to raise the quality of academic standards and
the rigor of assessments, the ADP benchmarks may
seem even more demanding. For example, no state
currently requires all students to take Algebra II to
graduate, and few high school exit tests measure
much of what ADP suggests that students need to
know. In some cases, the knowledge and skills in the
benchmarks are not sampled at all on state tests.
How important is it for states to put themselves through the tribulations of reworking their
graduation standards, rewriting their graduation tests and revisiting their ?passing? scores? It
is important only if we want our high school diplomas to signify true readiness for successful
entry into the adult world ? and if we want to ensure that every graduate is really prepared
for college or work. States must provide the impetus for restoring value to the diploma, but
success will depend upon specific actions taken by leaders from many sectors: governors, legislators,
business leaders, state K?12 and postsecondary education officials, employers, trade
unions, and non-profit organizations.
Incorporating the ADP benchmarks into state education systems is a long-term agenda, and
progress will be measured by incremental steps rather than radical shifts. Because it will take
time and because it will be difficult, some will reach for excuses to delay or temporize. State
education leaders, already consumed by the procedural
and accountability requirements of NCLB, will
find it difficult to contemplate further changes to their
system of standards and assessments, particularly
changes that raise the standards. Governors and business
leaders fighting to preserve their existing high
school graduation exams in the face of initially high
failure rates may be daunted by the prospect of making
the high school graduation requirements even
more demanding in the near future.
However plausible the excuses, our inability to act will only shortchange students, communities
and states. Working to increase the number of students who are proficient without ensuring
that they also are prepared for the future will undermine not only the intent of NCLB, but
also support for the education system itself. Awarding diplomas to students who pass a test
It is a myth that mathematics and math-dependent
majors in college do not require strong reading
and writing skills. Students have to be able to
comprehend complex informational text so they
can identify which mathematical operations and
concepts to apply to solve a particular problem.
n n economics professor,
San Francisco State University
5 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
You can be an excellent mathematician, but
if you don't have a complement of verbal
skills ... you?ll never be promoted. If you?re
looking for high performance, you have to
marry the two.
n n supervisor at a small
engineering office
6 I N T R O D U C T I O N
but cannot meet real-world demands will only mislead high school students about their
chances for success as adults and minimize the potential of standards-based systems to ensure
equity in the quality of instruction for all students.
Instead, state education and business leaders must devise strategies that build on, rather than discard,
ongoing standards-based reforms; that sensibly ratchet up the rigor of standards, assessments
and course-taking requirements over time; and that blend them into a coherent system of
requirements for earning a high school diploma that signifies college and workplace readiness.
In the following section, we propose an action agenda for getting this essential work done.
States that follow this path will indeed be able to create a high school diploma that opens
doors, instead of shutting them ? a diploma that counts for those who earn it.
7 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
No state can now claim that every student who earns a high school diploma is academically
prepared for postsecondary education and work. The policy tools necessary to change this do
in fact exist ? but they are not being used effectively.
n Every state has standards and assessments in English and mathematics at the high school
level, yet the standards and exams rarely are designed to reflect the real-world demands of
postsecondary education and work. Instead, they tend to reflect a consensus among experts
in the disciplines as to what would be desirable for young people to learn.
n Nearly half the states require students to pass exit exams to graduate, but these exams are
generally pegged to 8th and 9th grade material, rather than reflecting the knowledge and
skills students must acquire by the time they complete high school.
n Most states require high school students to take a certain number of courses in English and
mathematics to graduate, but very few specify the particular courses students must take.
Students may be required to take three years of mathematics, for example, but not necessarily
the sequence of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II that will prepare them for college
and work. Even fewer states have effective mechanisms for ensuring that the course
content reflects the knowledge and skills required for success in college and work.
The challenge ahead is clear. Using the ADP benchmarks as an anchor, states must create
a system of assessments and graduation requirements that ? considered together ? signify
readiness for college and work. State policymakers have the primary responsibility for
accomplishing this, working closely with local educators and postsecondary education
institutions, but both federal policymakers and the nation?s business leaders have an
essential role to play as well.
Agenda for Action
8 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
What States and Postsecondary Institutions Should Do
Anchor Academic Standards in the Real World
The academic standards that states have developed over the past decade generally reflect a
consensus among experts in each discipline about what is desirable for students to learn, but
not necessarily what is essential for them to be prepared for further learning, work or citizenship
after completing high school. These ?first generation? standards were critical in getting
standards-based reform launched in every state, but it is time to refine and update them so
that they help ensure that every young person is prepared academically for the real world
when she or he leaves high school.
States should:
n Align academic standards in high school with the knowledge and skills required for college
and workplace success. State policymakers with responsibility for K?12 and postsecondary
education should work closely with leading employers in the state to align high
school standards in mathematics and English with the demands of postsecondary education
and work. The ADP benchmarks are a valuable tool for doing this validation work. States
can compare their current standards with the ADP benchmarks to determine how close ?
or far ? their high school standards are from the demands of the postsecondary world.
n Back-map standards to create a coherent, focused, grade-by-grade progression
from kindergarten through high school graduation. High school graduation is the
culmination of preparation that begins in the elementary grades. Therefore, the standards
set for each grade must exhibit a clear progression of content and skills through
high school completion. Unless all students are regularly exposed to a challenging curriculum
in elementary and middle schools, they will forever be playing catch-up.
Require All Students To Take a Quality College and Workplace Readiness Curriculum
Successful preparation for both postsecondary education and employment requires learning
the same rigorous English and mathematics content and skills. No longer do students
Aligning State Standards to ADP Benchmarks
n Three different documents currently describe state academic standards in Kentucky. To halt the
mixed messages sent by the disparate sets of expectations, Kentucky will use the new ADP benchmarks
to help streamline its standards into one user-friendly document. Kentucky also will use ADP
benchmarks to revise its adult education standards.
planning to go to work after high school need a different
and less rigorous curriculum than those planning
to go to college. In fact, nearly all students will require
some postsecondary education, including on-the-job
training, after completing high school. Therefore, a
college and workplace readiness curriculum should be
a graduation requirement, not an option, for all high
school students. In the core areas of English and mathematics,
the ADP benchmarks can provide strong
guidance for effective course outlines.
To implement a core college and workplace readiness
curriculum effectively, states should:
n Define specific course-taking requirements in
English and mathematics for high school graduation,
and specify the core content for those
courses. Research and experience show that students
who take a rigorous, ?college-prep? curriculum
in high school achieve at higher levels
and are more likely to enroll and succeed in postsecondary
education. The ADP benchmarks
provide the framework states need for developing
an innovative college and workplace readiness
curriculum and the evidence they need to
require all students to follow it. Requiring all students
to take and pass specific courses and
course sequences (e.g., Algebra I, Geometry,
Algebra II) rather than simply ?three years? of
mathematics or ?four years? of English will substantially
increase the number of low-income
and minority students, in particular, who graduate
from high school academically prepared for
college and work.
Historically, identical course titles have often
masked radically different course content, with
less rigorous content often the only option for the
most disadvantaged students. Therefore, states
must also establish some mechanism for ensuring
that the content they expect to be taught in
9 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Indiana: Putting the Pieces Together
ADP?s action agenda is ambitious, and only a few
states have attempted to carry it out. In revamping its
high school standards and tests over the last four
years, Indiana has made college and workplace readiness
the foundation of a coherent P?16 plan that
reflects ADP?s goal to help students make a seamless
transition from high school to college or the workplace.
For example:
n Indiana has created standards that compare
favorably to preliminary ADP benchmarks and
that contain much of the content that Indiana
postsecondary faculty deem essential for student
n Indiana?s Education Roundtable has approved a
plan that will require all students in the state to follow
a college and workplace readiness curriculum
(the ?Core 40?curriculum).
n The state is revising the content of both its 10th
grade Graduation Qualifying Exam and its Core 40
end-of-course assessments to reflect the fullest
possible range of content deemed necessary by
Indiana postsecondary faculty and employers.
n Indiana?s Education Roundtable has also approved
a recommendation that would allow scores on the
Core 40 end-of-course exams to be used for placement
decisions in the state?s institutions of higher
education. Eligibility for financial aid at state colleges
would also be linked to successful completion
of the Core 40.
10 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
the courses actually gets taught and learned. One approach is to institute a series of
end-of-course exams in core subjects, aligned with state standards and with the content
that students are expected to learn. Another approach is to devise ways to assess
the mastery of content as curricular units are completed, enabling students to progress
through the material at different rates while ultimately reaching the same standards.
States also can improve the quality and consistency of core curricula by providing curriculum
guides or model curricula that illustrate the content and the ways to teach it
and/or by creating tools that enable local districts to align their curricula more effectively
with revised state standards. Some state education agencies have the capacity to
do this, while other states may want to enlist other organizations ? such as universities,
local school districts and non-profit organizations ? to help.
n Provide the option of organizing the required curricular content in different ways
while keeping state standards and tests the constant. In defining a core curriculum,
states should make room for varied approaches and multiple pathways to help students
meet standards aligned with the ADP benchmarks. Vocational programs that provide
applied learning opportunities; small, focused, theme-based high schools that emphasize
project-based learning; charter schools; and Advanced Placement and
International Baccalaureate programs can all be effective approaches for helping students
learn core content, even though the instructional strategies and curricular structure
may vary from the state?s main approach. The state can and should encourage
these diverse approaches, while still insisting that schools and students participating in
them are held to the same state English and mathematics standards and are assessed
using the same state standards-based tests. For schools that structure the curriculum
into unconventional courses, states may want to be flexible about when they give state
assessments, but should require that the assessment be taken. Whether states administer
grade-level tests or end-of-course tests, they must be responsible for ensuring that
core English and mathematics content is taught to all students.
Creating a Default Core Curriculum for All Students
n Starting with the graduating class of 2008, all students in Texas will be required to complete the
state?s college and workplace readiness curriculum, known as the Recommended High School
Program (RHSP), to graduate. Texas requires the approval of both a counselor and parent for a student
to opt out of the RHSP and into the Minimum Graduation Program. Indiana?s Education
Roundtable has taken a similar step with its college and workplace readiness (Core 40) curriculum,
and other states such as South Carolina and Tennessee are considering doing so as well.
11 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
n Ensure that other disciplines reinforce college and workplace readiness expectations.
While defining a core curriculum in English and mathematics, states should also
look carefully at, and help define, the contributions that other subjects can make in
preparing students to meet college and workplace readiness standards in mathematics
and English. For example, laboratory reports in science, expository research in history
and projects in the arts can and should strengthen in students the research, analytic
and communication skills defined in the ADP benchmarks. Recognizing the ways in
which mastery of English and mathematics is critical to success in other disciplines can
also help provide needed focus in those disciplines, broaden the responsibility within
the school for helping students meet standards and facilitate multidisciplinary
approaches to curriculum where that approach best fits the mission of the school.
Measure What Matters and Make It Count
There is no shortage of testing of high school students, particularly those preparing to attend
a postsecondary institution. The problem is that none of these tests are aligned with one
another. States have developed high school assessments without much regard for what colleges
need, and colleges use admissions and placement exams that are disconnected from the
curriculum students study in high school. The result is too many tests and a mixed set of messages
to students, parents and teachers about which ones matter most. States must streamline
their assessment systems so that high school graduation and college admissions and placement
decisions are based on student achievement of college and workplace readiness content.
States should:
n Use high school graduation exams to ensure that students meet standards before earning
a high school diploma. Students should be required to pass certain exams to demonstrate
that they are meeting standards. Whether states approach this as a single exam given
at the end of 10th or 11th grade or as a series of end-of-course exams taken throughout a
student?s high school career, exit exams are necessary parts of a system of graduation
requirements. They ensure that students who earn a diploma meet at least a floor of performance,
and they can provide more credible and compelling evidence than course grades
that students have met the standards. States that have graduation exams should not back
away from requiring them. States that do not have such exams should put them in place.
n Not set the floor too low. High school exit exams, typically administered in 10th or 11th
grade, should assess a substantial portion of the ADP benchmark expectations, even
though they cannot measure them all. Basic fairness requires that students have multiple
opportunities to take the exams, so it is reasonable for states to begin to administer the
exams well before the end of 12th grade and to include only content that has been taught
by the time the exam is first given. The timing of administration, however, should not be
12 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
an excuse for setting the bar too low. States should carefully review the exams currently in
use. Tests are aiming too low when they sample content more heavily from the 8th and 9th
grades ? rather than from 10th or 11th grade ? or when they include test items whose
low cognitive demand makes it impossible for the tests to measure the more challenging
content. As school systems develop greater capacity, states should carefully ratchet up the
rigor of the exams.
n Not let the floor become the ceiling.Although it has been challenging to implement existing
exit exams and to bring students up to the standards they measure, states must go
beyond current requirements if students are to be prepared for college and work when they
graduate from high school. Because current exams do not measure how well students meet
the expectations of employers and postsecondary institutions, the students who pass them
are not necessarily well prepared for either path. Ultimately, it is important for 12th grade
students to be able to do 12th grade work, not just pass a 10th or 11th grade test.
States can take a number of approaches to addressing this assessment gap. One approach
would be to add 12th grade assessments that are well aligned to the ADP expectations and
to state standards in English and mathematics. Unlike exit exams, these assessments might
be factored into course grades. More importantly, they could provide valuable information
that postsecondary institutions can use when making admissions and/or placement decisions
and that employers can consider when making hiring decisions. Similarly, as an alternative
to a single exit exam, states could add end-of-course exams for subjects such as
Developing Assessments That Matter
n Massachusetts offers a good example of a state holding the line ? and seeing significant gains. The
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) weathered a barrage of criticism when
only 68 percent of the class of 2003 passed the 10th grade exit exam on the first try. Some urged the
state to lower the passing standard or delay the graduation requirement, but officials instead concentrated
on providing resources and support to students who hadn?t passed. By August 2003, the
passing rate for 2003 seniors had climbed to 95 percent. Although the MCAS exit exam does not
sample all of the rigorous content in the ADP benchmarks , it is very strong compared to most other
n Last year, Texas revised all of its assessments to reflect the state?s more rigorous content standards,
which compare favorably to ADP benchmarks. State officials then set two different ?cut scores? on
the revised high school assessments ? one score to determine whether a student is ready to graduate
and another to determine whether a student is ready for college. The revised assessments
eventually may replace the less rigorous test now used for college placement.
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Algebra II or upper-level English. Once again, these assessments could be factored into
course grades and considered by postsecondary institutions and employers when making
hiring and admissions or placement decisions.
Another approach would be to build enough range into the current high school exit exam
to measure a significant amount of the more challenging material expected by employers
and postsecondary institutions. Recognizing the difficulty some students are having passing
current exit exams, states employing this strategy may initially set two ?cut scores? on
the test ? one that signifies eligibility for high school graduation and another higher score
that signifies readiness for college and the workplace. Over time, states that rely on a single
exit exam should strive to close the gap between the two scores. While this policy might
cause more students to retake state tests to raise their scores, states owe students the opportunity
to demonstrate that they have reached levels of proficiency that matter beyond high
Finally, states may want to consider administering current or augmented college placement
exams to students in the 11th grade to provide timely information about how
well prepared they are to take credit-bearing college courses and what additional
preparation they might require.
n Not rely exclusively on large-scale assessments. As critical as they are, large-scale assessments
cannot measure everything that high school graduates need to know and be able to
do. Making effective oral arguments, for example, is considered an essential skill by both
employers and postsecondary educators. Both groups also stress the importance of conducting
significant research projects. These skills ? important aspects of the ADP benchmarks
? are very difficult to assess on a paper-and-pencil test and may be better measured
at the local and school levels. If states believe that all students should be responsible for mastering
these essential skills, they should work with local districts to develop ways to incorporate
research projects and oral examinations into instructional programs and to establish
rigorous, systematic criteria for evaluating them across the state.
n Regularly validate high school assessments as accurate predictors of postsecondary
performance. Regardless of the combination of assessments they use, states should
conduct periodic studies of the predictive validity of the tests, particularly with respect
to indicators of success in postsecondary education such as grades, persistence and
degree attainment. Such studies will help ensure and improve the validity of the assessments
and the appropriate use of the information they generate.
14 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
Bridge the Gap Between High School and College
In almost every state, K?12 and postsecondary education systems operate as separate entities.
They are governed, financed and operated independently. As a result, young people face needless
obstacles in moving from one system to the next. They face different expectations, different
standards and different assessments to complete high school and then to enter college.
Many students, particularly those with little access to help in negotiating their way, find their
Using Data To Align Secondary and Postsecondary Systems
n California education officials and faculty from the California State University (CSU) system have
developed an early assessment for use in CSU placement decisions. Grounded primarily in
California?s standards-based tests for 11th grade, the early assessment also will provide students
diagnostic information so that they have time to receive the help they may need to be ready to enter
credit-bearing courses.
n Because a University of Washington study showed that the Washington state high school assessment
is as good a predictor of college GPA as the SAT, postsecondary officials have agreed to use the
state?s high school assessment data in scholarship, admissions and placement decisions. Several
technical revisions are being made to the K?12 and postsecondary systems before the new system
is implemented.
n The City University of New York for several years has used data from the New York Regents exams
for placement purposes. Despite predictions that doing so would cause applications to decline,
applications have increased steadily since the implementation of the policy.
n Two efforts are under way in Kentucky to connect secondary and postsecondary expectations
through assessments. The Kentucky Early Mathematics Testing Program (KEMTP) offers a voluntary,
online test to help high school sophomores and juniors see if they are on track for college math and
close any learning gaps. Data have demonstrated a correlation between students?KEMTP scores and
their college mathematics grades. School districts in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington are
using KEMTP or developing similar online testing models. Some districts and postsecondary institutions
in Kentucky also are piloting the use of the state writing assessment as a placement tool for freshman
English courses, which may prompt similar statewide use.
n As Nevada refines its high school proficiency exam to sample more of the college- and work-ready content
in its state standards, the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) Board of
Regents is working to address college readiness in other ways. The UCCSN gained legislative authority
last year to define a core high school curriculum as part of the eligibility requirements to receive the
state?s Millennium Scholarship for college. Using the ADP benchmarks to inform the process, the UCCSN
will send a clear signal about what students need to have learned to be successful in college. Previously,
the scholarships were awarded based primarily on grade point averages.
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college aspirations needlessly frustrated by conflicting signals about ?necessary? academic
preparation. In addition to using the ADP benchmarks to establish appropriate
high school graduation requirements, states and postsecondary institutions can take several
key steps to ensure that students receive clear, consistent and helpful information and that
both high schools and postsecondary institutions have the necessary information and incentives
to help students make an effective transition.
Postsecondary institutions should:
n Use high school assessments for college admissions and placement. Little justification
exists for maintaining completely separate standards and testing systems for high
school graduation on the one hand and college admissions and placement on the other.
Postsecondary institutions need to reinforce efforts to raise standards in K?12 by making
use of standards-based assessment data for admissions, for course placement
and/or for the awarding of merit scholarships. Using assessment data in this way will
send a message to students that hard work and good performance in high school pay
off. Using standards-based test data also will reduce the number of tests students must
take and for which a state (and in many cases, families) must pay.
n Provide information to high schools on the academic performance of their graduates
in college.Only eight states make college remediation data readily available.13 In most states
and postsecondary institutions, reliable information about actual remediation practices is
hard to find. Colleges and universities should track and report performance data such as
remediation rates, GPAs, persistence and degree completion, and other indicators of
achievement. In addition to providing better information about the academic preparation
necessary for taking credit-bearing courses, tracking student performance will also provide
high schools with valuable information that they can use to improve their programs.
States should:
n Hold postsecondary institutions accountable for the academic success of the students
they admit, including student learning, persistence and degree completion. Most
postsecondary institutions have few incentives to pay attention to deficiencies in the academic
preparation of entering students. Ill-prepared students are simply placed in remedial,
non-credit-bearing courses while still paying full tuition. Although students who
take remedial courses suffer from significantly lowered prospects of completing a degree,
the institutions themselves suffer no comparable consequence. Students who drop out are
simply replaced by new students the next year. In the culture of postsecondary education,
students bear the lion?s share of the responsibility for their success or failure, while the institutions
themselves bear little.
16 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
States therefore must provide greater incentives for postsecondary institutions to pay attention
to the academic preparation of incoming students and to provide them with the support
they need to succeed. Principles that have been applied to K?12 education can be
sensibly and appropriately applied to the different context of postsecondary education. For
example, postsecondary institutions should measure performance ? including, but not
limited to, student achievement, persistence and degree completion ? and make the data
widely available to students, parents and the public. States also should provide incentives
for improved results by considering approaches to performance-based financing that tie
some portion of the institution?s funding to measured results.
What the Federal Government Should Do
The bulk of the leadership and responsibility for acting on the recommendations in this report
falls to states and their leaders. However, the federal government can take several specific steps
that would provide important support.
In particular, the President and Congress should:
n Provide incentives, through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, for
high school students to meet college and workplace readiness expectations. As the
President and Congress work to expand access to postsecondary education through
the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, they should also work to improve
preparation. To encourage more students, particularly low-income students, to prepare
for postsecondary education and work, the federal government should provide additional
Pell grant funds, over and above what a student would already be eligible for, if
she or he takes a rigorous, college and workplace readiness curriculum.
n Offer resources, through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act or other legislation,
for states to align high school standards and graduation requirements with the
knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary education and work. During both the
first Bush and Clinton administrations, Congress helped states jump-start the standards
movement with modest financial support for the development of state standards and
assessments. A similar incentive now, aimed at aligning the academic expectations of secondary
and postsecondary systems, can help states make rapid progress.
n Require, through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, accountability for
postsecondary education institutions. At a minimum, postsecondary institutions that
benefit from federal financial assistance should be required to report annually to students,
parents and the public the evidence of student achievement, as well as rates of remediation,
persistence and degree completion. In addition, the federal government should insist that
postsecondary institutions that receive federal funds be accountable for their performance.
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n Align the 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in English
and mathematics with the ADP benchmarks, so that ?the Nation?s Report Card? will
provide regular information on the extent to which high school seniors are ready for
college and work. The President and Congress should support the annual administration
of a 12th grade NAEP in English and mathematics in every state, as they do for 4th and 8th
grade NAEP under NCLB.
What Business Leaders Should Do
Business leaders have been the most stalwart advocates for significant education reform
for the past two decades because they recognize the need for young people to be well prepared
to participate in a knowledge-based economy. They have been strong voices for
rigor, quality and a comprehensive approach to standards-based reform. They have
brought a sense of urgency, coupled with an understanding that the necessary changes to
K?12 systems constitute a long-term agenda for action. Finally, they have been instrumental
in keeping standards-based reform on track and moving forward at the state and federal
levels, throughout changes in governors, presidents and partisan control of the
legislative branch.
State Scholars Initiative
In a growing number of states across the country, the business community is encouraging high school
students to take a college and workplace readiness curriculum. The State Scholars Initiative began in
Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas in the 1990s, and now operates in 12 states. Each initiative is led by a
statewide business coalition, with the goal of increasing the percentage of high school students completing
a defined sequence of rigorous academic courses ? courses that will prepare them for life
beyond high school. The minimum requirements are three years of mathematics (Algebra I, Algebra II
and Geometry); three years of science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics); four years of English; three and
a half years of social studies, including economics; and two years of a language other than English.
Evidence from the first decade of the program shows that it is working. If patterns identified through
research and the pilot communities hold true, students who graduate after completing the course of
study will be:
n twice as likely to be college-ready as their peers completing less challenging graduation plans;
n more likely to complete an associate?s or bachelor?s degree; and
n able to earn more in the years after high school.
18 A G E N D A F O R A C T I O N
Business leaders must continue their strong advocacy and, in particular:
n Encourage states to align standards, assessments and graduation requirements with
the knowledge and skills necessary for success in postsecondary education and work. It
will not be easy to convince state education leaders to review state standards and assessments;
they reflect a considerable investment of intellectual and political capital. In many
states, NCLB testing and accountability requirements provide added incentives to build on
what is in place rather than open up the standards and tests to additional scrutiny and
changes. Nonetheless, if states continue to expect too little of their high school graduates,
they will continue to turn out graduates who are unprepared for work or further learning,
at significant cost to themselves and their communities. Business leaders are one of the
most important forces for making this case convincingly.
