Conference looks at high schools

The USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice at the Rossier School of Education began a three-day conference Wednesday focusing on the future of high school education in the United States.

The conference, called the 21st Century Knowledge and Skills: The New High School Curriculum and The Future of Assessment, will feature keynote speakers, including MIT Dean of Admission Stuart Schmill and University of Texas Vice Provost for Admissions and Enrollment Kedra Ishop.

The conference, which has 170 registered attendees, aims to re-evaluate the current high school curriculum in an attempt to better prepare high school students for college and future careers.

Jerry Lucido, executive director of CERPP, said attendees of the conference will be examining the national high school curriculum and looking at international education models of excellence.

“We live in a rapidly changing world. The question is, when are we preparing students? Are we preparing them for that world?” Lucido said. “There are a lot of complaints about multiple choice testing and how that does not help prepare students. When we think about standards that we are setting, we have to teach them how to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitude that they will need.”

Jessica Payne, a junior majoring in dental hygiene, said it is important for high school curricula to be re-evaluated in order to prepare college-bound students for the real world.

“It would be a lot smarter for students in high school to be brought out into the real world because that way, once they are out of college, they know what is ahead of them, instead of thinking about the materialistic and superficial things that high school students mainly focus on,” Payne said.