High school is too easy

High school standards are too low, the National Governors’ Association says. The governors want “more rigorous standards and harder exams than states have already imposed, often with considerable difficulty,” the New York Times reports.

Despite the zeal for academic standards and exit exams that has swept across states in recent years, a high school diploma does little to ensure that graduates are capable of handling the work awaiting them in college or in the workplace, the National Governors Association said in a report issued yesterday. Graduation requirements remain so universally inadequate that it is possible to earn a diploma anywhere in the nation and still lack the basic skills required by colleges and employers, the governors reported.

Indeed, more than 4 in 10 public high school students who manage to graduate are unprepared for either college courses or anything beyond an entry-level job, the governors reported, requiring billions of dollars in remedial training to endow them with the skills “they should have attained in high school.”

The report calls for regular testing of high school students; No Child Left Behind doesn’t require high school testing. States with graduation exams typically lower standards when it’s clear that many students who’ve been passing their courses can’t pass a test of 10th grade skills.

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