Business leaders can start the process by joining with the governor to ask some basic questions:
How many of our high school graduates require remedial courses in college? What
do employers who hire high school graduates think of their preparation? How well do our
state?s high school graduation requirements align with the ADP benchmarks? What do
our high school assessments measure, and what does it take to pass? The answers to these
and related questions will help define the need for action and provide the data necessary
to inform it.
n Consider evidence such as high school assessment results and transcripts in making
hiring decisions, and encourage other employers to do the same. Employers
who hire students immediately out of high school should insist that high school graduation
requirements measure up to the ADP expectations and then consider evidence
that applicants meet these expectations when making hiring decisions. In particular,
employers should ask applicants for test results and high school transcripts.
State leaders began the standards movement more than two decades ago, as they responded
to the challenges crystallized in the landmark report, A Nation At Risk. Then, as now, they
were driven by an urgent need to better prepare all young people to participate and succeed
in a knowledge-driven economy, an increasingly diverse society and an interdependent
world. Supported by business leaders and the federal government, states have made substantial
progress. They have adopted standards, implemented new assessments, focused
accountability on results rather than on compliance, and worked to build the capacity of
schools and school systems to respond to these new challenges. It is now time for states to
take the next steps.
The action agenda we have proposed is a difficult one, but it is essential for states to
embrace. Business leaders and the federal government must continue to support them.
Postsecondary education leaders must join the effort. It is time to redefine the American
high school diploma and make it count.
College and Workplace Readiness
Benchmarks and Samples

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The English and mathematics benchmarks that follow were identified and refined over 18
months of research conducted in postsecondary institutions and high-performance workplaces,
both within and beyond the ADP partner states and in conjunction with K?12 educators.
(See ?Methodology? on page 105 for a description of the development process.)
The benchmarks, as well as the workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments that
accompany them, represent a collaborative effort among K?12 educators, postsecondary
faculty and front-line managers to define a common core of fundamental literacy and
numeracy ? what high school graduates must know and be able to do to be fully prepared
to succeed in credit-bearing college courses or in high-growth, highly skilled occupations.
The work of ADP differs in one significant respect from other praiseworthy state efforts
to develop standards: It grounds its benchmarks in empirical evidence of what the postsecondary
world ? employers and educators ? actually requires of employees and students.
The innovative addition of actual workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments
vividly illustrates the intellectual demand that high school students will encounter in
high-performance workplaces or in credit-bearing first-year college courses.
College and Workplace Readiness
Benchmarks and Samples
22 C O L L E G E A N D W O R K P L A C E R E A D I N E S S B E N C H M A R K S A N D S A M P L E S
The English benchmarks are organized into eight strands:
n Language
n Communication
n Writing
n Research
n Logic
n Informational Text
n Media
n Literature
The benchmarks were refined into their final form with every attention given to the ways
in which each of the benchmarks is not only critical to the study of English, but also to
the study of many academic subjects within the humanities, sciences and social sciences.
Therefore, the ADP partners expect that in conjunction with the mathematics benchmarks,
these fundamental literacy benchmarks will inform the development of standards
and curricula in all content areas.
The mathematics benchmarks are organized into four strands:
n Number Sense and Numerical Operations
n Algebra
n Geometry
n Data Interpretation, Statistics and Probability
As with the English benchmarks, the mathematics benchmarks were refined into their
final form with every attention given to the ways in which each of the benchmarks is not
only critical to the study of mathematics, but also to the study of many academic subjects
within the sciences and social sciences. Therefore, ADP expects that in conjunction with
the English benchmarks, these fundamental numeracy benchmarks will inform the
development of curricula in all content areas.
Defining Rigor: Reading Lists and Sample Mathematics Problems
In both English and mathematics, a deliberate attempt has been made to indicate the
quality and complexity of the expectations by providing examples of the kinds of reading
and mathematical problems the benchmarks are meant to describe.
In English, for example, it is not enough to ask high school students to analyze texts.
According to employers and postsecondary faculty, students must have been expected to
analyze particular kinds of rigorous texts, so that as graduates they will be prepared to
meet the demands that face them after high school. For this reason, the ADP English
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benchmarks are to be used in close coordination with the reading lists developed by two
ADP partner states, Indiana and Massachusetts. These lists, which directly follow the
benchmarks, were developed in thorough and inclusive processes in those states. They not
only define the quality and complexity of reading expected of all high school graduates, but
also suggest a common level of ?cultural literacy? expected of all high school graduates,
including representative works of various cultures both within and beyond the United
Defining rigor is handled differently in the mathematics benchmarks, with the inclusion
of sample problems embedded within the benchmarks themselves to illustrate the quality
and complexity of the corresponding mathematics benchmark.
Workplace Tasks and Postsecondary Assignments
Workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments follow the benchmarks to illustrate their
practical application beyond high school. It is important to note that the workplace tasks
and postsecondary assignments are not meant to describe the quality and complexity of
high school assignments. Although the benchmarks, tasks and assignments may be used in
the future to inform the development of high school lessons, the tasks and assignments
included here are designed simply to illustrate the intellectual rigor of real-world environments
beyond high school and the applicability of the ADP benchmarks in postsecondary
and workplace settings.
The workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments have been gathered primarily from
sources in the five ADP partner states ? Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada and
Texas. They have been gathered from two- and four-year postsecondary institutions, as
well as from companies whose workforces encompass the fast-growing occupations that
were identified in the ADP workplace study. These include occupations such as:
n plant, production and construction
n marketing and events managers;
n engineers and engineering
n technical writers and legal
n medical professionals and health
n environmental science technicians;
n foresters;
n financial, insurance and real estate
n machine operators, technicians and
set-up personnel;
n computer programmers and information
technology (IT) workers;
n skilled plumbers, pipe fitters and
n repairers and service technicians;
n teachers.
24 C O L L E G E A N D W O R K P L A C E R E A D I N E S S B E N C H M A R K S A N D S A M P L E S
Similarly, the postsecondary assignments represent a broad range of English, mathematics,
humanities, science and social science coursework.
Within each sample, the corresponding English and mathematics benchmarks are called
out so that readers may easily recognize how, and in what context, the benchmarks are
applied. A representative number of tasks and assignments is included in this print version
of the report; additional samples are available at
These real tasks and assignments, whether in the workplace or in college classrooms, require
the application of knowledge and skills that are contained in more than one ADP benchmark,
often from more than one content area. Mastering individual skills without understanding
their connections to other skills both within and across content areas is inconsistent
with what is expected beyond high school, according to those who participated in the
research. The samples therefore illustrate the need to integrate and apply more than one
benchmark at a time, the importance of which both employers and postsecondary faculty
stressed. To be successful, a high school graduate must be able to blend knowledge and skills
from many areas to identify, formulate and solve problems; to connect new information to
existing knowledge; and to access and assess knowledge from a variety of sources delivered
through a variety of media.
One noticeable feature distinguishes the workplace tasks from the postsecondary
assignments: The requisite skills are more tightly integrated at work than in typical postsecondary
classroom assignments or assessments. Whereas most college courses focus on
one subject or topic at a time for the purposes of instruction and assessment, these distinctions
are not relevant to the workplace.
The workplace tasks tend to involve longer-term collaborative projects in which an individual
contributes to a group effort. Cooperation demands greater versatility in communication
? in listening and speaking, in reading and writing ? than typically is required
in writing a paper or solving a problem as part of a traditional course assignment.
Postsecondary faculty who worked on the ADP research concur that these skills, while
prevalent in workplace environments, are increasingly important to success in college
How To Use the ADP Benchmarks, Workplace Tasks and Postsecondary
As noted above, the applicable English and mathematics benchmarks are identified within
each task or assignment. In its online form, the reader is able to navigate back and forth
between the samples and applicable benchmarks.
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The ADP partners expect that students, parents, teachers, employers and state policymakers
alike will glean useful information from the benchmarks themselves, the workplace
tasks and the postsecondary assignments. First, the benchmarks reflect the higher
level of fundamental intellectual demand that is now required of high school graduates
who aspire to further education and training, whether graduates go directly into a careertrack,
high-growth, highly skilled job or into formal postsecondary study before pursuing
a career. Second, the workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments can help students
understand how the subjects they study in high school today are relevant to the challenges
that await them tomorrow. Third, the benchmarks and sample tasks and assignments
exemplify ? in a way that state standards alone have not ? how very complex and contextual
real workplace and postsecondary challenges are. Every sample draws on skills
from many different benchmark areas within both English and mathematics; no task or
assignment illustrates just one or two isolated skills.
Finally, students, parents, teachers, employers and state education officials all can use the
ADP work as an important tool for analyzing the efficacy of their current exit, entrance
and placement systems. In particular, ADP anticipates that:
n students and parents will compare the curriculum of their local high schools to
the ADP benchmarks to determine how much of the ADP benchmark content is
n high school teachers will refer to these workplace applications to develop effective
curricula and to infuse dynamic, real-world contexts into their classroom
n employers will come to value, demand and use achievement data based on state
standards that are aligned with these real-world expectations; and
n K?12 and postsecondary policymakers will refer to the tasks and assignments in
close coordination with the benchmarks to determine how the content of their
high school standards, curricula, assessments and graduation requirements compare
to these real-world expectations.
The ADP benchmarks, sample tasks and assignments, grounded in the reality of actual,
day-to-day experiences of people in the workplace and college classrooms, can provide a
solid foundation to states for ensuring that their own standards are also grounded in realworld
expectations. By providing a clear set of college and workplace readiness benchmarks,
sample tasks and assignments, ADP hopes to embolden the efforts of state
policymakers to hold the line on rigorous but fair high school exit standards and to reassure
students that if they meet these standards they will be prepared for whatever path
they choose beyond high school.

28 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
English Benchmarks
The American Diploma Project (ADP) college and workplace readiness
benchmarks for English are organized into eight strands:
A. Language
Writers and speakers are taken seriously
when their vocabulary is sophisticated and
their sentences are free of grammatical
errors. Without fail, employers and college
faculty cite correct grammar, usage, punctuation,
capitalization and spelling as
absolutely essential to success in classrooms
and workplaces beyond high school.
Whether presenting a marketing concept to
a team of colleagues or clients or presenting
an interpretation of a secondary source in a
college seminar, students and employers
will need facility with these fundamental
skills for the successful exchange of ideas
and information.
B. Communication
Employers and college professors cite
strong communication skills as being so
essential to success that they insist schools
should emphasize them, simultaneously
with the transmittal of other academic
knowledge. Success in credit-bearing college
coursework, whether in the humanities,
sciences or social sciences, depends
heavily on effective communication about
the concepts and detailed information contained
within readings, lectures and class
discussions. Success in the workplace,
whatever the profession, is also heavily
dependent on one?s ability to listen attentively
to colleagues or customers and to
express ideas clearly and persuasively.
C. Writing
In the 21st century, strong writing skills
have become an increasingly important
commodity. High-growth, highly skilled
jobs demand that employees can communicate
essential information effectively via
e-mail, for example. Many jobs require the
writing of proposals to obtain new business,
the communication of key instructions to
colleagues or the conveying of policies to
customers. Poor writing may easily affect a
company?s bottom line and even precipitate
legal action. High-quality writing results
from careful planning, drafting and meaningful
revision. The discipline used to create,
reshape and polish pieces of writing
prepares students for occasions when they
must write quickly and clearly on demand,
whether in the workplace or in college
classrooms. These benchmarks address
skills that are applicable to all kinds of good
writing, whether the goal is to interpret literature,
analyze the results of a scientific
experiment or communicate a new bank
policy for granting loans.
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D. Research*
Research requires the ability to frame, analyze
and solve problems, while building on
the ideas and contributions of others. As
future college students or employees, students
will be asked to hone these essential
skills with increasing sophistication.
Credit-bearing coursework in colleges and
universities will require students to identify
areas for research, narrow those topics and
adjust research methodology as necessary.
College students will be asked to consider
various interpretations of both primary and
secondary resources as they develop and
defend their own conclusions. Thorough
research is the foundation of the free
exchange of ideas in a postsecondary academic
environment. Similarly, in the workplace,
employers depend heavily on
employees to evaluate the credibility of
existing research to establish, reject or
refine products and services.
E. Logic
Employers and college professors cite the
ability to reason ? to think critically, logically
and dispassionately ? as an absolutely
necessary skill for success. It is an essential
area of English that until now has received
little explicit attention in state standards.
High school graduates today are increasingly
expected to judge the credibility of
sources, evaluate arguments, and understand
and convey complex information in
the college classroom, in the workplace and
as they exercise their rights as citizens. The
ability to reason allows for the systematic
development of ideas, the ability to make
sound choices, and the ability to make and
understand persuasive arguments.
F. Informational Text
Literacy in today?s workplace, as well as in
postsecondary classrooms, requires that students
read and interpret a wide range of reference
materials: periodicals, memoranda
and other documents that may contain technical
information, including intricate charts
and graphs. College students and employees
need to know how to find, comprehend,
interpret and judge the quality of information
and evidence presented in such texts.
They also need to be able to report their own
evaluations, interpretations and judgments
in ways that will either advance scholarship
in an area of postsecondary study or contribute
to workplace productivity.
*These skills, although critical to the study of English,
are also necessary to the study of many academic subjects.
Therefore, the study and reinforcement of these
skills should not be confined to the English classroom or
G. Media
Media vehicles such as television, radio,
film, Web sites and videos are prominent
modes of communication. Moreover, the
various media are more and more
often combined in innovative ways. Unlike
printed materials, electronic media use
sound and moving images; therefore, they
can convey information, entertain and persuade
in ways that are distinct from the
printed word alone. Students need to view
non-print media with an equally appreciative,
yet discriminating eye, to learn how a
work changes when it is adapted from print
to non-print media and to create their own
media. Students, employees ? all citizens
? need to analyze information coming
from a wide variety of media to interpret
political messages, for example, or product
advertisements. These interpretive skills
can help students and employees develop
reasonable positions on matters of public
policy and personal interest. In particular,
mastery of these skills will help graduates
recognize potential bias in new and mixed
media markets.
H. Literature
High school graduates today need to be well
read to succeed in college, in careers and as
citizens in our democratic society. Whether
navigating the editorial pages of a local
newspaper or communicating ideas to fellow
colleagues or classmates, high school
graduates who have been asked to analyze a
variety of rich literature will be well prepared.
Among the benefits of reading literature
and carefully analyzing significant
works from the literary heritage of both
English and other languages is the appreciation
of our common humanity. Regular
practice in identifying and analyzing the
aesthetic and expressive elements of literature
also improves the quality of all kinds of
student writing. Practice in providing evidence
from literary works to support an
interpretation fosters the skill of reading any
text closely and teaches students to think,
speak and write logically and coherently ?
priority skills identified by employers and
postsecondary faculty. Employers report
that employees who have considered the
moral dilemmas encountered by literary
characters are better able to tolerate ambiguity
and nurture problem-solving skills in the
workplace. Postsecondary faculty from a
wide variety of disciplines note that the skills
required by thorough literary analysis are
applicable in a range of other humanities,
science and social science disciplines.
30 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
English Benchmarks
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A. Language
The high school graduate can:
A1. Demonstrate control of standard
English through the use of grammar,
punctuation, capitalization and spelling.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
A2. Use general and specialized dictionaries,
thesauruses and glossaries (print
and electronic) to determine the definition,
pronunciation, etymology, spelling
and usage of words.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #4)
A3. Use roots, affixes and cognates to
determine the meaning of unfamiliar
A4. Use context to determine the meaning
of unfamiliar words.
A5. Identify the meaning of common
idioms, as well as literary, classical and
biblical allusions; use them in oral and
written communication.
A6. Recognize nuances in the meanings
of words; choose words precisely to
enhance communication.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
A7. Comprehend and communicate
quantitative, technical and mathematical
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1 and 2)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #2 and 3)
B. Communication
The high school graduate can:
B1. Give and follow spoken instructions
to perform specific tasks, to answer questions
or to solve problems.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1 and 2)
B2. Summarize information presented
orally by others.
B3. Paraphrase information presented
orally by others.
B4. Identify the thesis of a speech and
determine the essential elements that
elaborate it.
B5. Analyze the ways in which the style
and structure of a speech support or
confound its meaning or purpose.
B6. Make oral presentations that:
n exhibit a logical structure appropriate
to the audience, context and
n group related ideas and maintain a
consistent focus;
32 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
English Benchmarks
n include smooth transitions;
n support judgments with sound evidence
and well-chosen details;
n make skillful use of rhetorical devices;
n provide a coherent conclusion; and
n employ proper eye contact, speaking
rate, volume, enunciation, inflection
and gestures to communicate ideas
(Associated Workplace Task: #3)
B7. Participate productively in selfdirected
work teams for a particular
purpose (for example, to interpret literature,
write or critique a proposal, solve a
problem, make a decision), including:
n posing relevant questions;
n listening with civility to the ideas of
n extracting essential information from
others? input;
n building on the ideas of others and
contributing relevant information or
ideas in group discussions;
n consulting texts as a source of ideas;
n gaining the floor in respectful ways;
n defining individuals? roles and
responsibilities and setting clear
n acknowledging the ideas and contributions
of individuals in the group;
n understanding the purpose of the
team project and the ground rules for
n maintaining independence of judgment,
offering dissent courteously,
ensuring a hearing for the range of
positions on an issue and avoiding
premature consensus;
n tolerating ambiguity and a lack of
consensus; and
n selecting leader/spokesperson when
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #4)
C. Writing
The high school graduate can:
C1. Plan writing by taking notes, writing
informal outlines and researching.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
C2. Select and use formal, informal, literary
or technical language appropriate for
the purpose, audience and context of the
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
C3. Organize ideas in writing with a thesis
statement in the introduction, wellconstructed
paragraphs, a conclusion
and transition sentences that connect
paragraphs into a coherent whole.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
33 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
C4. Drawing on readers?comments on
working drafts, revise documents to
develop or support ideas more clearly,
address potential objections, ensure
effective transitions between paragraphs
and correct errors in logic.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
C5. Edit both one?s own and others?work
for grammar, style and tone appropriate
to audience, purpose and context.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
C6. Cite print or electronic sources properly
when paraphrasing or summarizing
information, quoting, or using graphics.
C7. Determine how, when and whether
to employ technologies (such as computer
software, photographs and video)
in lieu of, or in addition to, written
C8. Present written material using basic
software programs (such as Word, Excel
and PowerPoint) and graphics (such as
charts, ratios and tables) to present
information and ideas best understood
C9.Write an academic essay (for
example, a summary, an explanation, a
description, a literary analysis essay) that:
n develops a thesis;
n creates an organizing structure
appropriate to purpose, audience
and context;
n includes relevant information and
excludes extraneous information;
n makes valid inferences;
n supports judgments with relevant
and substantial evidence and wellchosen
details; and
n provides a coherent conclusion.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4, 5 and 6)
C10. Produce work-related texts (for
example, memos, e-mails, correspondence,
project plans, work orders, proposals,
bios) that:
n address audience needs, stated purpose
and context;
n translate technical language into
non-technical English;
n include relevant information and
exclude extraneous information;
n use appropriate strategies, such as
providing facts and details, describing
or analyzing the subject, explaining
benefits or limitations, comparing
or contrasting, and providing a scenario
to illustrate;
n anticipate potential problems, mistakes
and misunderstandings that
might arise for the reader;
34 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
English Benchmarks
n create predictable structures through
the use of headings, white space and
graphics, as appropriate; and
n adopt a customary format, including
proper salutation, closing and signature,
when appropriate.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
D. Research
The high school graduate can:
D1. Define and narrow a problem or
research topic.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4 and 6)
D2. Gather relevant information from a
variety of print and electronic sources, as
well as from direct observation, interviews
and surveys.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3, 4, 5 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #4)
D3. Make distinctions about the credibility,
reliability, consistency, strengths and
limitations of resources, including information
gathered from Web sites.
(Associated Workplace Task: #5)
D4. Report findings within prescribed
time and/or length requirements, as
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
D5.Write an extended research essay
(approximately six to 10 pages), building
on primary and secondary sources, that:
n marshals evidence in support of a
clear thesis statement and related
n paraphrases and summarizes with
accuracy and fidelity the range of
arguments and evidence supporting
or refuting the thesis, as appropriate;
n cites sources correctly and documents
quotations, paraphrases and
other information using a standard
(Associated Workplace Task: #4)
E. Logic
The high school graduate can:
E1. Distinguish among facts and opinions,
evidence and inferences.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #5)
E2. Identify false premises in an
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #5)
E3. Describe the structure of a given
argument; identify its claims and evidence;
and evaluate connections among
evidence, inferences and claims.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #5)
35 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
E4. Evaluate the range and quality of
evidence used to support or oppose an
(Associated Workplace Task: #6)
E5. Recognize common logical fallacies,
such as the appeal to pity (argumentum
ad misericordiam), the personal attack
(argumentum ad hominem), the appeal to
common opinion (argumentum ad populum)
and the false dilemma (assuming
only two options when there are more
options available); understand why these
fallacies do not prove the point being
E6. Analyze written or oral communications
for false assumptions, errors, loaded
terms, caricature, sarcasm, leading questions
and faulty reasoning.
E7. Understand the distinction between a
deductive argument (where, if the premises
are all true and the argument?s form is
valid, the conclusion is inescapably true)
and inductive argument (in which the
conclusion provides the best or most
probable explanation of the truth of the
premises, but is not necessarily true).
(Associated Workplace Task: #4)
E8. Analyze two or more texts addressing
the same topic to determine how authors
reach similar or different conclusions.
E9. Construct arguments (both orally and
in writing) that:
n develop a thesis that demonstrates
clear and knowledgeable judgment;
n structure ideas in a sustained and
logical fashion;
n use a range of strategies to elaborate
and persuade, such as descriptions,
anecdotes, case studies, analogies
and illustrations;
n clarify and defend positions with
precise and relevant evidence,
including facts, expert opinions,
quotations and/or expressions of
commonly accepted beliefs and
logical reasoning;
n anticipate and address the reader?s
concerns and counterclaims; and
n provide clear and effective
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #5 and 6)
F. Informational Text
The high school graduate can:
F1. Follow instructions in informational or
technical texts to perform specific tasks,
answer questions or solve problems.
F2. Identify the main ideas of informational
text and determine the essential
elements that elaborate them.
36 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
English Benchmarks
F3. Summarize informational and technical
texts and explain the visual components
that support them.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3 and 6)
F4. Distinguish between a summary and
a critique.
F5. Interpret and use information in
maps, charts, graphs, time lines, tables
and diagrams.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3 and 4)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #2 and 3)
F6. Identify interrelationships between
and among ideas and concepts within
a text, such as cause-and-effect
F7. Synthesize information from multiple
informational and technical sources.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #4, 5 and 6)
F8. Draw conclusions based on evidence
from informational and technical texts.
F9. Analyze the ways in which a text?s
organizational structure supports or confounds
its meaning or purpose.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #5 and 6)
F10. Recognize the use or abuse of ambiguity,
contradiction, paradox, irony,
incongruities, overstatement and understatement
in text and explain their effect
on the reader.
F11. Evaluate informational and technical
texts for their clarity, simplicity and
coherence and for the appropriateness of
their graphics and visual appeal.
G. Media
The high school graduate can:
G1. Evaluate the aural, visual and written
images and other special effects used
in television, radio, film and the Internet
for their ability to inform, persuade and
entertain (for example, anecdote, expert
witness, vivid detail, tearful testimony
and humor).
G2. Examine the intersections and con-
flicts between the visual (such as media
images, painting, film and graphic arts)
and the verbal.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #4)
G3. Recognize how visual and sound
techniques or design (such as special
effects, camera angles and music) carry
or influence messages in various media.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #4)
G4. Apply and adapt the principles of
written composition to create coherent
media productions using effective images,
37 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
text, graphics, music and/or sound effects
? if possible ? and present a distinctive
point of view on a topic (for example,
PowerPoint presentations, videos).
