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Peer-Review Record

Unpacking the Shortcomings of “College and Career Readiness” as an Educative Approach in Urban Schools as Preparation for Tomorrow’s Economy

Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 357;
Reviewer 1: Dimitrios Karras
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 357;
Received: 13 April 2022 / Revised: 11 May 2022 / Accepted: 13 May 2022 / Published: 19 May 2022

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

this work "Unpacking the Shortcomings of “College and Career Readiness” as an Educative Approach in Urban Schools as Preparation for Tomorrow’s Economy" discusses College and Career Readiness issues based on literature findings. It does not bring any new data and its processing into attention.  In such a case a more thorough review of the literature is anticipated with all relevant rival ideas outlined and compared. 

1) The authors bring into attention findings of one approach only, that of the paper. Research questions should be analyzed and discussed with respect to all approaches and all data available, all surveys available.  Different rival approaches should be compared and discussed.

2) The paper leads to generalization statements without all specific information needed. "College Readiness" is one and only one model applied the same for all colleges everywhere in USA, for all subjects of studies??? Too general and too abstract, not supported enough by surveys and reports for different subjects of studies. The same for careers readiness.  All careers will meet the same problems??? Obviously not. The approach of analysis is too averaging. It should be divided in fields. For instance social engineering, medical, financial, theoretical etc. sciences subjects Please no averaging and loose/hasty  generalizations

3) The presentation is not good. Provide your research questions, arguments and discussions according to the literature in graphics and tabular form for all supportive literature. Not lengthy unstructured discussions, The manuscript is unfortunately full of lengthy unstructured discussions

Author Response

Thank you for the close reading. I've set about making corrections to ensure the paper, a lit-review, reads smoother and the take-aways are more clear. I clarified that this was a literature review...with over 80 references. I also worked to clarify the conclusion that "college and career readiness" - a concept derived from the business community - had led districts to communicate a message that is increasingly unlikely even as more people seek higher levels of formal education. 

I worked to clarify that messaging. Thank you for your time and attention

Reviewer 2 Report

This is another important paper about how neoliberal politics dtermine and inforce discirmination in and through education. It is well written and gives a good overview of "career and college readiness" and the implications on minority ethnic students in the US. Yet, there are bearly new perspectives. The author*s mainly refer to older literatur and some recent discourses are not mentioned though would have been interesting (e. g. Berlants work on cruel optimism).

Author Response

I appreciate the close reading. I've set about correcting and clarifying the theoretical grounding of this lit review in hopes that readers can come away with the understanding that the approach in many schools, "college and career readiness" is potentially harmful as the implied guarantee becomes more and more in doubt - as more people are earning more formal education.

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

This work has several merits, but still several disadvantages. Its mainly a discussion based on literature, not an empirical study.  In such a case, for a thorough overview it is expected all arguments to come from facts supported by the literature and other studies.

There are still many claims like

"We see similar dynamics at play in corporate education reforms and the surge of charter schools. Public 'schools’ teachers in most states, like corrections officers referenced previously, are unionized professionals who demonstrate their proficiency to hold their post through completing collegiate coursework and earning a Bachelor’s degree  (and in some states a Master’s degree is required), pass a standardized assessment showing subject mastery, can collectively bargain, and earn a middle-class salary. Conversely, educators within the charter sector that is rapidly becoming more corporatized, are typically not unionized, less credentialed, stay in the profession for a comparatively shorter duration of time. Additionally, charter schoolteachers, typically, are paid less than their public-school counterparts. The lack of union affiliation, and the absence of staff’s ability to collectively bargain, in addition to lacking similar fiscal accountability, also serves to keep operational and educator costs lower while maximizing the pay of administration. And, since both charter and public schools are funded through taxpayer dollars, charters schools in the public psyche, are seen as a cost-effective alternative to traditional public education and its educators."

and many others

without any reference to a study , to a report to whatever. Its like personal opinion or personal view. 

Its not a good practice for a review article to just say opinions unsupported by studies or empirical research. Especially for non-USA readers such an attitude makes the discussion difficult to be understood, Since different policies facts may hold true in their countries.

In short, the article in its current form and presentation is not very suitable for non USA educators although all arguments are indeed of universal value, since they hold true in nearly all open countries including European. 

Please, although the arguments are valid and reasonable personal opinions on facts not supported by studies should be eliminated.


Second,  research design, questions, hypotheses and methods should be clearly stated in a separate small section together with analysis of your contribution with regards to other state of the art similar studies in this specific field.


Finally but not least what are the differences in research questions and answers and the whole overview with regards to this article/report??? Because I do not see much


Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: Unpacking the shortcomings of "college and career readiness" as an educative approach in urban schools as preparation for tomorrow's economy

Keith Benson, Ed. D Published 2020 147 Views26 Pages 1 File ▾ Urban Education, Social Capital, Capitalism, Social reproduction, Career and College Readiness"  


Author Response

Thank for the careful reading and the comments. After reading, I recognize this piece was assuming an American readership, which is has been addressed. I've marked the changes in red, and the strike throughs on parts that should be excised. 

I appreciate the comments. There has been a significant tempering of the claims that seemed more like personal advocacy if not jettisoning them completely.

After reading this finished version, I believe the language and the respect of a diverse readership has been addressed. I expressed what the central questions driving the article was, and referenced the purpose behind this College and Career Ready approach is.

In all, I believe this piece made significant strides thanks to your comments.


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