Question Everything: The Rise of AVID as America's Largest College Readiness Program

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9781118438190: Question Everything: The Rise of AVID as America's Largest College Readiness Program
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How AVID levels the playing field, helping underserved students come out ahead

In Question Everything, award-winning education writer Jay Mathews presents the stories and winning strategies behind the Advancement Via Individual Determination program (AVID). With the goal of preparing students for the future – whether that future includes college or not – AVID teaches students the personal management skills that will help them survive and thrive. Focused on time management, presentation, and cooperation, the AVID program leads not only to impressive educational outcomes, but also to young adults prepared for life after school. This book tells the stories of AVID educators, students, and families to illustrate how and why the program works, and demonstrates how teachers can employ AVID's strategies with their own students.

Over the past thirty years, AVID has grown from a single teacher's practice to an organization serving 400,000 middle- and high-school students in 47 states and 16 countries. Question Everything describes the ideas and strategies behind the upward trajectory of both the program and the students who take part.

  • Learn which foundational skills are emphasized for future success
  • Discover how AVID teaches personal management skills in the academic context
  • Contrast AVID student outcomes with national averages
  • Consider implementing AVID concepts and techniques into current curricula

As college readiness becomes a top priority for the Federal Government, the Gates Foundation, and other influential organizations, AVID's track record stands out as one of success. By leveling the playing field and introducing "real-world" realities early on, the program teaches students skills that help them in the workplace and beyond.

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From the Inside Flap:

Meet the people who've been quietly turning hundreds of thousands of underserved students into college-bound high achievers

The Advancement Via Individual Determination program—otherwise known as AVID—is the nation's largest college preparatory program. Once a school adopts AVID teaching strategies, student performance improves campus-wide. Yet for more than three decades, AVID has been largely ignored in the dialogue about improving student outcomes and closing the achievement gap. What's going on?

Question Everything outlines the time-tested AVID program beginning with its creation in the 1980s by classroom teacher Mary Catherine Swanson. Filled with illustrative examples of how the AVID system has been applied successfully in real-world classrooms to help all students excel in college and in life, the book explores the central tenets of AVID:

  • All students take rigorous courses
  • Students are taught note-taking strategies that foster understanding
  • Focus shifts to inquiry-based learning
  • Trained tutors meet regularly with students
  • Applying for college is integral to classroom activities
  • Teachers and students are part of a freethinking family

Award-winning education journalist Jay Mathews takes us behind the scenes to witness how this rigorous college-readiness program was formed against all odds. He shows us how AVID not only helps students learn to absorb new information, but also trains them to continually ask questions that get to the conceptual root of each lesson. Most of all, Mathews illustrates how AVID equips students with the personal management skills they'll need in college—and the world beyond.

About the Author:

JAY MATHEWS is an award-winning education columnist. He writes for the Washington Post and is the author of nine books. Creator of the annual America's Most Challenging High Schools ratings, published on washingtonpost.com. Mathews has won numerous awards including the Upton Sinclair Award as "a beacon of light in the realm of education" and the Eugene Meyer Award for distinguished service to the Washington Post.

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