H. Literature
The high school graduate can:
H1. Demonstrate knowledge of 18th
and 19th century foundational works
of American literature.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #6)
H2. Analyze foundational U.S. documents
for their historical and literary significance
(for example, The Declaration of
Independence, the Preamble to the
U.S. Constitution, Abraham Lincoln?s
?Gettysburg Address,?Martin Luther King?s
?Letter from Birmingham Jail?).
H3. Interpret significant works from various
forms of literature: poetry, novel,
biography, short story, essay and dramatic
literature; use understanding of
genre characteristics to make deeper
and subtler interpretations of the meaning
of the text.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #5 and 6)
H4. Analyze the setting, plot, theme, characterization
and narration of classic and
contemporary short stories and novels.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #6)
H5. Demonstrate knowledge of metrics,
rhyme scheme, rhythm, alliteration and
other conventions of verse in poetry.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #4 and 6)
H6. Identify how elements of dramatic
literature (for example, dramatic irony,
soliloquy, stage direction and dialogue)
articulate a playwright?s vision.
H7. Analyze works of literature for what
they suggest about the historical period
in which they were written.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #5)
H8. Analyze the moral dilemmas in works
of literature, as revealed by characters?
motivation and behavior.
H9. Identify and explain the themes found
in a single literary work; analyze the ways
in which similar themes and ideas are
developed in more than one literary work.
A Note about Literary and Informational Text
The only way to determine the rigor of academic expectations that
address literary and informational text is to be explicit about the
quality and complexity of the works students are asked to read and
analyze. Students must also be exposed to the greatest works of literature
in English and other literature in translation to understand
our common literary heritage and to gain an appreciation for the
rich literary traditions from all cultures.
Because Indiana and Massachusetts, two of our partner states, have
done an effective job of defining core lists of essential literature and
informational texts that address both of the these purposes, we
have appended those lists here with the assumption that readers
will refer to these authors and titles when designing curricula to
help students achieve mastery of the ADP benchmarks.
38 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Indiana
Fiction: Classic and Contemporary
The Abduction ? Newth, Mette and Tiina Nunnally
The Adventures of Augie March ? Bellow, Saul
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ? Twain, Mark
The Age of Innocence ? Wharton, Edith
Animal Farm ? Orwell, George
The Assistant ? Malamud, Bernard
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman ? Gaines, Ernest J.
The Bean Trees ? Kingsolver, Barbara
Billy Budd ? Melville, Herman
Bless Me, Ultima ? Anaya, Rudolfo
Buried Onions ? Soto, Gary
Catcher in the Rye ? Salinger, J.D.
Ceremony ? Silko, Leslie Marmon
The Contender ? Lipsyte, Robert
Crime and Punishment ? Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
Davita?s Harp ? Potok, Chaim
Frankenstein ? Shelley, Mary
A Girl of the Limberlost ? Stratton-Porter, Gene
Great Expectations ? Dickens, Charles
The Great Gatsby ? Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Heart of Darkness ? Conrad, Joseph
House on Mango Street ? Cisneros, Sandra
If Beale Street Could Talk ? Baldwin, James
In the Time of the Butterflies ? Alvarez, Julia
Invisible Man ? Ellison, Ralph
Jane Eyre ? Bront? Charlotte
The Joy Luck Club ? Tan, Amy
The Magnificent Ambersons ? Tarkington, Booth
The Metamorphosis ? Kafka, Franz
Of Mice and Men ? Steinbeck, John
The Old Man and the Sea ? Hemingway, Ernest
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ? Joyce, James
Pride and Prejudice ? Austen, Jane
The Return of the Native ? Hardy, Thomas
The Scarlet Letter ? Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Sense and Sensibility ? Austen, Jane
A Separate Peace ? Knowles, John
Shoeless Joe ? Kinsella, Ray
Silas Marner ? Eliot, George
The Sound and the Fury ? Faulkner, William
The Stranger ? Camus, Albert
Things Fall Apart ? Achebe, Chinua
To Kill a Mockingbird ? Lee, Harper
To the Lighthouse ? Woolf, Virginia
Typical American ? Jen, Gish
Wheels for Walking ? Richmond, Sandra
Historical Fiction
All Quiet on the Western Front ? Remarque, Erich
A Bell for Adano ? Hersey, John
Level 4
Grades 9?12
Designed as a companion piece to Indiana?s Academic Standards in English/Language Arts, the following
selections of the Indiana Reading List illustrate the quality and complexity of the suggested
reading materials for students in Grades 9?12. The Indiana Reading List is not required reading nor
is it meant to be all-inclusive. Teachers and parents are encouraged to review the selections to
ensure suitability for the individual student.
39 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
The Burning Time ? Lasky, Kathryn
Cry, the Beloved Country ? Paton, Alan
A Farewell to Arms ? Hemingway, Ernest
Freedom Road ? Fast, Howard
The Grapes of Wrath ? Steinbeck, John
The Jungle ? Sinclair, Upton
My Antonia ? Cather, Willa
The Red Badge of Courage ? Crane, Stephen
A Tale of Two Cities ? Dickens, Charles
This Strange New Feeling ? Lester, Julius
Science Fiction/Fantasy
1984 ? Orwell, George
2001: A Space Odyssey ? Clarke, Arthur C.
Brave New World ? Huxley, Aldous
Fahrenheit 451 ? Bradbury, Ray
Foundation ? Asimov, Issac
The Lord of the Rings ? Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Martian Chronicles ? Bradbury, Ray
The War of the Worlds ? Wells, H.G.
Watership Down ? Adams, Richard
Folklore/Fairy Tales/Mythology
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights ?
Steinbeck, John
The Adventures of Ulysses ? Evslin, Bernard
Beowulf ? author unknown
Greek Mythology ? Hamilton, Edith
The Iliad ? Homer
Le Morte D?Arthur ? Malory, Sir Thomas
The Metamorphoses ? Ovid
Mules and Men ? Hurston, Zora Neale
North American Indian Mythology ? Burland,
Cottie Arthur
The Odyssey ? Homer
The Once and Future King ? White, T.H.
The Power of Myth ? Campbell, Joseph
Treasury of Irish Folklore ? Colum, Padraic (ed.)
The Way to Rainy Mountain ? Momaday, N. Scott
?The Bean Eaters? ? Brooks, Gwendolyn
Selections from Born of a Woman ? Knightbridge,
The Canterbury Tales ? Chaucer, Geoffrey
?Chicago? ? Sandburg, Carl
Selections from Collected Poems ? Eliot, T. S.
Selections from The Collected Poems ? Plath, Sylvia
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ?
Dickinson, Emily
Selections from Complete Poetical Works ? Lowell,
Selections from The Complete Poetical Works ?
Riley, James Whitcomb
?Easter 1916? and ?Sailing to Byzantium? ? Yeats,
William Butler
?Fish? ? Bishop, Elizabeth
?I Hear America Singing? and ?O Captain! My
Captain!? ? Whitman, Walt
?I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud? ? Wordsworth,
?In Memoriam? ? Tennyson, Alfred Lord
?One More Round? and ?Human Family? ?
Angelou, Maya
Selections from Poems of Pablo Neruda ? Neruda,
Selections from The Poetical Works ? Shelley, Percy
Selections from The Poetry of Robert Frost ? Frost,
40 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Indiana
?The Raven? and ?Annabel Lee? ? Poe, Edgar Allan
?The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? ? Coleridge,
Samuel Taylor
Selections from Selected Poems ? Heaney, Seamus
Selections from Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
? Hughes, Langston
Selections from Sonnets ? Keats, John
Selections from Sonnets ? Shakespeare, William
Selections from Spoon River Anthology ? Masters,
Edgar Lee
?The Tiger? and ?The Lamb? ? Blake, William
?To Freedom? and ?This Life? ? Dove, Rita
Treasury of Great Poems ? Untermeyer, Louis (ed.)
Short Stories
?Bartleby the Scrivener? ? Melville, Herman
Selections from The Best Short Stories ? Dreiser,
Selections from The Collected Short Stories ? Welty,
?The Egg? ? Anderson, Sherwood
?Gift of the Magi? ? Henry, O.
?The Lady or the Tiger? ? Stockton, Frank
?The Life You Save May Be Your Own? ? O?Connor,
?The Lottery? ? Jackson, Shirley
?The Red Convertible? ? Erdich, Louise
?The Richer, the Poorer? ? West, Dorothy
Selections from Short Stories ? Chekhov, Anton
?The Story of Poe? ? Ade, George
Selections from Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
? Poe, Edgar Allan
?Two or Three Things I Know for Sure? ? Allison,
?What Means Switch?? ? Jen, Gish
?Where Have You Been, Where Are You Going?? ?
Oates, Joyce Carol
?The White Heron? ? Jewett, Sarah Orne
?Young Goodman Brown? ? Hawthorne, Nathaniel
?Antigone? ? Sophocles
?The Crucible? ? Miller, Arthur
?Death of a Salesman? ? Miller, Arthur
?A Doll?s House? ? Ibsen, Henrik
?Fences? ? Wilson, August
?The Glass Menagerie? ? Williams, Tennessee
?Hamlet? ? Shakespeare, William
?Julius Caesar? ? Shakespeare, William
?Macbeth? ? Shakespeare, William
?Oedipus Rex? ? Sophocles
?Pygmalion? ? Shaw, George Bernard
?A Raisin in the Sun? ? Hansberry, Lorraine
?Romeo and Juliet? ? Shakespeare, William
?The Tempest? ? Shakespeare, William
?Twelve Angry Men? ? Rose, Reginald
?Waiting for Godot? ? Beckett, Samuel
Essays and Speeches
?Choice: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.? ?
Walker, Alice
?Day of Infamy? ? Roosevelt, Franklin D.
?The Declaration of Independence? ? Jefferson,
?The Fire Next Time? ? Baldwin, James
?Floyd Patterson: The Essence of a Competitor? ?
Oates, Joyce Carol
?The Gettysburg Address? ? Lincoln, Abraham
?House Divided? ? Lincoln, Abraham
?I Have a Dream? ? King, Martin Luther, Jr.
41 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
?I Will Fight No More Forever? ? Chief Joseph
Inaugural Address, 1961 ? Kennedy, John F.
?Letter from Birmingham Jail? ? King, Martin
Luther, Jr.
Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1950 ? Faulkner,
Selections from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek ? Dillard,
?Self-Reliance? ? Emerson, Ralph Waldo
?Sharing the American Dream? ? Powell, Colin
Selections from A Small Place ? Kincaid, Jamaica
?Straw Into Gold? ? Cisneros, Sandra
?We Will Never Surrender? ? Churchill, Winston
Nonfiction: Science, Social Studies,
and Mathematics
The Americans: The National Experience ?
Boorstin, Daniel
The Assassination of Lincoln: History and Myth ?
Lewis, Lloyd
Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays ?
Hawking, Stephen
Black Like Me ? Griffin, John Howard
A Brief History of Time ? Hawking, Stephen
Coming of Age in the Milky Way ? Ferris, Timothy
Connections ? Burke, James
Cosmos ? Sagan, Carl
The Creators ? Boorstin, Daniel
The Day the Universe Changed ? Burke, James
Democracy in America ? de Tocqueville, Alexis
The Discoverers ? Boorstin, Daniel
The Einstein Paradox and Other Mysteries Solved by
Sherlock Holmes ? Bruce, Colin
Ernie?s War: The Best of Ernie Pyle?s World War II
Dispatches ? Nichols, David (ed.)
Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build the
Transcontinental Railroad ? Blumberg, Rhoda
HerStory: Women Who Changed the World ? Ashby,
Ruth (ed.)
A Hoosier Holiday ? Dreiser, Theodore
The Immense Journey ? Eiseley, Loren
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse ? Mathiessen, Peter
Lisa and David ? Rubin, Theodore
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher ?
Thomas, Lewis
The Mathematical Tourist: Snapshots of Modern
Mathematics ? Peterson, Ivars
The Meaning of It All ? Feynman, Richard
The Mind?s Sky: Human Intelligence in a Cosmic
Context ? Ferris, Timothy
The Mismeasure of Man ? Gould, Steven Jay
New Kids in Town: Oral Histories of Immigrant
Teens ? Bode, Janet
Now Is Your Time! The African American Struggle for
Freedom? Myers, Walter Dean
On Growth and Form ? Thompson, D?Arcy
Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the
Great Depression ? Uys, Errol Lincoln
Roots ? Haley, Alex
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People ? Covey,
Shakespeare?s Theatre ? Morley, Jacqueline
Silent Spring ? Carson, Rachel
Tell Them We Remember: Story of the Holocaust ?
Bachrach, Susan D.
The Third Wave ? Toffler, Alvin
Thursday?s Universe ? Bartusiak, Marcia
Time?s Arrows ? Morris, Richard
To Be a Slave ? Lester, Julius
The World of Mathematics ? Newman, James
42 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Indiana
Growing Up ? Baker, Russell
Alexander Graham Bell: Making Connections ?
Pasachoff, Naomi
John Wilkes Booth: A Sister?s Memoir ? Clarke, Asia
Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille ?
Freedman, Russell
The Childhood Story of Christy Brown [previously
My Left Foot] ? Brown, Christy
Madame Curie ? Curie, Eve
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ?
Douglass, Frederick
Barrio Boy ? Galarza, Ernesto
Gandhi, Great Soul ? Severance, John
A Mathematician?s Apology ? Hardy, G. H.
The Story of My Life ? Keller, Helen
The Woman Warrior ? Kingston, Maxine Hong
Home Before Night ? Leonard, Hugh
Winning Ways: A Photohistory of Women in Sports ?
Macy, Sue
Blue Highways ? Moon, William Least Heat
Franklin Delano Roosevelt ? Freedman, Russell
Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony ? Ward, Geoffrey
Maria Tallchief: America?s Prima Ballerina ?
Tallchief, Maria
Walden ? Thoreau, Henry David
Night ? Wiesel, Elie
One Writer?s Beginnings ? Welty, Eudora
Passion to Know: The Scientists of Today?s World ?
Wilson, Mitchell
The Right Stuff ? Wolfe, Tom
Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth ?
Wright, Richard
Audubon Magazine
Business Week
Consumer Reports
National Geographic
Natural History
The New York Times
Popular Mechanics
Scientific American
Sports Illustrated
The Wall Street Journal
Reference Tools (in printed and
electronic format)
Atlas/Almanac, such as:
Printed: National Geographic Atlas of the World;
World Almanac and Book of Facts 2000
CD-ROM: Microsoft Encarta Interactive World
Atlas 2001
Online: The World Factbook
Dictionary, such as:
Printed: DK Illustrated Oxford Dictionary;
Merriam-Webster?s Collegiate Dictionary; Oxford
English Dictionary
CD-ROM: Merriam-Webster?s Collegiate Dictionary
Online: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Encyclopedia, such as:
Printed: Compton?s Encyclopedia
CD-ROM: Encyclopedia Britannica 2000 Deluxe;
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2001
43 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Online: Encarta (;
Britannica (
Other Resources, such as:
Printed: Bartlett?s Familiar Quotations; College
Placement Annual; Scientists: The Lives and Works
of 150 Scientists; United States Government
Manual; Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States
Online: Internet Public Library Reference Center
(; Research-It! (
Thesaurus, such as:
Printed: The American Heritage Student Thesaurus;
Bartlett?s Roget?s Thesaurus
CD-ROM: Merriam-Webster?s Collegiate Thesaurus
Online: Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
Informational, Technical, and Practical
Applications: job, college admission, college financial
aid, consumer loan, credit card
Help-Wanted Advertisements
Indiana Drivers Manual
Lease/Rental Agreements: apartment, automobile
Letters: personal, business
Loan Agreements: credit card, consumer loan
Manuals: computer, electronic equipment, appliance,
Medical Records
Military Enrollment Forms
Periodic Financial Statements: checking account,
savings account, loan, credit card
Reports: stock and mutual funds, corporate financial,
local/state/federal government
Travel Schedules and Itineraries
Voter Registration and Ballots
Web Disclaimer: Due to the ever-changing nature
of Internet materials, parents and educators are
strongly advised to monitor the suggested Web
sites to ensure that content remains appropriate
for students.
Questions? The Indiana Reading List is a suggested
reading resource for students and teachers. Check
with your local school to see if there is a required
reading list. For additional information or questions,
call 1.888.544.7837 or visit the Department of
Education?s Web site:
44 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Massachusetts
Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum
Framework June 2001
Appendix A: Suggested Authors, Illustrators, and Works Reflecting Our Common
Literary and Cultural Heritage
All American students should acquire knowledge of a range of literary works reflecting a common
literary heritage that goes back thousands of years to the ancient world. In addition, all students
should become familiar with some of the outstanding works in the rich body of literature that is
their particular heritage in the English-speaking world. This includes the first literature in the world
created just for children?its authors viewing childhood as a special period in life. The suggestions
in Appendix A constitute a core list of those authors, illustrators, or works that comprise the literary
and intellectual capital drawn on by those who write in English, whether for novels, poems, nonfiction,
newspapers, or public speeches, in this country or elsewhere. Knowledge of these authors,
illustrators, and works in their original, adapted, or revised editions will contribute significantly to
a student?s ability to understand literary allusions and participate effectively in our common civic
culture. Many more suggested contemporary authors, illustrators, and works from around the
world are included in Appendix B. This list includes the many excellent writers and illustrators of
children?s books of recent years.*
In planning a curriculum, it is important to balance depth with breadth. As teachers in schools and
districts work with this curriculum framework to develop literature units, they will often combine
works from the two lists into thematic units. Exemplary curriculum is always evolving?we urge districts
to take initiative to create programs meeting the needs of their students.
The lists of suggested authors and works in Appendices A and B are organized by the grade spans of
PreK?2, 3?4, 5?8 and 9?12. Certain key works or authors are repeated in adjoining grade spans, giving
teachers the option to match individual students with the books that suit their interests and developmental
levels. The decision to present a Grades 9?12 list (as opposed to Grades 9?10 and 11?12)
stems from the recognition that teachers should be free to choose selections that challenge, but do not
overwhelm, their students.
Note: For the purposes of this report we have included only the lists of authors and works corresponding to
the 9?12 grade span. The full Appendix A, including authors and works corresponding to the PreK?2, 3?4 and
5?8 grade spans, is available on the Massachusetts Department of Education Web site
*Selections for PreK?8 on both Appendix A and Appendix B were reviewed by Roger Sutton, Editor-in-Chief, and Martha
V. Parravano, Senior Editor of the Horn Book Magazine.We gratefully acknowledge their contributions.
45 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
In addition to the 5?8 Selections:
Traditional and Classical literature:
A higher level rereading of
Greek mythology
Substantial selections from epic
poetry: Homer?s Odyssey and
Iliad; Virgil?s Aeneid
Classical Greek drama
(Aeschylus, Sophocles,
The Bible as literature:
Genesis, Ten Commandments,
selected psalms and proverbs,
Job, Sermon on the Mount,
selected parables
1. American Literature
Historical Documents of
Literary and Philosophical
Abraham Lincoln?s Gettysburg
The Declaration of Independence
Martin Luther King Jr.?s ?Letter
from Birmingham Jail? or his
?I Have a Dream? speech
John F. Kennedy?s inaugural
William Faulkner?s Nobel Prize
Important Writers of the 18th
and 19th Centuries:
James Fenimore Cooper
Stephen Crane
Emily Dickinson
Frederick Douglass
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Benjamin Franklin
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Henry James
Thomas Jefferson
Herman Melville
Edgar Allan Poe
Henry David Thoreau
Mark Twain
Phillis Wheatley
Walt Whitman
Important Writers of the First
Half of the 20th Century:
Henry Adams
James Baldwin
Arna Bontemps
Willa Cather
Kate Chopin
Countee Cullen
Ralph Ellison
William Faulkner
Jessie Fauset
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Charlotte Gilman
Ernest Hemingway
O. Henry
Langston Hughes
Zora Neale Hurston
Sarah Orne Jewett
James Weldon Johnson
Flannery O?Connor
Gertrude Stein
John Steinbeck
James Thurber
Jean Toomer
Booker T. Washington
Edith Wharton
Richard Wright
In addition to the PreK?8
Lorraine Hansberry
Lillian Hellman
Arthur Miller
Eugene O?Neill
Thornton Wilder
Tennessee Williams
August Wilson
Elizabeth Bishop
e e cummings
Robert Frost
T. S. Eliot
Robinson Jeffers
Amy Lowell
Robert Lowell
A. Grades 9?12
46 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Massachusetts
Edgar Lee Masters
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Marianne Moore
Sylvia Plath
Ezra Pound
John Crowe Ransom
Edward Arlington Robinson
Theodore Roethke
Wallace Stevens
Alan Tate
Sara Teasdale
William Carlos Williams
Immigrant Experience:
Works about the European, South
and East Asian, Caribbean,
Central American, and South
American immigrant experience
(Ole Rolvaag, Younghill Kang,
Abraham Cahan), the experiences
of Native Americans, and
slave narratives (Harriet Jacobs).
2. British and European
Selections from Chaucer?s
Canterbury Tales
Epic poetry: Dante and John
Sonnets: William Shakespeare,
John Milton, Edmund Spenser
Metaphysical poetry: John
Donne, George Herbert,
Andrew Marvell
Romantic poets: William Blake,
Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor
Coleridge, John Keats, Percy
Bysshe Shelley, William
Victorian poetry: Matthew
Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, Robert Browning,
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alfred
Lord Tennyson
Twentieth Century: W. H.
Auden, A. E. Housman, Dylan
Thomas, William Butler Yeats
William Shakespeare
Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen,
George Bernard Shaw, Oscar
British essays:
Joseph Addison
Sir Francis Bacon
Samuel Johnson in ?The
Charles Lamb
George Orwell
Leonard Woolf
Enlightenment essays:
Diderot and other
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Selections from an early novel:
Miguel de Cervantes? Don
Henry Fielding?s Joseph
Oliver Goldsmith?s The Vicar of
Selections from John Bunyan?s
allegory, Pilgrim?s Progress
Satire, or mock epic, verse or
prose: Lord Byron, Alexander
Pope, Jonathan Swift
19th century novels:
Jane Austen
Emily Bront?
Joseph Conrad
Charles Dickens
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
George Eliot
Thomas Hardy
Victor Hugo
Mary Shelley
Leo Tolstoy
20th century novels:
Albert Camus
James Joyce
Franz Kafka
D. H. Lawrence
Jean-Paul Sartre
Virginia Woolf
47 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum
Framework June 2001
Appendix B: Suggested Authors and Illustrators of Contemporary American
Literature and World Literature
All students should be familiar with American authors and illustrators of the present and those who
established their reputations after the end of World War II, as well as important writers from around
the world, both historical and contemporary. During the last half of the 20th century, the publishing
industry in the United States devoted increasing resources to children?s and young adult literature
created by writers and illustrators from a variety of backgrounds. Many newer anthologies and
textbooks offer excellent selections of contemporary and world literature.
As they choose works for class reading or suggest books for independent reading, teachers should
ensure that their students are both engaged and appropriately challenged by their selections. The
lists following are organized by grade clusters PreK?2, 3?4, 5?8 and 9?12, but these divisions are far
from rigid, particularly for the elementary and middle grades. Many contemporary authors write
stories, poetry, and non-fiction for very young children, for those in the middle grades, and for
adults as well. As children become independent readers, they often are eager and ready to read
authors that may be listed at a higher level. As suggested earlier in the Reading and Literature Strand
of this framework, teachers and librarians need to be good matchmakers, capable of getting the right
books into a child?s hands at the right time.
The lists below are provided as a starting point; they are necessarily incomplete, because excellent
new writers appear every year. As all English teachers know, some authors have written many works,
not all of which are of equally high quality. We expect teachers to use their literary judgment in
selecting any particular work. It is hoped that teachers will find here many authors with whose
works they are already familiar, and will be introduced to yet others. A comprehensive literature
curriculum balances these authors and illustrators with those found in Appendix A.
