Over the last few months, hundreds of thousands of high school seniors have walked across a stage and received a diploma, an important moment that should be applauded.
Unfortunately, for many of those students, that diploma represents a false promise.
Recent data from the ACT, Inc. shows that only 25 percent of high school students who take the test are college-ready in all subject areas. In my home state of Tennessee, the situation is even bleaker. All students in Tennessee take the ACT test, but only 15 percent meet college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading, and science. While more than 80 percent of our students say they want to attain at least a two-year degree, far too few are graduating with the skills they need to thrive after high school. Even some high school valedictorians are taking remedial courses in college. Too many students are completely unprepared for the future.
These hard truths are particularly worrisome because college readiness and a postsecondary credential are critical to longterm success. In 2010, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that almost two-thirds of all job openings in the United States by 2018 will require some form of postsecondary education — including technical certificates and Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and advanced degrees. Last year, the unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma was 14.1 percent. For those with a Bachelor’s degree, it was 4.9 percent. (Read more.)
Via Bill Frist, The Week.