Note: For the purposes of this report we have included only the lists of authors and works corresponding to
the 9?12 grade cluster. The full Appendix B, including authors and works corresponding to the PreK?2, 3?4 and
5?8 grade clusters, is available on the Massachusetts Department of Education Web site
48 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Massachusetts
Contemporary American
James Agee
Maya Angelou
Saul Bellow
Pearl Buck
Raymond Carver
John Cheever
Sandra Cisneros
Arthur C. Clarke
E. L. Doctorow
Louise Erdrich
Nicholas Gage
Ernest K. Gaines
Alex Haley
Joseph Heller
William Hoffman
John Irving
William Kennedy
Ken Kesey
Jamaica Kincaid
Maxine Hong Kingston
Jon Krakauer
Harper Lee
Bernard Malamud
Carson McCullers
Toni Morrison
Joyce Carol Oates
Tim O?Brien
Edwin O?Connor
Cynthia Ozick
Chaim Potok
Reynolds Price
Annie Proulx
Ayn Rand
Richard Rodriguez
Leo Rosten
J. D. Salinger
William Saroyan
May Sarton
Jane Smiley
Betty Smith
Wallace Stegner
Amy Tan
Anne Tyler
John Updike
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Alice Walker
Robert Penn Warren
Eudora Welty
Thomas Wolfe
Tobias Wolff
Anzia Yezierska
Claribel Alegria
Julia Alvarez
A. R. Ammons
Maya Angelou
John Ashberry
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
Elizabeth Bishop
Robert Bly
Louise Bogan
Arna Bontemps
Gwendolyn Brooks
Sterling Brown
Hayden Carruth
J. V. Cunningham
Rita Dove
Alan Dugan
Richard Eberhart
Martin Espada
Allen Ginsberg
Louise Gluck
John Haines
Donald Hall
Robert Hayden
Anthony Hecht
Randall Jarrell
June Jordan
Galway Kinnell
Stanley Kunitz
Philip Levine
Audrey Lord
Amy Lowell
Robert Lowell
Louis MacNeice
James Merrill
Mary Tall Mountain
Sylvia Plath
Anna Quindlen
Ishmael Reed
Adrienne Rich
Theodore Roethke
Grades 9?12
49 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Anne Sexton
Karl Shapiro
Gary Snyder
William Stafford
Mark Strand
May Swenson
Margaret Walker
Richard Wilbur
Charles Wright
Elinor Wylie
(Contemporary and
Edward Abbey
Susan B. Anthony
Russell Baker
Ambrose Bierce
Carol Bly
Dee Brown
Art Buchwald
William F. Buckley
Rachel Carson
Margaret Cheney
Marilyn Chin
Stanley Crouch
Joan Didion
Annie Dillard
W. E. B. Du Bois
Gretel Ehrlich
Loren Eiseley
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Doris Goodwin
Stephen Jay Gould
John Gunther
John Hersey
Edward Hoagland
Helen Keller
William Least Heat Moon
Barry Lopez
J. Anthony Lukas
Mary McCarthy
Edward McClanahan
David McCullough
John McPhee
William Manchester
H. L. Mencken
N. Scott Momaday
Samuel Eliot Morison
Lance Morrow
Bill Moyers
John Muir
Anna Quindlen
Chet Raymo
Richard Rodriguez
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Carl Sagan
William Shirer
Shelby Steele
Lewis Thomas
Cornell West
Walter Muir Whitehill
Malcolm X
Edward Albee
Robert Bolt
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E.
Archibald MacLeish
Terrence Rattigan
Ntozake Shange
Neil Simon
Orson Welles
50 E N G L I S H B E N C H M A R K S
Sample Reading List ? Massachusetts
Historical and
Contemporary World
Chinua Achebe
S. Y. Agnon
Ilse Aichinger
Isabel Allende
Jerzy Andrzejewski
Margaret Atwood
Isaac Babel
James Berry
Heinrich B?l
Jorge Luis Borges
Mikhail Bulgakov
Dino Buzzati
A.S. Byatt
Italo Calvino
Karl Capek
Carlo Cassola
Camillo Jose Cela
Julio Cortazar
Isak Dinesen
E. M. Forster
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Nikolai Gogol
William Golding
Robert Graves
Hermann Hesse
Wolfgang Hildesheimer
Aldous Huxley
Kazuo Ishiguro
Yuri Kazakov
Milan Kundera
Stanislaw Lem
Primo Levi
Jacov Lind
Clarice Lispector
Naguib Mahfouz
Thomas Mann
Alberto Moravia
Mordecai Richler
Alice Munro
Vladimir Nabokov
V. S. Naipaul
Alan Paton
Cesar Pavese
Santha Rama Rau
Rainer Maria Rilke
Ignazio Silone
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Niccolo Tucci
Mario Vargas-Llosa
Elie Wiesel
Emile Zola
Bella Akhmadulina
Anna Akhmatova
Rafael Alberti
Josif Brodsky
Constantine Cavafis
Odysseus Elytis
Federico Garc? Lorca
Seamus Heaney
Ted Hughes
Philip Larkin
Czeslaw Milosz
Gabriela Mistral
Pablo Neruda
Octavio Paz
Jacques Pr?ert
Alexander Pushkin
Salvatore Quasimodo
Juan Ramon Ramirez
Arthur Rimbaud
Pierre de Ronsard
George Seferis
L?pold S?ar Senghor
Wole Soyinka
Marina Tsvetaeva
Paul Verlaine
Andrei Voznesensky
Derek Walcott
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Winston Churchill
Mahatma Gandhi
Stephen Hawking
Arthur Koestler
Margaret Laurence
Michel de Montaigne
Shiva Naipaul
Octavio Paz
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Alexis de Tocqueville
Rebecca West
Marguerite Yourcenar
Grades 9?12
51 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Jean Anouilh
Fernando Arrabal
Samuel Beckett
Bertolt Brecht
Albert Camus
Jean Cocteau
Athol Fugard
Jean Giraudoux
Eugene Ionesco
John Mortimer
Sean O?Casey
John Osborne
Harold Pinter
Luigi Pirandello
Jean-Paul Sartre
John Millington Synge
Religious Literature:
Analects of Confucius
The Koran
Tao Te Ching
Book of the Hopi
Zen parables
Buddhist scripture

Mathematics Benchmarks
54 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
The American Diploma Project (ADP) college and workplace readiness benchmarks
for mathematics are organized into four strands:
I. Number Sense and Numerical
Number sense is the cornerstone for mathematics
in everyday life. Comparing prices,
deciding whether to buy or lease a car, estimating
tax on a purchase, balancing a
checkbook, understanding salary increases
in the context of annual inflation rates,
deciding where to invest savings and understanding
much of what appears in a daily
newspaper all require understanding of and
facility with quantified information. At the
heart of the study of numbers is an appreciation
of how numbers are used to represent
real world objects and their attributes.
Working with numbers requires an understanding
of the relationships between numbers,
the magnitude of numbers and when
to use which operation, as well as the ability
to make reasonable estimations and mental
J. Algebra
Mathematicians regularly identify sources
of change, distinguish patterns in that
change and seek multiple representations
? verbal, symbolic, numeric and graphic
? to express what transpires. The language
of algebra provides a means of operating
with these concepts at an abstract level and
extending specific examples to broad generalizations.
Predicting savings based on a
rate of interest, projecting business revenues,
knowing how costs will increase as
the square footage of a building increases
and estimating future world populations
based on known population growth rates
are all possible once a pattern has been
identified. Such relationships can be
described in terms of what has changed and
how it has changed.
K. Geometry
Geometry is an ancient mathematical
endeavor, dating back to 300 B.C. and
Euclid. Euclidean geometry, a milestone in
the development of mathematics and other
academic disciplines, is the study of points,
lines, planes and other geometric figures,
resulting in a logical system that offers students
a way to formulate and test hypotheses
and to justify arguments in formal and
informal ways. Geometry also provides students
with an understanding of the structure
of space and spatial relations, such as
resolving the best way to fit an oversized
object through a door, deciding how to
design a house for maximum living space
with minimal timber costs and comparing
the amount of a product contained in packages
of different shapes. Geometric measurement
is the basis by which we quantify
the world. Building a house, reading a map
and assessing blood pressure all require
some form of measurement. Through
55 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
measurement, students develop respect for
precision and accuracy. They also learn to
spot potential and actual errors in those
measurements and learn how those errors
may be compounded in computations.
L. Data Interpretation, Statistics
and Probability
Statistical data from opinion polls and
market research are integral to informing
business decisions and governmental policies.
Many jobs require workers who are
able to analyze, interpret and describe data
quickly and to create visual representations
of data ? charts, graphs, diagrams ?
to help get a point across succinctly and
accurately. A free society is dependent on
its citizens understanding information,
evaluating claims presented as facts,
detecting misrepresentations and distortions,
and making sound judgments based
on available data. When students learn to
make predictions and develop and evaluate
inferences from data, they are able to
rely on data to answer such questions as
?Will a college degree improve my earnings??
or ?Which kinds of college degrees
will give me access to the most opportunities
and the highest pay?? The ability to
apply basic concepts of probability is connected
to the ability to interpret data. The
world is filled with uncertainties, and
probability is one way of addressing
risk in daily living and reducing those
A Note about Mathematical Reasoning
The study of mathematics is an exercise in reasoning. Beyond acquiring
procedural mathematical skills with their clear methods and boundaries,
students need to master the more subjective skills of reading, interpreting,
representing and ?mathematicizing? a problem. As college students and
employees, high school graduates will need to use mathematics in contexts
quite different from the high school classroom. They will need to make
judgments about what problem needs to be solved and, therefore, about
which operations and procedures to apply. Woven throughout the four
domains of mathematics ? Number Sense and Numerical Operations;
Algebra; Geometry; and Data Interpretation, Statistics and Probability ?
are the following mathematical reasoning skills:
n Using inductive and deductive reasoning to arrive at valid
n Using multiple representations (literal, symbolic, graphic) to represent
problems and solutions.
n Understanding the role of definitions, proofs and counterexamples
in mathematical reasoning; constructing simple
n Using the special symbols of mathematics correctly and precisely.
n Recognizing when an estimate or approximation is more appropriate
than an exact answer and understanding the limits on
precision of approximations.
n Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, identifying
missing information, and either finding what is needed or making
appropriate estimates.
n Recognizing and using the process of mathematical modeling:
recognizing and clarifying mathematical structures that are
embedded in other contexts, formulating a problem in mathematical
terms, using mathematical strategies to reach a solution,
and interpreting the solution in the context of the original
n When solving problems, thinking ahead about strategy, testing
ideas with special cases, trying different approaches, checking
for errors and reasonableness of solutions as a regular part of routine
work, and devising independent ways to verify results.
n Shifting regularly between the specific and the general, using
examples to understand general ideas, and extending specific
results to more general cases to gain insight.
Mathematics Benchmarks
56 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
Because major areas of study at postsecondary
institutions have dierent prerequisites,
certain mathematics benchmarks
are marked with an asterisk (*). These
asterisked benchmarks represent content
that is recommended for all students, but
is required for those students who plan to
take calculus in college, a requisite for
mathematics and many mathematicsintensive
I. Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
The high school graduate can:
I1. Compute with rational numbers
fluently and accurately without a
I1.1. Add, subtract, multiply and divide
integers, fractions and decimals.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1, 2, 3 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #1 and 2)
Example: 3 ?1.2 = 15/4 ?6/5 =
15/4 ?5/6 = 75/24 = 25/8 = 3 = 3.125
Example: Estimate the total of a column
of 10 to 15 numbers (typically, dollars
and cents) and add them manually (e.g.,
by grouping 10s).
I1.2. Calculate and apply ratios,
proportions, rates and percentages to
solve problems.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1, 2, 3 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
Example: In the last four quarters, the
returns reported for your mutual fund
were, in succession, +2.33%, -1.75%,
+3.02%, -2.54%. What was your return
for the year?
I1.3. Use the correct order of operations
to evaluate arithmetic expressions,
including those containing
I1.4. Explain and apply basic number
theory concepts such as prime number,
factor, divisibility, least common multiple
and greatest common divisor.
I1.5. Multiply and divide numbers
expressed in scientific notation.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
Example: Multiply 3.6 ?10? by 4.5 ?104
to obtain 16.2 ?107, adjust to conform
first to the standard form for scientific
notation to obtain 1.62 ?108, and
round to the appropriate number of
significant digits as determined by the
original equation to obtain 1.6 ?108.
57 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
I2. Recognize and apply magnitude
(absolute value) and ordering of real
I2.1. Locate the position of a number on
the number line, know that its distance
from the origin is its absolute value and
know that the distance between two
numbers on the number line is the
absolute value of their di erence.
I2.2. Determine the relative position
on the number line of numbers and
the relative magnitude of numbers
expressed in fractional form, in decimal
form, as roots or in scientific notation.
Example: Determine which of the two
fractions -3/5 and -4/7 is larger and
which has greater magnitude without
using a calculator.
Example: Order the following numbers
from least to greatest without using a
Example: Approximate how much larger
6 ?104 is than 3 ?10-5 and check that
approximation by dividing 6 ?104 by
3 ?10-5 to obtain (6 ?104) ?(3 ?10-5 ) =
2 ?109 to see that 6 ?104 is two billion
times as large as 3 ?10-5.
I3. Understand that to solve certain
problems and equations, number
systems need to be extended from
whole numbers to the set of all integers
(positive, negative and zero),
from integers to rational numbers,
from rational numbers to real numbers
(rational and irrational numbers)
and from real numbers to complex
numbers; define and give examples of
each of these types of numbers.
(Associated Workplace Task: #3)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #1 and 2)
Note: Negative integers are required to
measure quantities such as temperatures
below zero, rational numbers are
required to measure quantities that are
not integers such as the length of each
piece of a 5-foot wire cut into two equal
pieces, irrational numbers are required
to measure quantities such as the length
of the diagonal of a unit square, and
complex numbers are required to solve
equations such as x? + 1 = 0.
I4. Understand the capabilities and
the limitations of calculators and
computers in solving problems:
I4.1. Use calculators appropriately and
make estimations without a calculator
regularly to detect potential errors.
(Associated Workplace Task: #2)
12, 3, 18 3 , 2, 15, 4.
I4.2. Use graphing calculators and
computer spreadsheets.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3 and 6)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
J. Algebra
The high school graduate can:
J1. Perform basic operations on
algebraic expressions fluently and
J1.1. Understand the properties of
integer exponents and roots and apply
these properties to simplify algebraic
Example: Simplify the expression
to obtain either or
J1.2. * Understand the properties of
rational exponents and apply these
properties to simplify algebraic
Example: Explain why
for any negative number x.
! c 2m ( (
m ( (
x 2 3 ! x = x
3 ! x
2 = x
6 = x7 6 =x x 6
J1.3. Add, subtract and multiply polynomials;
divide a polynomial by a lowdegree
Example: Divide x? - 8 by x - 2 to obtain
x? + 2x + 4; divide x4 - 5x? - 2x by x? to
obtain x? - 5x - .
Example: Divide x? - x? + x - 2 by x? + 1
to obtain x - 1 + and understand
that also means that
(x? + 1)(x - 1) - 1 = x? - x? + x - 2.
J1.4. Factor polynomials by removing
the greatest common factor; factor
quadratic polynomials.
Example: Remove the greatest common
factor 3x?y from 12x?y? + 9x4y + 6x5y?
to obtain the factorization
3x?y(4y + 3x + 2x?y?).
Example: Factor x? - 36, 4x? + 12xy + 9y?
and x? - 5x - 6 to obtain (x + 6)(x - 6),
(2x + 3y)? and (x - 6)(x + 1) respectively.
J1.5. Add, subtract, multiply, divide and
simplify rational expressions.
(Associated Workplace Task: #1)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #1 and 2)
x? + 1
Mathematics Benchmarks
58 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
J2. Understand functions, their
representations and their properties:
J2.1. Recognize whether a relationship
given in symbolic or graphical form is a
J2.2. * Determine the domain of a
function represented in either
symbolic or graphical form.
Example: Determine that the domain of
the function can be
written in interval form as and the
domain of the function
contains all real numbers except
3 and -3.
J2.3. Understand functional notation
and evaluate a function at a specified
point in its domain.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
J2.4. * Combine functions by composition,
as well as by addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division.
J2.5. * Identify whether a function
has an inverse and when functions are
inverses of each other; explain why the
graph of a function and its inverse are
reflections of one another over the
line y = x.
Example: Express as a single
fraction to obtain .
Example: Simplify
to obtain .
J1.6. Evaluate polynomial and
rational expressions and expressions
containing radicals and absolute values
at specified values of their variables.
J1.7. * Derive and use the formulas for
the general term and summation of
finite arithmetic and geometric series;
find the sum of an infinite geometric
series whose common ratio, r, is in the
interval (-1, 1).
Example: Derive the formula for the sum
S of the first N terms of a geometric
series whose first term is 1 and common
ratio is r to obtain
S = 1 + r + r? + r? +?+ r = .
Example: Determine the 126 term of
the arithmetic sequence whose third
term is 5 and seventh term is 29.
x + y
a? -b?

a +b
3a(a -b)
1- rN
1- r
N - 1
f ( x) = x -2
g x ( ) =
x2- 9
59 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
J2.6. * Know that the inverse of an
exponential function is a logarithm,
prove basic properties of a logarithm
using properties of its inverse and apply
those properties to solve problems.
J3. Apply basic algebraic operations
to solve equations and inequalities:
J3.1. Solve linear equations and
inequalities in one variable including
those involving the absolute value of a
linear function.
Example: The length L of a spring in
centimeters is given by ,
where F is the applied force in dynes.
What force F will produce a spring length
of 14 centimeters?
Example: A pipe is to be cut to a length of
5 meters accurate to within a tenth of a
centimeter. Recognize that an acceptable
length x (in meters) of the pipe satisfies
the inequality .
J3.2. Solve an equation involving several
variables for one variable in terms of the
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
Example: If C represents the temperature
in degrees Celsius and F represents the
temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, then
Solve this equation for F
to obtain
Example: Newton?s law of gravitation
says that the force F exerted by a body
of mass m on a body of mass M is
where G is the gravitational
constant and r is the distance between
the bodies. Solve this equation for r to
obtain .
J3.3. Solve systems of two linear equations
in two variables.
J3.4. * Solve systems of three linear
equations in three variables.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
J3.5. Solve quadratic equations in one
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: Solve x? - x - 6 = 0 by recognizing
that x? - x - 6 = (x - 3)(x + 2) can
be factored to obtain the two solutions
x = 3 and x = -2 .
Example: Solve x? + 4x + 2 = 0 by using
the quadratic formula or by completing
the square.
L =
F +9
| x - 5 | ? 0.001
C =
(F - 32) .
F =
C + 32 .
F =
r =
Mathematics Benchmarks
60 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
J4. Graph a variety of equations and
inequalities in two variables, demonstrate
understanding of the relationships
between the algebraic
properties of an equation and the
geometric properties of its graph,
and interpret a graph:
J4.1. Graph a linear equation and
demonstrate that it has a constant rate
of change.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
J4.2. Understand the relationship
between the coe cients of a linear
equation and the slope and x- and
y-intercepts of its graph.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #3)
J4.3. Understand the relationship
between a solution of a system of two
linear equations in two variables and the
graphs of the corresponding lines.
J4.4. Graph the solution set of a linear
inequality and identify whether the
solution set is an open or a closed
half-plane; graph the solution set
of a system of two or three linear
Example: Graph the solution set of the
system of linear inequalities:
2x + y ? 4
x ?1.
J4.5. Graph a quadratic function and
understand the relationship between
its real zeros and the x-intercepts of
its graph.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: The parabola shown below has
equation y = -x? + 2 and passes through
the points A, B and C. What is the area
of the triangle ABC, rounded to two
decimal places?
J4.6. * Graph ellipses and hyperbolas
whose axes are parallel to the x and y
axes and demonstrate understanding of
the relationship between their standard
algebraic form and their graphical
J4.7. Graph exponential functions and
identify their key characteristics.
Example: Graph the exponential
function y(x) = 2 . Recognize that y(x+1)
is twice as large as y(x) since
y(x + 1) = 2 = 2  2 = 2  y(x).
x x + 1
61 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
Example: How much money must be
invested at 6% annual interest if you
want to have $40,000 in 20 years?
J4.8. Read information and draw
conclusions from graphs; identify properties
of a graph that provide useful
information about the original problem.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #3)
Example: The lifetime of the timing belt
in your car depends on the tensioning
of the belt. The manufacturer specifies
240 N as the proper tension, but the
mechanic working on your car can be
o by as much as 10%. Use the following
graph to estimate the reduction in
the life of the belt that can occur with
this error in tensioning.
100 150 200 250 300
Lifetime (10^3 Hours)
Tension (N)
Belt Lifetime as a Function of Tension
J5. Solve problems by converting
the verbal information given into an
appropriate mathematical model
involving equations or systems of
equations; apply appropriate mathematical
techniques to analyze
these mathematical models; and
interpret the solution obtained in
written form using appropriate
units of measurement:
J5.1. Recognize and solve problems
that can be modeled using a linear
equation in one variable, such as
time/rate/distance problems, percentage
increase or decrease problems, and
ratio and proportion problems.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1 and 2)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
J5.2. Recognize and solve problems
that can be modeled using a system of
two equations in two variables, such as
mixture problems.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
Mathematics Benchmarks
62 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
Example: How long will it take the
balance in your savings account to
double if you earn 1.5% interest
compounded annually?
J5.6. Recognize and solve problems that
can be modeled using a finite geometric
series, such as home mortgage problems
and other compound interest problems.
(Associated Workplace Task: #3)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: How much money will you have
in a retirement fund if you deposit $1,000
each year for 20 years and the interest
rate remains constant at 4%?
J6. * Understand the binomial theorem
and its connections to combinatorics,
Pascal?s triangle and probability.
K. Geometry
The high school graduate can:
K1. Understand the di!erent roles
played by axioms, definitions and
theorems in the logical structure of
mathematics, especially in geometry:
K1.1. Identify, explain the necessity of
and give examples of definitions, axioms
and theorems.
Example: A chemist has available two
solutions of acid. The first solution
contains 12% acid, and the second
solution contains 20% acid. He wants to
mix the two solutions to obtain a 500-
milliliter mixture containing 15% acid.
How many milliliters of each solution
should he mix?
J5.3. Recognize and solve problems that
can be modeled using a quadratic
equation, such as the motion of an
object under the force of gravity.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: A stone is dropped o a cli
660 feet above ground. When will the
stone hit the ground if its height in feet
at time t seconds after it is dropped is
given by h(t) = 660 ? 16  t??
J5.4. Recognize and solve problems that
can be modeled using an exponential
function, such as compound interest
J5.5. * Recognize and solve problems
that can be modeled using an exponential
function but whose solution
requires facility with logarithms, such as
exponential growth and decay problems.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignments: #1 and 2)
63 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
K1.2. State and prove key basic
theorems in geometry such as the
Pythagorean theorem, the sum of the
angles of a triangle is 180 degrees, and
the line joining the midpoints of two
sides of a triangle is parallel to the third
side and half its length.
K1.3. Recognize that there are
geometries, other than Euclidean
geometry, in which the parallel postulate
is not true.
Example: On a globe the lines of longitude
intersect at both the North and
South Poles creating a closed figure
with only two sides; this is an example
of a situation that cannot occur in
Euclidean geometry but does occur in
spherical geometry.
K2. Identify and apply the definitions
related to lines and angles and
use them to prove theorems in
(Euclidean) geometry, solve problems,
and perform basic geometric
constructions using a straight edge
and compass:
K2.1. Identify and apply properties of
and theorems about parallel lines and
use them to prove theorems such as
two lines parallel to a third are parallel
to each other and to perform constructions
such as a line parallel to a given
line through a point not on the line.
K2.2. Identify and apply properties of
and theorems about perpendicular lines
and use them to prove theorems such
as the perpendicular bisectors of line
segments are the set of all points equidistant
from the two end points and to
perform constructions such as the
perpendicular bisector of a line
K2.3. Identify and apply properties of
and theorems about angles and use
them to prove theorems such as two
lines are parallel exactly when the
alternate interior angles they make with
a transversal are equal and to perform
constructions such as the bisector of an
K3. Know the basic theorems about
congruent and similar triangles and
use them to prove additional theorems
and solve problems.
Example:When you set a projector 12
feet from the screen, the image on the
screen measures 8 feet across. What will
the width of the image be if you move
the projector 3 feet further from the
Mathematics Benchmarks
64 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
K4. Know the definitions and basic
properties of a circle and use them to
prove basic theorems and solve
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: A line tangent to a circle is
perpendicular to the line segment from
the center of the circle to the point of
K5. Apply the Pythagorean theorem,
its converse and properties of special
right triangles to solve problems.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: Given the lengths of two sides
of a right triangle, find the length of the
third side.
Example: Given a triangle with side
lengths of 12 and 13 inches, identify the
triangle as acute, right, obtuse or not a
triangle at all for various lengths of the
third side such as 4, 5, 6, 18 or 26 inches.
Justify your answers.
Example: Determine the lengths of the
sides of the special right triangle with
angles 30, 60 and 90 degrees and the
special right triangle with angles 45,
45 and 90 degrees if the length of the
smallest side in each case is 1 meter.
K6. Use rigid motions (compositions
of reflections, translations and
rotations) to determine whether two
geometric figures are congruent and
to create and analyze geometric
Example: Prove the side-angle-side
criterion for showing that two triangles
are congruent.
Example: Analyze tessellations of the
K7. Know about the similarity of
figures and use the scale factor to
solve problems.
Example: Read and extract information
from scale drawings; compute lengths
and areas from scale drawings.
K8. Know that geometric measurements
(length, area, perimeter,
volume) depend on the choice of a
unit and that measurements made on
physical objects are approximations;
calculate the measurements of
common plane and solid geometric
65 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
K8.1. Understand that numerical values
associated with measurements of physical
quantities must be assigned units of
measurement or dimensions; apply such
units correctly in expressions, equations
and problem solutions that involve
measurements; and convert a measurement
using one unit of measurement to
another unit of measurement.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #1 and 2)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #2)
Example: Convert feet per second to
miles per hour, and use dimensional
analysis to verify that the calculation
yields the appropriate measurement unit.
Example: Confirm that the distance
traveled in 45 minutes at the rate of 2.4
meters per second is 6.48 kilometers.
Example: Convert speed of 150 meters
per second to miles per hour.
d =rt = 2.4
?5min ?
= 6.48km
150 = ?
150 meters
1 second
3600 seconds
1 hour
1 mile
1610 meters
K8.2. Determine the perimeter of a
polygon and the circumference of a
circle; the area of a rectangle, a circle, a
triangle and a polygon with more than
four sides by decomposing it into
triangles; the surface area of a prism, a
pyramid, a cone and a sphere; and the
volume of a rectangular box, a prism, a
pyramid, a cone and a sphere.
(Associated Workplace Task: #1)
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example: How much material is removed
when you drill a hole with a diameter
of 2 cm through a block of metal that is
3 cm thick?
K8.3. Know that the e ect of a scale
factor k on length, area and volume is to
multiply each by k, k? and k?, respectively.
Example: Know that a 16" (diameter)
pizza has four times as much pizza as an
8" (diameter) pizza.
K9. Visualize solids and surfaces in
three-dimensional space when given
two-dimensional representations
(e.g., nets, multiple views) and create
two-dimensional representations for
the surfaces of three-dimensional
Mathematics Benchmarks
66 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
K10. Represent geometric objects
and figures algebraically using
coordinates; use algebra to solve
geometric problems:
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
K10.1. Express the intuitive concept
of the ?slant? of a line in terms of the
precise concept of slope, use the coordinates
of two points on a line to define
its slope, and use slope to express the
parallelism and perpendicularity of
K10.2. Describe a line by a linear
Example: Find an equation for the line
containing the points (32, 0) and
(212, 100). If the first coordinate of a
point on this line is 98.6, what is the
second coordinate? Identify the point
on this line where the two coordinates
are the same.
K10.3. Find the distance between two
points using their coordinates and the
Pythagorean theorem.
K10.4. * Find an equation of a circle
given its center and radius and, given
an equation of a circle, find its center
and radius.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
Example:The circle with radius 5 and center
at (1, 0) has equation (x - 1)? + y? = 25.
Example: Transform the quadratic equation
x? + 2x + y? - 4y = 4 into the form
(x + 1 )? + (y - 2)? = 9 by completing the
square; realize that the graph of the
equation is a circle with center at (-1, 2)
and with radius 3.
K11. Understand basic right-triangle
trigonometry and apply it to solve
K11.1. Understand how similarity of
right triangles allows the trigonometric
functions sine, cosine and tangent to be
defined as ratios of sides and be able to
use these functions to solve problems.
(Associated Postsecondary Assignment: #1)
K11.2. Apply the trigonometric functions
sine, cosine and tangent to solve
for an unknown length of a side of a
right triangle, given one of the acute
angles and the length of another side.
Example: Safety regulations require that
the angle between a ladder and the wall
should be between 25 and 30 degrees.
What is the range of safe placements
(distance from the wall) for the bottom
of a 12-foot ladder?Where should the
base of a 20-foot ladder be placed to
satisfy the same safety regulation?
67 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
K11.3. Use the standard formula for the
area of a triangle, A = ?bh, to explain
the area formula, A = ?absinC where a
and b are the lengths of two sides of a
triangle and C is the measure of the
included angle formed by these two
sides, and use it to find the area of a
triangle when given the lengths of two
of its sides and the included angle.
K12. * Know how the trigonometric
functions can be extended to periodic
functions on the real line, derive basic
formulas involving these functions,
and use these functions and formulas
to solve problems:
K12.1. * Know that the trigonometric
functions sine and cosine, and thus all
trigonometric functions, can be
extended to periodic functions on the
real line by defining them as functions
on the unit circle, that radian measure of
an angle between 0 and 360 degrees is
the arc length of the unit circle
subtended by that central angle, and
that by similarity, the arc length s of a
circle of radius r subtended by a central
angle of measure t radians is s = rt.
K12.2. * Know and use the basic identities,
such as sin?(x) + cos?(x) = 1 and
cos = sin and formulas for
sine and cosine, such as addition and
double angle formulas.
Example: Use the identity
sin?(x) + cos?(x) = 1 to determine the
sine of an angle when its cosine is
Example: Use the addition formula to
find the amplitude, period and phase
shift of a cos(wt) + b sin(wt) by expressing
it as c sin (wt+d) for some constants
c and d.
K12.3. * Graph sine, cosine and tangent
as well as their reciprocals, secant,
cosecant and cotangent; identify key
K12.4. * Know and use the law of
cosines and the law of sines to find
missing sides and angles of a triangle.
- x
?x ( )
Mathematics Benchmarks
68 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
L. Data Interpretation,
Statistics and Probability
The high school graduate can:
L1. Explain and apply quantitative
L1.1. Organize and display data using
appropriate methods (including
spreadsheets) to detect patterns and
departures from patterns.
(Associated Workplace Task: #4)
L1.2. Read and interpret tables, charts
and graphs.
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3 and 4)
L1.3. Compute and explain summary
statistics for distributions of data including
measures of center (mean, median)
and spread (range, percentiles, variance,
standard deviation).
L1.4. Compare data sets using graphs
and summary statistics.
Example: Create a box plot of a school?s
test scores for 1995 and for 2000 and ask
what changes occurred in the five years.
L1.5. Create scatter plots, analyze
patterns and describe relationships in
paired data.
L1.6. Know the characteristics of the
Gaussian normal distribution (bellshaped
Example: If a set of data is approximately
normally distributed, know that approximately
95% of the data in the set are
within two standard deviations of the
mean and that approximately 99% of
the data in the set are within three
standard deviations of the mean.
L2. Explain and critique alternative
ways of presenting and using
L2.1. Evaluate reports based on data
published in the media by considering
the source of the data, the design of the
study, and the way the data are
analyzed and displayed.
L2.2. Identify and explain misleading
uses of data.
Example: Explain why the following
graphic misrepresents the data it is
intended to illustrate.
1960 1980
Millions of Tons of Trash
The United States is
producing more trash
80 Million Tons
160 Million Tons
69 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
L2.3. Recognize when arguments
based on data confuse correlation with
Example: Researchers have noticed that
the number of golf courses and the
number of divorces in the United States
are strongly correlated and both have
been increasing over the last several
decades. Can you conclude that the
increasing number of golf courses is
causing the number of divorces to
increase? Explain your answer.
L3. Explain the use of data and
statistical thinking to draw inferences,
make predictions and justify
L3.1. Explain the impact of sampling
methods, bias and the phrasing of
questions asked during data collection
and the conclusions that can rightfully
be made.
L3.2. Design simple experiments or
investigations to collect data to answer
questions of interest.
(Associated Workplace Task: #4)
L3.3. Explain the di erences between
randomized experiments and observational
(Associated Workplace Task: #4)
L3.4. Construct a scatter plot of a set of
paired data, and if it demonstrates a
linear trend, use a graphing calculator to
find the regression line that best fits this
data; recognize that the correlation
coe!cient measures goodness of fit and
explain when it is appropriate to use the
regression line to make predictions.
Example: The following table gives the
winning speeds (in miles per hour) at
the Indianapolis 500 race for 20 years
(Source: The World Almanac). Explain
why it is not appropriate to use the
linear regression equation for these data
to estimate what the winning time was
in 1920 or to predict the winning speed
in 1990.
year 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
(mph) 139.1 140.3 143.1 147.4 151.4
year 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
(mph) 144.3 151.2 152.9 156.9 155.7
year 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
(mph) 157.7 163.5 159.0 158.6 149.2
year 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
(mph) 148.7 161.3 161.4 158.9 142.9
Mathematics Benchmarks
70 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
L4. Explain and apply probability
concepts and calculate simple
L4.1. Explain how probability
quantifies the likelihood that an event
occurs in terms of numbers.
(Associated Workplace Task: #3)
L4.2. Explain how the relative frequency
of a specified outcome of an event can
be used to estimate the probability of
the outcome.
Example: Typically, 35 out of every 100
teenagers in a certain community have
received a tra!c ticket. Of those teenagers
who have received a ticket, 55%
were charged with speeding. What is the
probability that a teenager chosen at
random will have received a speeding
L4.3. Explain how the law of large
numbers can be applied in simple
Example: Toss a fair coin 10 times, record
the number of heads and apply the data
to estimate the probability of getting
heads on a single toss of the coin. Toss
the coin 20 more times, add the results
to the previous data and apply the 30
tosses to estimate the probability of
getting a heads. Toss the coin 30 more
times and make another estimate of the
probability of getting a heads. What can
you observe about the probability as the
number of tosses increases?
L4.4. Apply probability concepts such
as conditional probability and independent
events to calculate simple
Example: A fair coin is tossed three times,
and three heads are obtained. Understand
that the probability of obtaining a
head on the fourth toss is 1/2 because
this event is independent of outcomes
of the three previous tosses.
Example: If two marbles are drawn
randomly one after the other without
replacement from a bag containing 4
red and 6 blue marbles, the probability
that both marbles drawn are red is
because the probability of
drawing a red marble on the second
draw depends, or is conditional upon,
the color of the first marble drawn.
71 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for
all students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
L4.5. Apply probability concepts to
practical situations to make informed
(Associated Workplace Tasks: #3 and 4)
Example: A company has 6 telephone
lines coming into its business. Eciency
experts performed a study for a week
and determined that the following table
could give the number of lines in use at
any one time.
Determine the probability that at most
four lines were in use at one time during
the week.
# of lines
in use
of time
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
0.15 0.10 0.20 0.25 0.15 0.11 0.04
72 M AT H E M A T I C S B E N C H M A R K S
* Benchmarks marked with an asterisk represent content that is recommended for all
students but is required for those students who plan to take calculus in college.
Mathematics Benchmarks
Workplace Tasks
74 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #1
Machine Operator
Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, Tennessee
Manufacturing companies looking to fill machine operator openings need candidates
who possess strong fundamental skills, especially mathematics. The Texas division of
Eastman Chemical has an established company-run Operator Apprenticeship Program to
train new machine operators. Operator apprentices are evaluated on the basis of their
ability to perform tasks that require the ability to solve multiple-step arithmetic problems
and present solutions in the appropriate unit of measure or dimension.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete these tasks are:
Machine setters,
operators and
Median hourly
earnings in 2000
range from
$10.40 to $16.07.
On-the-job. Although
no formal specialized
education is required
for most operating jobs,
employers prefer to hire
applicants with good
basic skills.
jobs in
Employment will be
affected by the rate
of technological
implementation, the
demand for the goods
they produce, the
effects of trade and
the reorganization of
production processes.
Career Outlook
Associated Benchmarks
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
English Language A7
Communication B1
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I1.2
Algebra J1.5, J5.1
Geometry K8.1, K8.2
75 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Max. Level 120?
TASK #3:
Application of Weight and Volume
Ask the apprentice: If you needed to add 300 lbs. of a material to a
mix tank, how would you determine if you had enough room?
n Determine the equivalent of one inch in pounds or gallons. Do
this by draining one inch from the tank weighing the liquid.
(1 in = 25 lbs)
n Divide the specified amount in pounds by the lb/in to get total
inches required.
300 lb ?25 lb/in = 12 in
n Determine the room available in the mix tank. Subtract actual
tank level from maximum tank level.
120 in ? 40 in = 80 in
n Compare to total inches required.
12 inches needed, 80 inches available
TASK #1:
Computing Concentration
Ask the apprentice to mix a solution (#1) of 5 g Peters fertilizer
and 50 g of distilled water.
n Determine the percent concentration-by-weight of this
The basic formula isWeight of the solute divided by the
combined weight of the solute and solvent equals percent
n Example: 5 g ?(5 g + 50 g) = 5 g ?55 g ?0.09 or
9% concentration-by-weight
n Calculate the density of this solution (#1).
Divide the weight by the volume to determine the density in
Ask the apprentice to make a solution (#2) using 10 g of
Peters and 50 g of distilled water.
n Determine the percent concentration-by-weight.
n Ask the apprentice: Why is the concentration-by-weight
of solution #2 not double the concentration-by-weight of
solution #1 since the solute is doubled?
n Ask the apprentice to use the formula to explain.
TASK #2:
Computing Volume and Weight
Ask the apprentice to compute the volume of the liquid in a
rectangular tank.
n Measure the inside dimensions (length, width and actual
depth of the liquid) to the nearest eighth of an inch.
n Multiply length, width and height to get volume in cubic
V = L x W x D = 10 x 153/4 x 28 = 4410 in3
n Convert the volume in in3 to ft3 , lb and gal. (Assume that
the liquid is distilled water.)
There are 12" x 12" x 12" = 1728 in3
so the volume in cubic feet is
V = (4410 in3) ?(1728 in3) = 2.552 ft3.
One cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds so
Weight = (2.552 ft3) x (62.4 lb/ft3) = 159.25 pounds.
The volume can be converted to gallons using
(159.25 lb) ?(8.34 lb/gal) = 19.1 gallons.
n Calculate the weight of the liquid in the tank if it were oil
with a specific gravity of 0.9233.
159.25 lb x 0.9233 = 147.04 pounds
V x
C and
V x
V x
76 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #2
Licensed Nurse
SETON Healthcare Network, Austin, Texas
Nursing is a demanding profession that requires workers to use sophisticated technologies,
administer pharmaceutical agents and communicate effectively with patients from
a wide range of backgrounds. Licensed nurses working for SETON, a network of hospitals
and other medical facilities in central Texas, routinely administer medications in specific
dosages that affect the safety, survival and recovery of patients. The difference
between life and death in many instances depends on the precise calculations of quantities
involving ratios and various units of measurement. Nurses are also called upon to
explain dosage calculations to colleagues and patients in ways that are easily understood.
Median annual
earnings were
$44,840 in
There are three major educational paths
to registered nursing: associate degree in
nursing (ADN), bachelor of science
degree in nursing and diploma. ADN
programs, offered by community and
junior colleges, take about two to three
2.2 million
jobs in
Faster than
Career Outlook
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete these tasks are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6, A7
Communication B1
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I1.2, I4.1
Algebra J5.1
Geometry K8.1
77 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Task #1
The doctor orders Ceclor elixir 25 mg/kg for a child who weighs
20.4 lbs. The available Ceclor elixir contains 250 mg per 5 ml. A
nurse must determine the proper dose for the child.
The nurse converts the child?s weight from standard pounds
(20.4 lbs) to metric kilograms (9.26 kg) and uses a calculator to
quickly calculate a dose of:
575. , 11
26 . 9 25 = ?
This number is clearly too large for a drug dose, so the nurse
must check the calculation by rewriting the equation with
units rather than just with numbers. With units, the calculation
just completed appears as follows:
Since the units in the calculator version are not ml?s, as they
should be, it is easy for the nurse to identify the mistake: The
last term (mg/ml) should have been inverted (ml/mg). So the
nurse must repeat the calculation to obtain the correct dosage:
( ) ?
= ?
mg 2
( ) ml.
63 . 4
26 . 9
= ? ?
Task #2
An advanced practice nurse must teach a diabetic patient who
has been started on an intensive insulin therapy regimen how
to determine the proper dose of insulin to use before a meal.
The patient will be on a regimen of Lantus 20 units at bedtime
and Novolog 5 units before each meal. Before meeting with the
patient, the nurse must review the patient?s records for several
factors needed to perform the dosage calculations.
First, the nurse must know the patient?s ?average?Total Daily
Dose (TDD), the total amount of long-acting and rapid-acting
insulin used in a single day.
n The patient?s regimen of 20 units of Lantus and 5 units of
Novolog before each meal produces a TDD of 35 units.
20 units + x 3 meals = 35 units
Second, the nurse must calculate the patient?s Insulin Sensitivity
Factor, also called the Correction Factor. The Insulin Sensitivity
Factor is a measure of the lowering eect of 1 unit of insulin
on the blood glucose (BG) level in milligrams/deciliter (mg/dl),
and it is determined using the ?1,800 rule?: 1,800 divided by TDD.
After rounding 51.4 mg/dl to the nearest unit, the nurse will
know that 1 unit of insulin will lower the blood glucose (BG) by
51 mg/dl.
Third, the nurse must calculate the Insulin to CHO
(Carbohydrate) Ratio. The Insulin to CHO Ratio indicates how
many grams (gms) of carbohydrate will be oset by 1 unit of
insulin. It is determined using the ?500 rule?: 500 divided by TDD.
dl mg
/ 4 . 51
dl mg
/ 14.3
5 units
After rounding 14.3 gms to the nearest unit, the nurse will
know that the patient will need an additional unit of Novolog
for every 14 grams of carbohydrate consumed (a 1:14 ratio).
With this information and the blood glucose goal of 120 mg/dl,
the nurse teaches the patient to use two formulas to calculate
insulin dosages needed before each meal.
The first formula involves the patient?s actual blood glucose
before the meal (BG), the blood glucose goal of 120 mg/dl (Y)
and the Insulin Sensitivity or Correction Factor (X). For instance,
before lunch, the patient takes a blood glucose reading of 280
The second formula involves the number of grams of carbohydrate
in the patient?s lunch and the number of insulin units
needed. For instance, the patient?s lunch will contain 45 gms of
CHO. Using the Insulin to CHO Ratio:
The combination of these two results means that the patient
will need a dose of 6 units of Novolog before this particular
The formulas are used as a guide and may be modified based
on patient history. For example, if the patient has frequent
hypoglycemia and the nurse?s review of patient records
indicates that the Insulin Sensitivity Factor of 51 will not be safe,
the nurse may round it up to 55 or 60.
Novolog of units 3
/ 51
/ 120 280
- -
dl mg
dl mg
Novolog. of units 3
78 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #3
A national ?name brand? insurance company
Insurance is protection at a price, and actuaries employed by large national insurance companies
use data to set the price for that protection by balancing costs of coverage against
risks to be covered. When new data become available, actuaries must evaluate the impact of
policy adjustments prompted by the data on the cost of future claims and determine if new
pricing is needed. One type of insurance product is a child rider, a low-cost addition to traditional
insurance policies that provides a death benefit for all children in a family under
age 21. The cost of such a policy is sensitive to changes in life-expectancy data. Using calculators
and spreadsheets, an actuary will create mathematical models, calculate the likelihood
of events and use the results to make practical decisions regarding the price of the
child rider. Once the necessary changes to the product price have been made, the actuary
must brief the company?s insurance agents so they are able to explain it to their customers.
Actuaries Median annual
earnings were
$66,590 in 2000.
Bachelor?s degree in mathematics,
actuarial science, statistics
or a business-related
discipline, such as economics,
finance or accounting
jobs in
Slower than
Insurance sales
Median annual
earnings were
$38,750 in 2000.
Bachelor?s degree or high
school graduates with
proved sales experience
jobs in
Slower than
Career Outlook
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6
Communication B6
Research D2
Informational Text F3, F5
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I1.2, I3, I4.2
Algebra J5.6
Data Interpretation,
Statistics and
L1.2, L4.1, L4.5
79 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
The original rider was priced in 1971, using mortality tables
containing data from 1953. An actuary is asked to use more
recent mortality data to estimate the cost of the rider and
determine whether a change in price is warranted. Also, the
company wants to know if it can now include coverage for
infants age 0?14 days without a change in price.
The Original Cost Estimate
The actuary assumes that the company sells 1,000 rider policies.
Then the actual number of children covered will be about
2.3 times 1,000 because the average number of children per
family in the United States is 2.3 in 1953. In a population of
1,000 newborns, approximately 46 will die before reaching
age 21. Twenty-seven of these deaths occur in the first two
weeks of life and are not covered. If the company sells 1,000
rider policies offering a death benefit of $1,000 per child, the
cost (just the death benefit) per family incurred over the 21
years is roughly
Divide by 21, the number of years in which the 19 deaths
occur, to get a cost of roughly $2.08 per family per year.
In the last half-century, improvements in medicine have significantly
reduced child mortality. This change is reflected in
child mortality data from 1999.
Table: Improvement in Child Mortality
For example, whereas 28.7 out of 1,000 children in the United
States died before reaching age one in 1953, only about seven
out of 1,000 died at the same age in 1999.
The actuary sees cost reduction in the child mortality data from
1999: Only 34 children out of 1,000 will die before age 21. In
addition, the number of children per family is smaller in 1999
(about 1.7) than it was in 1953, reducing costs further. These
cost reductions allow the insurance company to extend coverage
to include the first 14 days of life ? heretofore excluded ?
for a total cost of about $2.75 per year per family. Because the
increased coverage more than justifies the increased cost, the
actuary recommends that the company drop the clause limiting
coverage on children age 14 days and under.
This is a significant change, especially for the agents who will
sell the policy. The actuary must explain the change to the
agents in a way the agents can understand and explain to
their customers.
There are many simplifying assumptions made in the above
calculations. Here are a few:
n All of the children in the population are the same age.
n All of the children in all of the families were born on the first
day of the year.
n The premium is paid at the start of the year, and deaths all
occur at the end of the year.
n There is no inflation, and the insurance company earns no
interest on reserves.
n No other benefits are included in the policy.
n The average number of children per family for the insured
population matches the U.S. population.
All of these can be replaced by more realistic assumptions. For
example, the actuary would compute the present value of a
stream of future premium payments as the sum of a finite geometric
series rather than a back-of-the-envelope calculation. It
is perhaps just as important to be able to deduce which
assumptions tend to underestimate costs and which tend to
overestimate costs. For example, the census data giving 2.3
children per family is probably not a good estimate for the
population insured by the company (in 1953 or today). The
expected number of children in a family, given that the family
has purchased life insurance, is probably larger than the
expected number for the full U.S. population. In real applications,
the trade-off is often between getting a ?pretty good?
solution today and a ?very good? solution next month.
( ) 70. . 43 $ 1000 / 19 3 . 2 1000 $ Cost Total = ??=
1953 Mortality Data
Age Age
1 0.02870 11 0.0005
2 0.00230 12 0.0005
3 0.00140 13 0.0005
4 0.00100 14 0.0006
5 0.00080 15 0.0007
6 0.00080 16 0.0009
7 0.00070 17 0.0010
8 0.00060 18 0.0011
9 0.00050 19 0.0012
10 0.00050 20 0.0013
21 0.0013
1999 Mortality Data
Age Age
1 0.00706 11 0.00013
2 0.00053 12 0.00013
3 0.00036 13 0.00017
4 0.00027 14 0.00026
5 0.00022 15 0.00038
6 0.00020 16 0.00051
7 0.00019 17 0.00063
8 0.00018 18 0.00073
9 0.00016 19 0.00079
10 0.00014 20 0.00084
21 0.00088
80 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #4
Wafer Fabrication Technician and Manufacturing Technician
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Boise, Idaho
Manufacturing today requires front-line employees to have a greater level of skill than was
demanded of their predecessors. At Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), a supplier of
integrated circuits for the global computer and communications markets, wafer fabrication
technicians and manufacturing technicians must be able to carry out tasks directly
related to circuit production and write recommendations for improving the production
processes. Progress up the career ladder depends upon the ability of employees to produce
these recommendations in technical reports ? critical tools for communicating with colleagues
? and the company provides training courses to teach technicians to write them.
Writing these reports requires the ability to understand and synthesize complex, technical
information from a variety of sources and convey the findings to colleagues.
processors (i.e.,
wafer fabrication
Median hourly
earnings were
$12.23 in 2000.
Employers prefer to hire persons who
have completed associate degree
programs for semiconductor processor
jobs. A high school diploma or
equivalent is the minimum requirement
for entry-level operator jobs in
semiconductor fabrication plants.
jobs in
Engineering technicians
(i.e., manufacturing
Median annual
earnings were
$35,990 in 2000.
Employers prefer to hire persons with
at least a two-year associate degree in
engineering technology.
jobs in
English Language A1, A6
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C10
Research D1, D2, D4, D5
Logic E7
Informational Text F5, F7
Mathematics Data Interpretation,
Statistics and
L1.1, L1.2, L3.2, L3.3, L4.5
Career Outlook
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
81 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
As part of AMD?s on-the-job training internal coursework,
technicians are asked to write a project report that describes
the regulation of gas-tray solenoid voltage on Fab 10 diffusion
Excerpt of a project report that met the requirements of AMD?s
internal coursework for technicians:
Project Report
During this project, solenoids showing excessive wear from
operation with the unregulated voltage will be replaced. The
unregulated voltage is outside upper control limits for gas
tray solenoids, which causes premature failure of solenoids
and process aborts. This project was selected because once
implemented, it will reduce diffusion furnace aborts, thereby
reducing scrap for Fab 10. The cost of the project is minimal
compared to the cost of scrapped wafers as a result of solenoid
induced furnace aborts.
The goal of the project is to further AMD profits by bringing
solenoid voltage within control limits to prevent unnecessary
diffusion furnace aborts. There are four components to
the report:
n Measurement and Responses
n Capability Study
n Experiments
n Results
Measurements and Responses
There are four critical measurements for this project which
require response:
1.Measurement of the DC supply voltage used to power the
diffusion furnace gas tray solenoids (found in furnace regulator
modification tables)
2.Visual inspection of the gas tray solenoids
3.Analysis of furnace regulator modification costs
4.Reduction in solenoid induced diffusion furnace aborts
Capability Study
For this project, 24 VDC regulators and replacement gas tray
solenoids need to be sourced. Coordinating this project in a
production Fab is also a consideration[?].
(Note: This section of the report refers to tables, also compiled by
the technicians.) Thirty-three diffusion furnaces require the 24
VDC regulator modification. The success of the initial modifications
proved a more aggressive modification schedule to be
appropriate. None of the furnaces within this sample have
aborted due to solenoid failures.
This project is a success. The Furnace Regulator Modification
Table 1 demonstrates the gas tray solenoids to be operating
within control limits. Gas tray solenoid life cycles are now more
stable. There have been no aborts due to premature solenoid
failure on any diffusion furnaces with the 24 VDC regulator
project complete. Furthermore, data in Table 2 shows that the
cost to modify each furnace is very low in comparison to the
cost of wafer scrap due to an abort.
By monitoring diffusion furnaces as they were modified, data
indicated the 24 VDC modification should be performed on all
diffusion furnaces. Of the 33 diffusion furnaces needing the 24
VDC modification, 25 are complete, and 8 are scheduled for
completion by the end of the first quarter.
82 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #5
Events Manager
?I Write the Songs?Radio Program, Highland Village, Texas
Publicity and public events managers must perform budgeting, hiring, contracting and
writing tasks. The events manager for ?I Write the Songs,? a Texas radio program for and
about songwriters, organizes a local workshop that will host a panel of locally and nationally
renowned songwriters. The events manager must produce during the course of this
project letters to each of the panel invitees, as well as biographies and discographies for
each panelist. The events manager must know well both the business of songwriting and
the interests of workshop attendees to draft materials that are persuasive and powerful.
These tasks also require the ability to research and incorporate additional information.
marketing, promotions,
relations and
sales managers
Median annual earnings in 2000 for
advertising and promotions managers
were $53,360; marketing managers,
$71,240; sales managers, $68,520; and
public relations managers, $54,540.
Bachelor?s or
master?s degree
jobs in
Faster than
Career Outlook
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C10
Research D2, D3, D4
Informational Text F7, F9
83 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Identifying Issues and Speakers
The events manager?s first task is to identify the issues and
speakers to be featured at the annual workshops. To determine
the emerging and important issues in the music industry that
directly affect the songwriting profession, the manager must
review information contained within Web sites, trade magazines
and industry papers (e.g., Billboard, Spin, Rolling Stone,
Indie Music Newsletter). The next step is to identify locally or
nationally successful songwriters to be
speakers at workshops by considering
songwriters? past work history, success,
speaking experience at workshops and
conferences, genres of music, and
whether or not they have written any
books or articles. Subsequently, the
events manager must contact the necessary
individuals and organizations to
obtain information, permissions and
Writing Letters and Bios
The letter of invitation is essentially a
piece of persuasive writing that must
build a convincing and cogent argument,
and it demands that the writer be
well informed about her or his reader.
The events manager may already be
familiar with the invitee, or she or he
may have to search for background
information through databases, the
Internet or trade magazines. No matter
how the list of invitees is determined,
the contents and style of the letter must
be in tune with the audience ? the
reader/invitee ? to have a favorable
chance of being accepted. Once the
panelists are determined, the events
manager must write a short biographical
sketch, often simply referred to as a
?bio,? of each workshop panelist. To
draft bios of the panelists who accept
their invitations, the events manager
may actually have to conduct interviews
with the panelists or have them
submit lists of their accomplishments,
awards and bits of personal history,
from which the events manager then
composes a narrative. For those panelists
who are established songwriters,
the events manager then compiles
discographies (a descriptive list of
songs a songwriter has written or cowritten)
to have on hand for workshop
attendees to provide them with valuable information about the
panelist. The events manager must be sure to make the format
uniform and cite all information accurately (e.g., title, songwriter,
artist, copyright date).
Sample Invitation Letter
August 29, 2003
Courtney Delaney
4400 Moulton St., Ste. D
Greenville, TX 75401
Dear Courtney:
This is a letter to invite you to participate as a panelist and mentor at the 2004 ?I Write the Songs?
Songwriting Conference in Dallas, Texas. The event will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel
July 16?18, 2004.
For the last five years, ?I Write the Songs? has been an on-air songwriting workshop designed for
songwriters of all levels. In 1989, Billboard Magazine estimated that there were more than 40 million
songwriters throughout the United States. ?I Write the Songs?was created to be a resource for those
40 million songwriters who are interested in learning and improving their songwriting craft. To do
this, ?I Write the Songs?features shows that offer instruction in songwriting, interviews with famous
songwriters, stories of great songs and how they were written, and on-air critiques of original songs
submitted by listeners. Guests featured on ?I Write the Songs?have included Willie Nelson, Janis Ian,
Paul Williams, Richard Carpenter, Andrew Gold, Sheila Davis, Jim Brickman and others.
In an effort to provide other opportunities for songwriters and artists to improve musically and to
enhance their understanding of the music industry, ?I Write the Songs?is joining forces with its parent
company, CQK Music Publishing, and our sister Web site,, to offer a weekend of
education, networking and creative expression in the first ?I Write the Songs? Songwriting
Conference. Our hope is that all in attendance will be given the opportunity to advance their knowledge
of both the craft and business of songwriting through workshops and mentoring sessions.
Over the last several years, we at ?I Write the Songs?have admired the work that you have done to offer
independent songwriters and artists an outlet for their music to be heard through your Internet radio
site at The advent of the Internet has brought overwhelming change to the music
industry, and we feel that it is essential to properly instruct the attendees at the conference in the ways
to take advantage of opportunities. Someone of your experience and expertise would not only be
essential to the education of these songwriters and artists but would also be a source of inspiration.
?I Write the Songs?is prepared to provide you with hotel accommodations at the Intercontinental
Hotel for the weekend of July 16?18, 2004, as well as to take care of your airfare and travel
expenses. We also look forward to giving you a $500 honorarium for your time and participation.
If this is acceptable to you and if you would be interested in being a part of the event, please contact
me at your earliest convenience at 972-555-5555, or you can email me at
Thanks for your consideration of this matter,
Sarah Marshall
?I Write the Songs?/CQK Music
84 W O R K P L A C E T A S K S
Workplace Task #6
Loan Officer
Sterling Bank, Houston, Texas
When banks lend money to customers, they must consider the ability of the customers to
repay the loan in a timely manner as measured against the known risks and the value of the
collateral offered. It is the job of a bank?s loan officer to evaluate the merits of a loan request
and then make a recommendation regarding whether or not to lend the money. To evaluate
the commercial loan request described at right, a loan officer at Sterling Bank in Houston
must gather information from a variety of sources, judge what information is most pertinent
to a loan decision and synthesize the selected information into a credit request memo. This
memo must convey findings of a technical nature to the loan committee members in a way
that allows them to make the best decision on whether to approve the loan request.
Loan officers Median annual
earnings were
$32,160 in 2000.
Bachelor?s degree in
finance, economics
or a related field
jobs in
Loan officers: slower
than average; loan
counselors: average
Career Outlook
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002?03, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C10
Research D1, D2, D4
Logic E4
Informational Text F3, F7, F9
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I1.2, I4.2
85 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Representatives of Acme Enterprises, LTD have approached
Sterling Bank in Houston, Texas, to borrow $1.7 million needed
to purchase two Gulfstream II aircraft. To evaluate Acme
Enterprises? request, a loan officer must research every
aspect of the loan request and write the credit request
memo to be submitted to the bank?s Senior Loan Committee
charged with the final decision of whether to loan Acme
Enterprises the $1.7 million. (Note: In the task below, the
Roman numeral M indicates 1,000 and MM indicates 1,000-
thousands or 1 million.) The loan officer must report information
to the committee regarding the aircraft (including their
condition), how the aircraft will be used by Acme Enterprises
(i.e., how they plan to make the money needed to repay the
loan), how likely it is that Acme Enterprises? plan will work
given the realities of the marketplace and the operation
costs involved, and the financial health and credit worthiness
of Acme Enterprises. Based on the research, the loan officer
must weigh the pros and cons of the loan and make a final
recommendation to the committee.
Following are excerpts from a credit request memo written by a
loan officer for approval by the Senior Loan Committee.
Credit Request
This is a request from Acme Enterprises, LTD to borrow
$1.7MM to purchase two Gulfstream II aircraft. Both planes
and a $200M Sterling Bank CD will initially secure this loan.
Proceeds from the sale of parts from the older Gulfstream
will be used to reduce the outstanding balance of the loan
and the debt will then be placed on a 7-year amortization.
The CD will be released under the terms outlined in the collateral
section listed on page 2. The 1972 G-II will be used as
an international air ambulance. The 1968 G-II will be used as
a parts plane.
The 1972 G-II currently has two engines that will need
replacing because they are nearing the maximum number of
allowable operating hours since last overhaul allowable
under Part 91 of FAA regulations. This plane is in exceptional
condition, with several valuable modifications outlined
below. It does however need ?new?/overhauled engines and
the cost to overhaul these Rolls Royce jet engines is $750,000
each. Most Gulfstream operators cannot fulfill their operating
contracts if their aircraft is down for the several weeks
needed to complete the overhaul, so in this case ? as in
many cases the owner/operator placed this plane for sale
after buying another aircraft with acceptable hours on the
engines. Our borrower wants to make an offer of $1,000,000
for this plane.
Because the 1968 G II has not received any of the key update
modifications (see below ? Especially RVSM) our borrower
feels that the plane may be acquired for a bid of $700M ?
even though the engines on the plane still have 6,000 useful
hours on them. The engines will be removed from the 1968
G-II and installed on the 1972 G-II. These replacement
engines have roughly 10 years of flight time remaining on
them. The borrowers also have a committed buyer of specific
parts on the 1968 G-II that will sell for $200M. This money will
be applied to the principal portion of the loan. The labor cost
of the engine replacement will be covered by the sale of
additional parts. Ultimately, when the 1972 G II has been
completed and the appraisal is certified at the ?as completed
value? the CD will be released.
Full Collateral Description and Valuation/Analysis
1972 Gulfstream II/SP Model G-1159 G II, S/N 109; Engines
make/model: Rolls Royce/MK511-8. Aircraft blue book value
is $4.275MM. This plane will have both engines replaced with
engines from the other aircraft securing this loan. The two
replacement engines will allow the aircraft approximately
6,000 more hours or 10 more years in flying time. This aircraft
also comes with three major modifications that cost approximately
1968 Gulfstream G-II Model N244DM S/N 21; Engines
Make/Model: Rolls Royce/MK 511-8 Spey. Aircraft blue book
value is $3.888MM. This plane will be used as a parts plane.
They will initially remove the two engines from this plane and
install them on the 1972 G-II. They will also sell $200M worth
of parts which will be used to reduce the principal balance of
this loan.
$200M SB CD will be released upon a $200M principal reduction,
completion of the engine installation, and appraisal
confirmation of the ?as completed? value.
Strengths & Weaknesses
n Experience of the Borrower
n Financial Strength of Blank Emergency Medical Service;
sales growth during the past three years and improving
gross and profit margins.
n Loan to value
n Meets all 3-2-1-2 guidelines
n Rapid payback
n Loan to cost

88 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #1
College Algebra and Calculus
In collecting samples from first-year mathematics courses across the nation, ADP found
? perhaps not surprisingly ? that the level of mathematics demanded is notably consistent.
As these sample problems from institutions in Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico and
Texas demonstrate, first-year courses in algebra and calculus demand that students understand
different number systems and geometric properties, as well as model mathematics
problems, and solve algebraic equations.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete these tasks are:
Associated Benchmarks
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I3
Algebra J1.5, J2.3, J3.4, J3.5, J4.1, J4.5, J5.3, J5.5,
Geometry K4, K5, K8.2, K10, K10.4, K11.1
89 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
TASK #1:
Tangent Lines without Calculus
(University of New Mexico)
A tangent line to a circle is a line that passes through just one
point of the circle and is perpendicular to the radius line. Find
the equation of the tangent line to the circle defined by
at the point (-1, 5).
The student should be able to sketch the figure to picture the
problem. The slope of the segment joining the center of the
circle (2, 1) to the point (-1, 5) is -4/3, and so the slope of a
perpendicular line is 3/4. The equation for the line through
(-1, 5) with this slope is
25 ) 1 ( ) 2 ( 2 2 = - + - y x
(-1, 5)
(2, 1)
( y -5) =
( x + 1).
TASK #3:
Solving Equations
(Purdue University)
Find the zeros of the following functions.
In each case, the student must be able to rearrange and
simplify the equation. In addition, the student must be able
to recognize that ?x? is not the only variable used in
mathematics (or in applications of mathematics).
t f
9 2
) (
2 1 ) ( xxg -=
70 24 2 ) ( 2 + - = bb b a
TASK #4:
Solve a Quadratic (in Disguise)
(Purdue University)
Solve the following equation for x:
The student must recognize that this is a quadratic equation,
but for (and not for x). The first step is to solve
One solution, - , gives a pair of complex solutions: .
The other solution, y = +4, gives a pair of real solutions: x = ?2.
These are the four solutions to the original equation.
0. 36 5 2 4 = - + x x
2 x y =
0 ) 4 )( 9 ( 36 5 2 = - + = - + yy y y
9 = y i x 3 ? =
) (
x g
TASK #2:
Computing Average Rates of Change
(University of New Mexico)
Find the average rate of change of the function
between x = 0 and x = h.
The student needs to understand that the ?average rate of change?
is the net change in the function value on the interval divided by
length of the interval. The solution requires that the student
simplify rational expressions:
+ ?+ +
+ ?+ +
+ ?+ +
- - - +
- ?
+ +
- +
) 1 ( ) 1 (
) 1 ( ) 1 (
) 1 ( ) 1 (
2 2 2 2 2
) ( ) (
change of rate Average
x h x
h x h x
h x h x
h x x
h x h x
x g h x g
90 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #1
College Algebra and Calculus
TASK #5:
Circles and Completing Squares
(Purdue University)
Identify the circle described by the following equation:
The students must be able to regroup the terms in the
equation and then complete the square (twice):
This is equivalent to , so the equation
describes a circle with radius 3 centered at (x, y) = (4, -2).
0. 11 4 8 2 2 = + + - + y x y x
( )( )
( )( )
( ) ( ) 9. 2 4
4 16 11 4 4 16 8
11 4 8 0
2 2
2 2
2 2
- + + - =
- - + + + + + - =
+ + + - =
y x
y y x x
y y x x
( ) ( ) 9 2 4 2 2 = + + - y x
TASK #6:
Plot a Graph
(Purdue University)
Graph the function given by
The graph consists of two separate branches. The left branch
is a ray with slope 1 containing the point (x, y) = (-1, 2) (which
is the endpoint of the ray). The right branch is a parabola
(opening up) with vertex at (x, y) = (0, 0). Notice that the
right branch starts at, but does not contain, the point
(x, y) = (-1, 1); there is a jump in the graph at this point.
? +
-1 if 3
) ( 2 x x
x x
x h
TASK #7:
Basic Geometry
(Northern Kentucky University)
The square shown below has a side length of 6 inches and is
inscribed in a circle so that each vertex of the square lies on
the circle.What is the radius of the circle in inches?
Draw radii from the center to each of two adjacent corners to
obtain a right triangle with two sides of length r and
hypotenuse of length 6. The Pythagorean theorem provides
the equation 2r2 = 36, so 2 3 18 = = r
TASK #8:
Geometric Series
(Northern Kentucky University)
A ball dropped from a height of 18 feet above the ground
as shown rebounds to 2/3 of its previous height after each
bounce so that after the first bounce, it rebounds to 12
feet, after the second bounce to 8 feet and so forth.
A. To what height does it rebound after its third bounce?
B. Find an expression for the height to which it rebounds
after the nth bounce as a function of n, where n is a
positive integer.
C. Find the total distance the ball has traveled at the point
where it hits the ground on its nth bounce as a function
of n, where n is a positive integer. For example, on the
first bounce, it has traveled 18 feet; on the second
bounce, 18 + 12 + 12 = 42 feet; on the third bounce,
18 + 12 + 12 + 8 + 8 = 58 feet; and so forth.
The height of the nth bounce will be , and
the sum of the distances traveled on the first n bounces is
The value for the final summation is
2 ??
n h
???+ = + + +
n h h h h
2 1 0 3
18 2 18 2 2 2 ...
) 3 / 2 ( 1
) 3 / 2 ( ) 3 / 2 (
2 1
1 -
= ?
n n
91 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
SAMPLE TASKS, continued
TASK #9:
Triangles and Area
(Northern Kentucky University)
A triangle has vertices (-1, 2), (4, 2) and (3, 5) as shown. What is
the area of the triangle?
The student should be able to draw the figure, with points
labeled to obtain:
The triangle has base 5 = 4 - (-1) and height 3 = 5 - 2 so the
area is
TASK #10:
Similar Triangles
(Northern Kentucky University)
In the right triangles ABC and CDE shown below, AB has a
length of 8 feet, BE has a length of 5 feet and CE has a length of
7 feet. What is the length of DE? Round your answer to two
decimal places.
Use similar triangles:
TASK #11:
Parabolas and Completing the Square
(Angelo State University)
If y = -x? + 4x - 10, find the largest value attained by y. Do
this without using calculus.
The solution to the problem is to find the vertex for the
parabola. One approach is to complete the square and
So the graph is a parabola opening down, and the vertex is
at the point
Hence the largest value is y = -6.
TASK #12:
Properties of Logarithms
(Angelo State University)
Explain why log is equivalent to log .
The key property to remember is
Apply this formula twice, along with log(1) = 0 to get the
(-1, 2)
(3, 5)
(4, 2)
3 5
Area = ??=
67 . 4
7 5
?= ?
= ?= DE
( x, y) =(2, 6)
y = 6 -
( x -2)2
?= log a ( )-log b (
?y ( ) ) -log x (
TASK #13:
Solving Systems of Equations
(Angelo State University)
Solve the linear system of equations below using the
elimination-substitution procedure. (Note: The student also
needs to know how to apply matrix techniques using the
augmented matrix in solving this and other similar linear
systems of equations.)
The problem is complicated by the fact that there are
infinitely many solutions. In fact, any point of the form
(x, y, z) = (2z, 4z - 1, z), where z is a real number, is a solution.
x -2y +6z =2
-x+ y -2z = -1
2x -3y +8z = 3
92 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Introductory chemistry courses at Ball State University and Worcester Polytechnic
Institute challenge students to interpret, manipulate, process and present quantitative
information accurately; use technology such as graphing calculators appropriately; and
present solutions in the appropriate unit of measure or dimension.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete these tasks are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A7
Informational Text F5
Mathematics Number Sense and
Numerical Operations
I1.1, I1.2, I1.5, I3, I4.2
Algebra J1.5, J3.2, J5.1, J5.2, J5.5
Geometry K8.1
Task #2
Analyze complex mathematical models in which several
parameters appear. In many cases, the first step in analyzing
the model is to determine the conditions that will reduce the
complex model to a simpler case. The Van der Waal equation
of state is an extension of the ideal gas law for real gasses:
where P is pressure, V is volume, T is temperature, R is the
universal gas constant, n is the number of moles, and a and b
are constants. Rewrite the equation of state to see that it
approaches the equation of the ideal gas law for large V.
For an ideal gas,
Rearrange the Van der Waal equation to obtain the same
ratio, and the result is
The terms on the right are close to 1 if V is suciently large.
( ) nRT nb V
a n
P =-??
+ 2
1 = =
b V
Z -
= =
Task #1
Use percent composition information to calculate either the
empirical formula or the molecular formula for a compound.
Problem: Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a common solvent used to
degrease machine parts. Calculate the empirical formula for
TCE if the percent composition is 18.25% C, 0.77% H and
80.99% Cl.
Solution: Consider having a 100 g sample of trichloroethylene.
The percent composition is then 18.25 g C, 0.77 g H and 80.99
g Cl. Find the number of moles of each element.
18.25 g C ?(1 mol C/12.01 g C) = 1.520 mol C
0.77 g H ?(1 mol H/1.008 g H) = 0.76 mol H
80.99 g Cl ?(1 mol Cl/35.45 g Cl) = 2.285 mol Cl
Chemical formulas are written with whole numbers, so divide
by the smallest number of moles to find the empirical
Because C: 1.520/0.76 = 2 and H: 0.76/0.76 = 1 and
Cl: 2.285/0.76 ?3, the empirical formula is C2HCl3.
Postsecondary Assignment #2
Introductory Chemistry
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, Massachusetts
93 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Task #3
Use formulas such as the ideal gas law ( P ?V = nR ?T ) to
calculate unknown quantities such as pressure, temperature,
volume, molar mass, density or molecular formula.
Problem:What is the temperature of 0.520 mol of argon gas
that occupies 4.25 L at 750 torr?
Solution: Use the ideal gas law: PV = nRT. Solve the ideal gas
law for T, and substitute the known information.
( )( )( )
( )( )K 98
mol atm L 0821 . 0 mol 520 . 0
L 25 . 4 torr 760 / atm 1 torr 0 . 750
1 1 - ?= = - K nR
SAMPLE TASKS, continued
Task #4
The half-life of a chemical reaction is the time required for half
of the reactant initially present to decompose. The first-order
rate law leads to c = c0e-k? where c is the concentration at time
t, c0 is the initial concentration, k is a positive constant and t is
Solve this equation for t and
If , this equation gives the half-life as
t 0 ln
0 2
c c =
) 2 ln(
2 / 1 = .
Task #5
A mixture of methane and ethane is contained in a glass bulb
of 500 cm3 capacity at 25?C. The pressure is 1.25 bar, and the
mass of gas in the bulb is 0.530 g.What is the mole fraction of
To find a solution to this problem, the student must solve a
system of two equations and two unknowns. Once the
number of moles of either compound is found, there is
su!cient information to calculate the mole fraction of
First, use the ideal gas law to find the total number of moles
of gas.
Let nE = moles of ethane, mE = mass of ethane, nM = moles of
methane, and mM = mass of methane. Then we can write
0.0252 moles = nE + nM , and we know from the given
information that
This system of equations can be solved by substitution. The
most direct way to determine the mole fraction of methane
in the system is to solve for nM , the number of moles of
methane. Proceeding along these lines one finds nM = 0.0162.
The mole fraction methane is simply the ratio of moles of
methane to the total number of moles.
n nRT PV = ?=
( )( )( )( )
( )( )
gas. of moles 0252 . 0
K 298 K mole / J 314 . 8
cm 10 / m 1 cm 500 bar 0 . 1 / Pa 10 bar 25 . 1 3 6 3 3 5
= n
( ) ( )M
E n n ?+ ?= mole / g 042 . 16 mole / g 068 . 30 g 530 . 0
64 . 0
0252 . 0
0162 . 0
methane of fraction mole the == = X
Task #6
Calculate the pH of a 0.50 M HF solution at 25?C. The Ka is 7.1 x
10-4, and the ionization of HF is given by
HF (aq)?+(aq) + F-(aq).
The students use a table to organize the data to solve this
HF (aq) H+(aq) F-(aq)
Initial (M) 0.50 0.00 0.00
Change (M) -x x x
Equilibrium (M) 0.50 ? x x x
Then use the equilibrium constant to find x.
One could use the quadratic formula to solve this equation,
but an approximation could be made to solve the problem
more easily. Since HF is a weak acid we could reason that x
must be small compared to 0.50. Thus we make the approximation
0.50 ? x ?0.50.
Now Ka can be written as .
Solving for x we find x = 0.109M. Before calculating the pH of
the solution, it is wise to determine if the approximation was
legitimate. If x is less than 5% of the number it was subtracted
from, then the approximation is valid.
Thus the approximation is valid. The pH can be calculated as
[ ][ ]
[ ]
4 10 1 . 7
50 . 0
- +
x x
K a
4 10 1 . 7
50 . 0
- ?=
x x
K a
% 8 . 3 100
50 . 0
019 . 0
= ?
[ ] [ ] 72 . 1 019 . 0 log log ?= = + H pH - -
94 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #3
Introductory Microeconomics
William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, Illinois
In studying topics such as economic growth and government intervention in markets, students
must apply their understanding of key microeconomic principles such as supply and
demand to interpret the graphic representations of macroeconomic relationships. As these
samples from William Rainey Harper College demonstrate, students must be able to interpret
graphic representations of linear equations and the meaning of slopes.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete these tasks are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A7
Informational Text F5
Mathematics Algebra J4.2, J4.8
95 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Task #1
In the diagram below, what is the equilibrium price and quantity
in this market?
130 200 290
Task #3
In the diagram at right, assume a single good. If the price of
the good increased from $5.70 to $6.30 along D1, what would
the price elasticity of demand along this portion of the
demand curve be? Explain your answer.
Task #2
In the diagram below, S is the market supply curve, and S1 is a
supply curve comprising all costs of production, including
external costs. Assume that the number of people affected by
these external costs is large. How could the government
establish an optimal allocation of resources in this market?
Explain your answer.
96 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #3
Introductory Microeconomics
William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, Illinois
Task #4
Identify the average*, marginal** and total product*** curves in
the diagram below. Explain your answer.
Variable Input
Task #6
In the diagram to the right, at what point or in what range is
demand relatively inelastic? Explain your answer.
2 1
Task #5
In the diagram below, what is the profit-maximizing* output
level for this firm? Explain your answer.
Total revenue
Total cost
1 0 2 34
*The average product curve graphically illustrates the relation between average product
and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the
per-unit output at each level of the variable input.
**The marginal product curve graphically illustrates the relation between marginal product
and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates
the incremental change in output at each level of the variable input.
***The total product curve graphically represents the relation between total production by
a firm in the short run and the quantity of a variable input added to a fixed input. When
constructing this curve, it is assumed that total product changes from changes in the
quantity of a variable input like labor, while we hold fixed one or more other inputs, like
Source: The AmosWEB GLOSS*arama is a searchable database of 1,800 economic terms
and concepts,
*Profit maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of profit through
the production and sale of goods and services. The profit-maximization assumption is the
guiding principle underlying short-run production by a firm.
Source: The AmosWEB GLOSS*arama is a searchable database of 1,800 economic terms
and concepts,
97 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
SAMPLE TASKS, continued
Task #7
In the diagram to the right of a monopolistically competitive
firm in short-run equilibrium?
a. What will this firm?s profit-maximizing price and output be?
b.What economic loss or profit will this firm realize?
c. In the long-run equilibrium, what economic loss or profit
will this firm realize?
Explain your answers.
98 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #4
Introductory English Survey Course
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
The study of English often can take students beyond the written word and demand that
they explore connections across genres and media. This assignment from an introductory
English course at Sam Houston State University focuses on the relationship between the
verbal and the non-verbal, between poetry and painting, and between novels or plays and
the films that attempt to interpret them. In doing so, it challenges students? language,
communication and media skills. A central feature of this assignment is a professorled
discussion, demanding students be able to express themselves verbally and listen
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A2, A6
Communication B7
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C9
Research D2
Media G2, G3
Literature H5
99 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
The Set-Up Assignment
On your course CD, open the JPEG file ?Icarus? and take a look
at the picture (see right). For now, just notice what draws your
attention (and write a few sentences about why you think
that?s where your eye fell). For our purposes, we?ll call this the
?visual focal point? of the painting. Now, go back and perform
a careful viewing of the painting (much the same way we have
learned to perform analytical reading of a written text). Based
on your close ?reading? of this painting, what do you think the
painter was trying to ?say?? If you have difficulty with this, look
in the painting for any details that seem important, startling or
hard to explain. If you are still having trouble, consider the title
of this painting: The Fall of Icarus. Do an Internet word search
for ?Icarus.?Using what you have discovered, determine the
main idea presented by Pieter Bruegel?s painting The Fall of
Day Two (in class or out)
We will begin class with a reading of two poems written about
The Fall of Icarus: ?Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,?by William
Carlos Williams, and ?Musee des Beaux Arts,?by W. H. Auden.
This is not the focus of our assignment, but you should understand
that in the world of art, as in the worlds of movies, television
and magazines, the people who send the messages are
acutely aware of the interplay between words and images. In
our discussions, we have arrived at a consensus that the red
sleeves of the farmer seem to be the visual focal point and
that the legs of Icarus disappearing beneath the water seem
to be the thematic focal point. We have agreed, roughly, that
the painting seems to be saying something about how life
goes on despite tragic events (even events that are downright
fantastic). Think about how this idea is conveyed in images
and about how it could be (or, in the case of the poems we
read, is) conveyed in words. Then think about the differences
and similarities between those conveyances.
Paper: The Verbal and the Visual in Contemporary Media
Using the principles you have learned about theme, verbal
messages, visual focal point, thematic focal point, and other
principles of language and media, locate an excellent example
of how words and images work together to create a theme
(which might also mean to make a point or sell a product). The
definition of media for this assignment is diverse. It may be a
printed magazine or television ads, music videos, cartoons
(moving or still), or practically any other medium. You will
have a week to locate your subject and write a preliminary
draft of a paper in which you analyze the interplay between
the visual and the verbal in it. (Considering our discussion
about how sometimes words and images disconnect rather
than connect, you might even choose an example in which
there is dissonance rather than harmony between the verbal
and the visual.) After the preliminary draft, we will proceed to
the final paper.
100 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #5
Introductory Philosophy
Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey
First-year philosophy courses require students to reason ? to think critically, logically and
dispassionately ? and to make effective arguments. In this assignment from Montclair
State University, students not only must read texts carefully to make judgments about the
validity of the author?s reasoning, but also must structure an essay in a way that advances
the explanation of these ideas.
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C9
Logic E1, E2, E3, E9
Literature H3, H7
101 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
500-Word Expository Essay
For the expository essay option, topics that are fairly well
defined and self-contained can be found in the texts covered
in the course. Carrying out this assignment involves two distinct
First, you must make the idea your own ? i.e., you must
understand it, make sense of it, see it as a candidate for adoption,
sufficiently so as to be able to produce an intelligible
presentation of it (or at least a sketch of or an outline for such
a presentation) to a specific audience (think of an audience
made up of your fellow students or any other audience whose
characteristics you can effectively represent to yourself). (Note
that this rhetorical situation in which you are required to
explain somebody else?s idea to others is not only common in
college classrooms, but it is also very common in professional
work where you as a manager may be asked to explain ideas
or policies that you did not yourself invent and that you may
not find either valid or particularly interesting.)
Second, you must develop a strategy for rendering the idea
intelligible to your chosen audience as succinctly as possible
(so as to remain fairly close to a target of 500 words in length).
Unlike the ?text-focused?essays, here you have the widest possible
latitude with regard to organization and structure.
Analysis, interpretation and argument are intellectual tasks
sufficiently identifiable as to make at least plausible the claim
that an ideal rhetorical organization can be specified for each,
but this is not so for exposition. Of course, any good exposition
of an idea or policy must do its job effectively, i.e., it must
actually succeed in rendering its subject matter intelligible to
its audience. Needless to say, to do this job successfully the
expositor must have a modest grasp of that subject matter.
Beyond that, the most effective strategy or order of exposition
cannot be determined in advance. Many very different organizational
strategies can be equally successful in presenting the
same subject matter.
Sample 500-Word Essay Topics
1.Explain Nietzsche?s statement that the doctrine of will to
power offers the ?solution to the problem of procreation and
2.Explain Nietzsche?s claim that ?faith in the categories of
reason is the cause of nihilism.?
3.Explain Spinoza?s critique of the use of final causes in
4.Explain Aristotle?s conception of the relationship between
moral virtue and practical wisdom.
5.Explain the way in which Plato distinguishes and relates
thinking (dianoia) and belief (pistis).
102 P O S T S E C O N D A R Y A S S I G N M E N T S
Postsecondary Assignment #6
Introductory English
Western Nevada Community College, Carson City, Nevada
Tests in first-year English courses often require students to identify excerpts from course
readings and to explain their significance. To perform well on this midterm exam from
Western Nevada Community College, students must have been able to develop a solid
understanding of the themes and literary techniques employed in a broad selection of
short stories and poems. Students must also be able to describe how the works relate to one
ADP benchmarks that address the knowledge and skills required to complete this task are:
Associated Benchmarks
English Language A1, A6
Writing C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C9
Logic E9
Literature H1, H3, H4, H5
103 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
English 102 Midterm Exam [Total of 100 Points]
Part One. Fiction. Respond to eight of the 10 quotations.
Five points per question.
Explain the significance of each excerpt, especially the
section in bold, as it relates to each story?s theme (NOT
PLOT) or to the story?s main character.
1. ?Jupiter was an anomaly. His retrieving instincts and his
high spirits were out of place in Shady Hill. ... Jupiter went
where he pleased, ransacking. ...? (?The Country Husband?)
2. ?I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I
aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did
this, and the clamourer grew still.?(?The Cask of Amontillado?)
3. ?Her poems are always cool and intellectual; that is their
form, which is contradicted or supported by a gravely
sensuous texture.? (?Our Friend Judith?)
4. ?She believes in those signs: Speed Monitored by Aircraft.
It doesn?t matter that you can look up and see that the sky is
empty.?(?No One?s a Mystery?)
5. ??I don?t feel any way,?the girl said. ?I just know things.??
(?Hills Like White Elephants?)
6. ?You will have a full bag. People will seem to know what you
have done, where you are going. They will have his eyes, the
same pair, passed along on the street from face to face, like
secrets, like glasses at the opera.?(?How?)
7. Gurov has just alluded to the ?charming woman?he had met in
Yalta to one of his card-partners. The card-partner replies. ??You
were quite right, you know ? the sturgeon was just a leetle
off.?These words, in themselves so commonplace, for some
reason infuriated Gurov, seemed to him humiliating,
gross.? (?The Lady and the Dog?) Explain Gurov?s reaction.
8. ?On errands of life, these letters speed to death.? (?Bartleby
the Scrivener?)
9. ?The flat is shabby and badly heated. The furniture is old,
was never anything but ugly, is now frankly rickety and
fraying. ... She ... eats very little, from preference, not selfdiscipline.?
(?Our Friend Judith?)
10. ?Besides casual onlookers there were also relays of permanent
watchers selected by the public, usually butchers,
strangely enough. ...?Why would the narrator seem to
think it strange that butchers should be watchers?
(?The Hunger Artist?)
Part Two. Poetry. Respond to five of the seven quotations.
Five points for each one.
Explain the significance of the excerpted lines, focusing especially
on the words that are in bold type.
1. ?Back from the hospital, his mind rattling/Like the suitcase,
swinging from his hand,/That contains shaving cream, a
piggy bank,/A book he sometimes pretends to read,?
(?Alzheimer?s,?p. 637)
2. ?My mother, after a life/of it, says, ?This is the last straw.?/And
it is. We?re all clutching.? (?You Didn?t Fit,?p. 635)
3. ?? and, if God choose,/I shall but love thee better after
death.?Explain how one can love someone better after
one is dead. (?How Do I Love Thee??p. 601)
4. ?and in one another?s blameless eyes go blind.? (?The Tally
Stick,?p. 602) Explain the paradox in this metaphor ? in
what way blameless? In what way blind?
5. ?It lies/among keys to abandoned houses,/nails waiting to
be needed and hammered/into some wall,/telephone numbers
with no names attached;/idle paperclips.? (?Wedding-
Ring,?p. 606) What does the ring have in common with
these other items? Explain the logic.
6. ?When I came in, and I was embarrassed/By old men standing
up to shake my hand ??(?Mid-Term Break,?p. 610)
Explain. Why should the speaker be embarrassed?
7. ?Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;/Pour away the
ocean and sweep up the wood? (?Stop all the clocks, cut off
the telephone,?p. 615) What is the effect of these particular
images (especially as compared to the earlier images
of the first and second stanzas)?
Part Three. Essay question. 35 points.
Refer to stories we have read (?How,??Hills Like White
Elephants,??No One?s a Mystery,??The Country Husband?and
?Our Friend Judith?) as well as several poems (?The Tally Stick,?
?love poem,??Wedding-Ring,?and ?What lips my lips have
kissed, and where, and why?or any other 20th century poem
we have read) and write an essay on the following topic:
The nature of love and marriage (these are TWO topics), as
depicted in 20th century fiction and poetry, IS or IS NOT consistent.
(Choose whichever point of view you think you can
best defend by using the above stories and poems as your
?support.?) You will first have to identify WHAT IS the nature
of love and the nature of marriage and state each definition.
You also need to explain how you understand the term ?is
consistent? or ?is not consistent.?

ADP and partner organization staff spent nearly two years gathering empirical evidence to
codify the knowledge and skills ? in both English and mathematics ? that all high school
graduates actually need to do credit-bearing coursework at state colleges and universities or
to embark successfully on career-track positions in high-growth, highly skilled ?good? jobs.
Because they are the languages through which students access all other kinds of knowledge
and skills, we deemed English and mathematics our priority content areas.
Working closely with two- and four-year postsecondary English and mathematics faculty;
with a wide array of humanities, sciences and social sciences faculty; and with front-line
managers in those high-growth, highly skilled occupations (within and beyond ADP partner
states), we were able to identify the ?must-have? competencies in English and mathematics
for success in all of these arenas.
Step One: Defining Workplace Expectations
Commissioned by ADP, Educational Testing Service (ETS) researchers Anthony P.
Carnevale and Donna M. Desrochers used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the
U.S. Department of Education?s National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS) to define
the relationship between education, employment and earnings.14 First, Carnevale and
Desrochers defined ?good? jobs for the purposes of the ADP study. Factors such as entrylevel
salary; provision of benefits; and opportunities for further career advancement, education
and training were all considered in the creation of these job categories. We chose to
focus the ADP effort on the occupations listed in the top two tiers of the employment pyramid
shown here, for these are the jobs that
pay enough to support a family well above the
poverty level, provide benefits, and offer clear
pathways for career advancement through
further education and training.
The top two tiers of the pyramid also represent
62 percent of all jobs over the next 10 years.
The researchers were able, using the NELS
data, to offer a detailed account of the high
school courses taken ? and grades earned ?
by the survey participants. In addition to a bat-
105 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Share of Jobs
Source: American Diploma Project, 2002
More Jobs Are Highly Paid or Skilled,
Require More Education
Highly Paid
Professional Jobs
Earnings: $40,000+
Projected Job
Growth Rate: 20%
Well-Paid, Skilled Jobs
Projected Job Growth
Rate: 12%
Low-Paid or
Low-Skilled Jobs
Earnings: Less
than $25,000
Projected Job
Growth Rate: 15%
106 M E T H O D O L O G Y
tery of questions on students? backgrounds, families, school activities, postsecondary education
and subsequent employment, the participants? high school transcripts provided a
look into the course-taking patterns of young adults in their twenties who currently hold
the highly paid professional jobs and well-paid, white- and blue-collar jobs in the top two
tiers of the pyramid.15
The ETS study revealed that fully 84 percent of those who currently hold highly paid professional
jobs (the top tier of the pyramid) had taken Algebra II (or higher) as their last
high school math course. Even among those who currently hold well-paid, white-collar,
skilled jobs, 61 percent had taken Algebra II or a higher-level math course. Seventy-eight
percent had taken Geometry or a higher-level math course. In contrast, only 30 percent
of employees in the bottom tier had taken Algebra II.
The researchers also determined that ?four years of English that is at least at grade level?
emerged as the course-taking pattern for employees in the vast majority of good jobs. Far
more workers in highly paid professional jobs had taken honors English courses, literature
and composition, while twice as many workers at the bottom of the jobs pyramid had
taken remedial English or English as a Second Language courses to meet English course
Building on the data generated in the ETS study, two panels of curricular experts helped
ADP delineate the content that comprises the courses identified by the study (English
I?IV, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II). We used this content delineation to develop
ADP?s set of preliminary workplace expectations for English and mathematics. The next
step was to present this set of preliminary expectations to our first round of employers for
their review.
Step Two: Securing Input from Employers on Preliminary Workplace
It is important to note that rather than asking employers to discuss desirable employee
traits in the abstract, as most surveys of employers have done in the past, ADP made a
deliberate effort to establish or refute potential connections between what students learn
in high school and what knowledge and skills are necessary to be successful in the workplace.
In a process developed by the National Alliance of Business (NAB), one of the original
ADP partner organizations, we circulated the preliminary workplace expectations
among actual front-line managers from the occupations identified in the top two tiers of
the employment pyramid. Representatives from such industries as health care, gaming,
high-tech manufacturing, semiconductor technology, information technology, law,
telecommunications, energy, television media, shipping and transportation, retail, and
financial services all participated in the interviews.
107 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
These front-line employers confirmed the importance of the content in the preliminary benchmarks,
particularly the ability of workers to think creatively and logically and to identify and
solve problems, skills that were emphasized in both English and mathematics discussions.
Employers specifically reiterated the value of the knowledge and skills typically taught in
Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Employers not only validated the importance of the
content and skills that those courses convey, but also recognized the usefulness for students
in having taken those courses to stay on a positive intellectual trajectory. Staying on the trajectory,
they reasoned, is the best way for students to preserve the choice to complete any
degree-granting or other postsecondary education and training programs, including
apprenticeships in the ?skilled trades.? Employers verified the ETS finding that a majority of
the fastest-growing occupations in the top two tiers of the employment pyramid require
some education beyond high school, typically a certificate, a bachelor?s degree, an associate
degree or on-the-job training. Whether they receive their further education through apprenticeships
or other kinds of on-the-job training, however, all high school graduates will definitely
be held to a higher intellectual standard than ever before.
ADP staff, in consultation with ETS and NAB staff, then refined the preliminary set of
workplace expectations to reflect the feedback from those employer interviews, while
defining preliminary postsecondary expectations as well.
Step Three: Defining Postsecondary Expectations for Credit-Bearing
Defining postsecondary expectations for credit-bearing coursework was a two-part process.
In part one, staff from The Education Trust assembled English and mathematics faculty
members from K?12 systems and from two- and four-year colleges and universities in each
of the ADP partner states. These postsecondary institutions enroll the vast majority of high
school graduates going on to college: community colleges, as well as four-year state institutions,
but generally not the more highly selective ?flagship? campuses.16
At these meetings, using a protocol developed by The Education Trust, the faculty members
examined the content of partner state high school graduation tests; national college
admissions and placement tests (SAT, ACT, COMPASS, Accuplacer); a sampling of postsecondary
placement tests; and the GED. The goal of these discussions was to codify what
the de facto standards are for students by evaluating the content of the various assessments
they are asked to take, however disparate their purposes may be.
In part two, Achieve and ADP staff examined the alignment between partner state high
school standards for English and mathematics and their high school standards-based
108 M E T H O D O L O G Y
assessments. With both the test content analysis (part one) and alignment studies (part
two) complete, Achieve and ADP staff then met with faculty members from two- and
four-year colleges, representing a broad range of content areas, and asked them to:
1. define in detail the English and mathematics content and skills necessary for success
in freshman, credit-bearing courses at their institutions;
2. locate these ?must-have? English and mathematics competencies in the state standards
(if possible), and prioritize them in terms of their importance for preparing students to
be successful in their classes;
3. determine the degree to which current state standards and assessments reflect the
expectations described in items 1 and 2; and
4. identify gaps (missing prioritized content) in the state standards and assessments.
In a deliberate effort to define and analyze the ways in which English and mathematics
knowledge and skills are applied in other content areas, ADP secured participation from
faculty across the humanities, engineering, the sciences and the social sciences, in addition
to math and English faculty, for each state conversation. Partner state team members made
these important meetings possible. In many states, the meetings represented the first time
that K?12 and postsecondary faculty had convened to examine together what their state
K?12 system requires of all high school students and to compare those requirements to the
demands of credit-bearing coursework in their state colleges and universities.
Results from these state-based studies indicate a surprising degree of consensus both
within states (across two- and four-year systems) and across states about the core competencies
necessary to do credit-bearing work at state colleges and universities.17
Our hypothesis that postsecondary and workplace expectations are converging was reinforced
in this stage of the process. Postsecondary faculty descriptions of the intellectual
demands of credit-bearing coursework proved consistent with the intellectual demands of
the targeted occupations in the ETS study, which were verified for us by employers. Although
some marginal differences emerged in terms of relative emphasis to be placed on particular
content or strands, it was clear that their sets of expectations are remarkably similar.
For example, both employers and postsecondary faculty emphasized:
n the importance of facility with correct English grammar and usage, both to aid reading
comprehension and to support effective oral and written communication;
n the essential skills of developing and analyzing an argument, both in English and
n the capacity to apply basic knowledge and skills in new and unfamiliar contexts; and
n the ability to define and research a ?problem,? as well as present a well-reasoned position
on ? or solution to ? the problem.
The subtle differences in emphasis emerged almost exclusively in the area of mathematics
where, for example, employers stressed the importance of accounting, budgeting and
data analysis skills that postsecondary science and social science faculty did not underscore
as heavily. In English, almost no differences emerged. Instead, similar knowledge
and skills were emphasized for different reasons and with slightly different applications,
such as the shared interest in research skills. In an academic environment, of course, the
purpose and delivery mechanisms for research skills would be teacher- and classmatefocused,
whereas in the workplace, research skills would be brought to bear to solve a
product- or services-development issue or an implementation problem.
Step Four: Synthesizing the Preliminary Workplace and
Postsecondary Expectations
We took these two sets of preliminary expectations, one workplace and one postsecondary,
and combined them into a draft set of ADP college and workplace readiness benchmarks.
The new draft expectations were then circulated among postsecondary faculty and employers
throughout the country for further assurance that this set of combined expectations
really does represent the convergence of formerly disparate sets of ?college-ready? and
?workplace-ready? skills. (This process is described in step five.)
It is important to note that at this point, the draft expectations represented more of a
merging of the two sets of preliminary expectations, rather than an intersection of their
common ground, although the overlap between the two sets was significant. Because
marginal differences did exist between postsecondary and workplace participants concerning
areas of relative emphasis in mathematics, all content identified by both groups
was represented in the draft document. For example, differences in the expectations for
what math and math-dependent majors in college might need to have mastered before
entering college and what is required for non-math majors (and for some occupations
that require advanced degrees) were to be resolved in the next phase of the work by our
panels of content area experts and employers.
109 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
110 M E T H O D O L O G Y
Step Five: Convening Content Area Expert/Employer Panels
ADP convened panels of business representatives and content area experts to advise us as
we conducted an iterative process of feedback and revision of the draft benchmarks. ADP
partner state employers and content experts served on the panels, as well as a cross-section
of employers and content experts from throughout the country. The panels worked over a
period of months to consider, for example, which benchmarks would represent the best
intersection of employer and postsecondary demands, thereby comprising the knowledge
and skills that will best prepare all students for success in either arena.
In mathematics, for example, the panel determined that while almost all of the benchmarks
must be required of all students, some may be necessary only for those intending
to major in mathematics or math-dependent fields in college. (The latter are marked with
asterisks in the ?Mathematics Benchmarks? section.) In English, the task of resolving differences
was much easier, with the most difficult issue being which literary analysis
knowledge and skills remain essential, whether pursuing degrees in literature or not.
Step Six: Gathering Tasks and Assignments from Employers and
Postsecondary Faculty
Finally, as part of the benchmark review and revision process described previously,
we collected sample workplace tasks and postsecondary assignments from highperformance
employers and postsecondary faculty in an iterative process designed to
ensure that the benchmarks and samples are consistent, are complementary, and contain
the most accurate picture of current workplace and college demands.
Both the benchmarks and sample tasks and assignments can be found in ?College and
Workplace Readiness Benchmarks and Samples? on page 19. They are purposefully contained
within the same section of this report to emphasize that they should be considered
together. Although the samples represent the intellectual demand that students will face in
college or on the job (and not the tasks that students in high school should be doing every
day in class), they do reflect together the academic content knowledge and skills to be
learned in high school and how they are applied in depth in a variety of postsecondary
Finally, the samples and benchmarks on the Achieve Web site ( include
links so that users may navigate between them for easy cross-reference. Additional tasks
and assignments also can be found on the Web site.
Many partner organization staff members, employers, K?12 and postsecondary educators,
partner state team members, and other colleagues took part in the formulation of ADP?s
goals and objectives, the design and implementation of its research, the project?s administration,
and the review of ADP?s final report and recommendations. Without their tireless
efforts, this report would not have been possible. In particular, ADP expresses its gratitude
to Mike Smith and Jorge Ruiz-de-Velasco at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for
their generous support and to Bob Schwartz, former president of Achieve, Inc., for helping
to launch the project.
Content Area Experts and Employers
The following list comprises content area experts in the fields of English and mathematics,
as well as employers who worked to refine the ADP benchmarks to ensure that they
are consistent with postsecondary and employer expectations. Many of these individuals
also provided ADP with samples of work from their companies or institutions of higher
education to help illustrate how high school graduates would use the skills and knowledge
found in the ADP benchmarks once they left high school.
111 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Lucretia Ahrens, CenterPoint
Energy, Inc.
Arthur Applebee, University at
Albany, State University of New York
Richard Askey, University of
Harold Asturias, University of
Mark Bauerlein, National
Endowment for the Arts
John Belk, Texas Genco
Kimberly R. Bell, CenterPoint
Energy, Inc.
Kim Bennett, Irwin Bank & Trust
Gregg Biggs, Thomson
Tom Bonesteel, Houston Advanced
Computer Education Center
Bill Borders, Swiss Plywood Company
Patrick Bothwell, Roche
Diagnostics Corporation
Pam Bourne, Kentucky Department
of Employment Services
Shannan Boyer, Northern Kentucky
Chamber of Commerce
Rhonda Brown-Hayes, Lexmark
International, Inc.
Paul E. Buck, University and
Community College System of
Nevada Desert Research Institute
Gail Burrill, Michigan State University
Andy Carter, Marsh Supermarkets,
Phil Daro, Public Forum on School
Steve Davis, Ergonauts:
Performance Technologists, LLC
George Dzuik, Texas Business &
Education Coalition
Sara Edwards, Dow Agrosciences
Robert Emmons, Advanced Micro
Devices, Inc.
Edward T. Esty, Mathematical
Sciences Education Board
LuAnn Fatheree, Bank One
Bob Fiala, National Collegiate
Athletic Association
Brian Frazier, Roche Diagnostics
Kim Gattis, Association for State
Supervisors of Math
John Gedrick, Indiana State
112 A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
William Graves, Eli Lilly and Company
Randy S. Greenberg, IBM
Dawn Griffin, Delco Remy
William H. Guenther, Mass Insight
Arthur C. Heinricher, Worcester
Polytechnic Institute
Eric Highley, Associated General
Contractors of Kentucky, Inc.
Jennifer Holohan, SBC
David Hooper, Belden Wire
Cheryl Houghton, Houston Coca-
Cola Bottling Company
Deborah J. Hughes Hallett,
University of Arizona
Carol Jago, Santa Monica High
School (Santa Monica, California)
Rodney Kelly, Kentucky
Department of Education
James Keough, Indianapolis Star
Lisa Kurzejeski, IBM
Jeanette Lackey, Mays Chemical
Jowel C. Laguerre, Truckee
Meadows Community College
Craig Laker, Knauf Fiberglass
Michael D. Lamey, American
General Finance
Jerry Land, Vectren
Erin Lankowsky, Reno-Sparks
Chamber of Commerce
Emily Lee, Sterling Bank
Jules Leichter, U.S. Department of
the Treasury
Tamiko Leslie, Citizens Gas
Kelli Lester Brown, Emmis
Mark Leyda, Michigan State
Anne Loring, Washoe County
School District (Nevada)
Ann Lynn, Linbeck Construction
Vann Mabry, FedEx Corporation
Alan G. MacDonald, Massachusetts
Business Roundtable
Denny Martindale, Granite
Construction Company
Mo McIntosh, Pillow Express Delivery
Sylvia McMullen, Greater Houston
Jim Milgram, Stanford University
George Miller, University of
California, Irvine
Lee Miller, Sidney High School
(Sidney, Ohio)
Fabio Milner, Purdue University
Debbie Moreland, Duke Realty
Laurie Morrow, Vermont
Association of Scholars
Jim Murray, Baker & Daniels
Steve Newman, Northern Kentucky
Joe Pellissier, Sierra Pacific Nevada
Dan Peterson, Cook Incorporated
and Sabin Corporation
Olga Piskor-De Jesus, CenterPoint
Energy, Inc.
Mike Plaster, Kirby Risk
Stacie Porter-Bilger, Indianapolis
Chamber of Commerce
Thomas Powell, Latham & Watkins
George Pullman, Georgia State
George Purcell, Jr., Center for State
Winifred Radigan, The New York
City Department of Education
Kim Ragland, University of
Mary Lynn Raith, Pittsburgh Public
Schools (Pennsylvania)
William Craig Rice, American
Academy for Liberal Education
Royal Skousen, Brigham Young
Tracy Souza, The Cummins
Lynn Steen, St. Olaf College
Sandra Stotsky, Northeastern
Ronald Strantz, Rowland Design
Brian Vance, Cinergy
Lisa Votti, SETON Healthcare
Jeffrey Watt, Purdue University
Marilyn A. Whirry, Education
Nellie Williams, Mays Chemical
Yolanda Wilson, Anthem Blue Cross
and Blue Shield
Hung-Hsi Wu, University of
Harry York, Reno-Sparks Chamber
of Commerce
Eugene Young, Sam Houston State
Paula Ziegler, Nordstrom
113 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Marvin Bailey, Corporation for
Educational Technology
Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Chamber of
Brian Burton, Indiana
Manufacturers Association
John Grew, Office of the Governor
Commissioner Stanley G. Jones,
Indiana Commission for Higher
Governor Joseph E. Kernan, State
of Indiana
HeatherMacek, Office of the
John Myrland, Indianapolis
Chamber of Commerce
Governor Frank O?Bannon, State of
Indiana (Former)
Cheryl Orr, Indiana?s Education
Stacie Porter-Bilger, Indianapolis
Chamber of Commerce
Superintendent Suellen Reed,
Indiana Department of Education
Dorothy Winchester, Indiana
Department of Education
Floyd Worley, Office of the Governor
Lois Adams-Rogers, Kentucky
Department of Education
James L. Applegate, Kentucky
Council on Postsecondary
Steve Barger, Kentucky State District
Council of Carpenters AFL-CIO
Dianne M. Bazell, Kentucky Council
on Postsecondary Education
William Brundage, Governor?s
Office for Policy and Management
Gordon K. Davies, Kentucky
Council on Postsecondary
Mike Fleitz, Kentucky State District
Council of Carpenters Training
Governor Ernie Fletcher,
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Ed Ford, Office of the Governor
Linda France, Kentucky
Department of Education
Lydia Carol Gabbard, Kentucky
P?16 Council
Gail Henson, Kentucky P?16 Council
Carolyn Witt Jones, Partnership for
Kentucky Schools
Kris Kimel, Kentucky Science and
Technology Corporation
Cheryl D. King, Kentucky Adult
President Tom Layzell, Kentucky
Council on Postsecondary
Bill Londrigan, Kentucky State
Governor Paul E. Patton,
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Allen D. Rose, Cabinet for
Workforce Development
Robert F. Sexton, The Prichard
Committee for Academic Excellence
John Stanton, Kentucky Advocates
for Higher Education
Commissioner Gene Wilhoit,
Kentucky Department of Education
Selma Botman, University of
William Bulger, University of
John Davis, American Saw and
Manufacturing Company
Commissioner David P. Driscoll,
Massachusetts Department of
Chancellor Judith I. Gill,
Massachusetts Board of Higher
William H. Guenther, Mass Insight
Richard Gurin, S&H Greenpoints
Alan G. MacDonald, Massachusetts
Business Roundtable
James A. Peyser, Massachusetts
Board of Education
Patricia Plummer, Massachusetts
Board of Higher Education
S. Paul Reville, Massachusetts
Institute for a New Commonwealth
Governor Mitt Romney,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Current and Former Partner State Team Members
Before applying to participate as an ADP partner state, each state assembled a team of
state leaders ? the governor, the chief state school officer, state higher education system
heads, a business leader and others ? to support, guide and contribute to the work of the
project. It is through the efforts of these individuals that policy changes reflecting the
ADP benchmarks have been implemented in various partner states and also through
their efforts that much of the work of the project has been made possible.
114 A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
Sean Rush, IBM
William Spring, Federal Reserve
Bank of Boston
Governor Jane Swift,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Melanie Winklosky, Massachusetts
Department of Education
Ray Bacon, Nevada Manufacturers
Christine Chairsell, University and
Community College System of
Richard A. Curry, University and
Community College System of
John Filler, University of Nevada,
Las Vegas
Governor Kenny C. Guinn, State of
Mike Hillerby, Office of the
Superintendent Jack W. McLaughlin,
Nevada Department of Education
Chancellor Jane A. Nichols,
University and Community College
System of Nevada
Commissioner Felipe Alanis, Texas
Education Agency (Former)
Arturo Almendarez, Texas
Education Agency
Commissioner Don W. Brown, Texas
Higher Education Coordinating
Chancellor R. D. Burck, University of
Texas System
Chancellor Howard D. Graves,
Texas A&M University System
Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley,
University of North Texas System
Linda McDonough, Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board
Commissioner Jim Nelson, Texas
Education Agency (Former)
Governor Rick Perry, State of Texas
Patricia Porter, Texas State Board
for Educator Certification
William Reaves, Texas A&M
University System
Drew Scheberle, Texas Business &
Education Coalition
Robert Scott, Texas Education
John H. Stevens, Texas Business &
Education Coalition
Marianne Vaughan, Texas
Education Agency
Diane Allen, University of North
Efraim P. Armendariz, University of
Marilyn Asteriadis, Purdue
University North Central
Emerson W. Baker II, Salem State
Ann Bartosh, Kentucky
Department of Education
William Belanger, Worcester State
Karen Bennett, Ben Davis High
School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Fariba Bigdeli-Jahed, Kentucky
State University
Roland Blanchette, Massasoit
Community College
Maria L. Blanton, University of
Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Ann Booth, Lincoln County High
School (South Stanford, Kentucky)
Sue Borders, Texas Education
James W. Brant, Nevada
Department of Education
Ted Brown, Murray State University
Margaret Butler, Central Kentucky
Technical College, Danville
Ursula Carlson, Western Nevada
Community College
David Champoux, Holyoke
Community College
Caroline Chiccarelli, Worcester
State College
Postsecondary Study (Gap Analysis) Participants
The following people participated in the ADP?s Gap Analysis meetings. They analyzed the
content of state high school exit exams and postsecondary admissions and placement tests.
Representing two- and four-year state colleges and university systems, many also helped
to define the postsecondary expectations for incoming freshmen reflected in the ADP
benchmarks. Many of these individuals also provided ADP with samples of work from
their institutions of higher education to help illustrate how high school graduates would
use the skills and knowledge found in the ADP benchmarks once they left high school.
115 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
William Leon Coburn, University of
Nevada, Las Vegas
Richard Coffey, Lowell High School
(Lowell, Massachusetts)
David V. Cohn, University of Louisville
Douglas M. Colbert, University of
Lora Connelly, North Shore
Community College
Joyce Cookman, Indiana University
Paul Davis, Truckee Meadows
Community College
Luci Fortunato DeLisle,
Bridgewater State College
Heidi Diefes-Dux, Purdue University
David Eaton, Murray State University
Jhone M. Ebert, Clark County
School District (Nevada)
JoAnne Eresh, Achieve, Inc.
Cynthia Faulkner, Morehead State
Blaine Ferrell, Western Kentucky
John Filler, University of Nevada,
Las Vegas
Kaye Forgione, Achieve, Inc.
Elizabeth Gillespie, Vincennes
William Graesser, Ivy Tech State
Jeanne Ann Graham, Ivy Tech State
Michael Gress, Vincennes University
Mel Griffin, Northeast Texas
Community College
Alyce Grover, Somerset
Community College
Linda Hanson, Ball State University
Carol Harriman, Washoe County
School District (Nevada)
Kate Harrington, University of
Stephen J. Hegedus, University of
Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Gail Henson, Bellarmine University
Robert Herrick, Purdue University
Gerald Higdon, Fitchburg State
Anna Holston, Central Texas College
Fred Jackson, Community College
of Southern Nevada
Harvey Johnson, Angelo State
Walt Johnson, University of
Nevada, Reno
Carlton Jordan, The Education Trust
Ed Keppelmann, University of
Nevada, Reno
Christian Knoeller, Purdue University
Mary Jean Lang, Nevada
Department of Education
Bruce Latta, Edison Schools
Paul Laverty, Mt. Wachusett
Community College
Kelly Linz, Center for Innovation in
Muffett Livaudais, Texas Education
Robert Lorch, University of Kentucky
Carol A. Lowe, McLennan
Community College
Thomas Mackey, University of
Dan Maki, Indiana University
W. Gary Martin, Auburn University
Rene Mathews, Kentucky
Department of Education
Bethe McBride, Haverhill Public
Schools (Massachusetts)
Linda McDonough, Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board
Linda McKinley, Indiana University
Marta Meana, University of
Nevada, Las Vegas
Marlowe Miller, University of
Massachusetts, Lowell
Valerie Miller, Georgia State
Fabio Milner, Purdue University
Sonia Milrod, Mason City Schools
Ruth Mitchell, The Education Trust
Barbara Montalto, Texas Education
Richard Nagle, Massasoit
Community College
Carola Naumer, Truckee Meadows
Community College
Laura Newhart, Eastern Kentucky
Larbi Oukada, Indiana University-
Purdue University Indianapolis
Lorraine A. Plasse, Springfield
Public Schools (Massachusetts)
Wanda Poteat, Elizabethtown
Technical College
Joan Puckett, Vincennes University
George Pullman, Georgia State
Ernest Ratliff, Southwest Texas
State University
Michael Roach, Indiana
Department of Education
Kathleen Robins, University of
Nevada, Las Vegas
Shirley Rombough, Great Basin
Bill Rowley, University of Nevada,
116 A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
Owen Schaub, Butler University
Phillip Schmidt, Northern Kentucky
Jolene Schoenherr, Indiana
Professional Standards Board
Pamela Shaw-George, Salem State
John S. Smith, Great Basin College
Larry Snyder, Western Kentucky
Denis Sorge, Purdue University
Anne Steele, Shrewsbury Public
Gail Summerskill, University of
Barbara Taylor, Bunker Hill
Community College
Tommy Thompson, Cedar Valley
Marcy Towns, Ball State University
Larry Tramer, Community College
of Southern Nevada
Robert Trammel, Fort Wayne
Community Schools (Indiana)
Barbara Walters, Ashland
Community College
Jeffrey Watt, Purdue University
School of Science
Martha Wilson, Indiana
Department of Education
Dorothy Winchester, Indiana
Department of Education
W. David Winsper, Springfield
Technical Community College
Eugene Young, Sam Houston State
Victoria Young, Texas Education
Dan Ash, Metropolitan College
Bruce Aumack, IBM
Alecia Baker, Micron Technology, Inc.
Jeff Benson, Idaho National
Engineering and Environmental
Julie Burwell, Kentucky Educational
Marybeth Davies, Dupont Paralegal
John L. Fisher, UPS
Sally Foster, SETON Healthcare
Virginia Gaines Fox, Kentucky
Educational Television
Larry Harvey, John Ascuaga?s Nugget
Fred Henney, Lockheed Martin
Joseph W. Kelly, Columbia Gas of
Maria Kilgo, Micron Technology, Inc.
John Kinney, UPS
Diane Lahola, Sutter Health
Edward M. Lewis, Lockheed Martin
Karla Lovelady, Guaranty Financial
Sherry Makely, Clarion Health Care
George Martinez, Sterling Bank
Mary Molina, Guaranty Financial
Donna Moore, Kentucky
Educational Television
Teri Munger, Hewlett-Packard
Mike Phillips, Sutter Health
Mary Jo Sanna, Austin Regional
Industry/Education Systems
Julian Serda, Advanced Micro
Devices, Inc.
David Shane, LDI, Ltd.
Cathy Tulka, Micron Technology, Inc.
Karen Vauk, Micron Technology, Inc.
William Wilson, Kentucky
Educational Television
Workplace Study Participants
In 2002, the following business professionals were surveyed and interviewed by staff from
the National Alliance of Business, an original ADP partner organization, to confirm the set
of skills and knowledge necessary for success in the high-growth and highly skilled occupations
identified in the ADP workplace study. This research resulted in the preliminary draft
of the ADP workplace expectations. Many of these individuals also provided ADP with samples
of work from their companies to help illustrate how high school graduates would use the
skills and knowledge found in the ADP benchmarks once they left high school.
117 R E A D Y O R N O T : C R E A T I N G A H I G H S C H O O L D I P L O M A T H A T C O U N T S
Partner Organization Staff and Other Colleagues
The following people from partner organizations and beyond have been of invaluable help
to the establishment of the ADP benchmarks and to the policy efforts in ADP partner states.
Many of these individuals also provided ADP with samples of work from their companies
or institutions of higher education to help illustrate how high school graduates would use
the skills and knowledge found in the ADP benchmarks once they left high school.
ADP Staff
Sheila Byrd
Mara Clark
Elsa Greer
John Kraman
Susan Pimentel, Consultant
Partner Organization Staff
Vickie Barber, Achieve, Inc.
Patte Barth, The Education Trust
Eveline Carpenter, Achieve, Inc.
Matthew Gandal, Achieve, Inc.
Joseph Garcia, Achieve, Inc.
Sonja Jerome, Achieve, Inc.
Marci Kanstoroom, Thomas B.
Fordham Foundation
John Mabasa, Achieve, Inc.
Laura McGiffert, Achieve, Inc.
Tiffany Pache, Achieve, Inc.
Kathleen Porter, Thomas B.
Fordham Foundation
Ronn Robinson, Achieve, Inc.
Levon Saunders, Achieve, Inc.
Jan Somerville, National
Association of System Heads
Peter Weber, Achieve, Inc.
T. Jason Weedon, Achieve, Inc.
Other Colleagues
Alecia Baker, Micron Technology, Inc.
Tom Bridges, Montclair State
Anthony P. Carnevale, Educational
Testing Service
Ann Brigid Clark, Sheppard, Mullin,
Richter, & Hampton LLP
Gina Claywell, Murray State
Arthur L. Coleman, Nixon Peabody
Donna M. Desrochers, Educational
Testing Service
Patricia Drury, Ford Motor Company
Susan K. Eddins, Illinois
Mathematics and Science Academy
Dagney Faulk, Indiana University
Rodney Ferguson, Lipman-Hearne
Will Fitzhugh, The Concord Review
Lynee Lewis Gaillet, Georgia State
Judy Gantt, SETON Healthcare
Shane Graham, Sam Houston State
Aimee Rogstad Guidera, National
Center for Educational
Mark Healy, Harper College
Roberts T. Jones, National Alliance
of Business
Aundrea Kelley, Massachusetts
Board of Higher Education
Sarah Marshall, CQK Music/I Write
the Songs
Scott R. Palmer, Nixon Peabody LLP
Joseph Randolph, Center for State
Linda P. Rosen, Education Policy
Robert B. Schwartz, Harvard
Graduate School of Education
Barbara Stonewater, Northern
Kentucky Council of Partners in
Christine Tell, Oregon University
Susan Traiman, Business
Roundtable, Education Initiative
Mike Tucker, Eastman Global
Learning Services
Claus von Zastrow, Council for
Basic Education
Jennifer Vranek, Partnership for
1 National Center for Education Statistics, National Education Longitudinal Study:
1988?1994, 1996.
2 Public Agenda, Great Expectations, 2000.
3 National Center for Education Statistics, Access to Postsecondary Education for 1992 High
School Graduates, 1997.
4 National Center for Education Statistics, Remedial Education at Degree-Granting
Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000, 2003.
5 National Center for Education Statistics, Condition of Education 2001, 2001.
6 California State University, ?Proficiency Levels of CSU Freshmen Increase,? January
7 National Center for Education Statistics, Condition of Education 2002, 2002.
8 U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement,
Answers in the Tool Box, 1999.
9 Answers in the Tool Box, 1999.
10 Public Agenda, Reality Check 2002, 2002.
11 Mackinac Center for Public Policy, The Cost of Remedial Education, 2000.
12 John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University, ?Making the
Grade?? 2000.
13 National Association of System Heads, State-Level Reporting of High School Outcomes
and Post-secondary Readiness Data, 2002.
14 NELS was a 12-year survey following a cohort of students who were 8th graders in 1988.
The cohort graduated from high school in 1992. High school transcripts provided detailed
accounts on the course-taking patterns (as well as the grades) of survey participants.
15 For the complete analysis, see ?Connecting Education Standards and Employment:
Course-taking Patterns of Young Workers? at
16 In some states, representatives from ?flagship? campuses participated in the study as well.
17 State-by-state findings were published and shared with partner states. They are available

The American Diploma Project
Achieve, Inc.
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Suite 410
Washington, DC 20006