The unready

More than a third of Illinois high school graduates aren’t ready for college, concludes the Illinois Education Research Council; an additional 28 percent are partially prepared. Forty-three percent of the unprepared students go to college, as do 58 percent of minimally ready students. When students find out they face more than a year of remedial classes before they can earn college credit, they tend to quit.

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Comments

  1. That is the natural consequence of colleges wanting more and more enrollment, rather than quality of students.

  2. Mr. Davis says:

    Why is it a problem that some high school graduates are not prepared to go to college? Is the purpose of high school to prepare every child to go to college? Are there some children for whom a college education would be a waste of resources and time? Ought they not be graduated? At a certain point these sorts of stories lead me to believe that too much of education is about making jobs for educationists, not preparing kids to make the world a better place.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    Mr. Davis,

    The real question should be: Should we expect high school graduates to function at the 12th grade level whether they do to college or not? The reason that many high school graduates are not ready for college is that they are graduating while functioning at the 9th grade level or below.

    If a student wants to be a tradesmen, that’s fine. If they want a high school diploma, they should still be able to function at the 12th grade level.

  4. ragnarok says:

    Mr. Davis,

    Think of this as half “Truth in Labelling” and half “Everyone must be able to do some minimum set of tasks”.

    When kids graduate from high school, we expect them to be able to basic stuff – like read. If they can’t do these things, then everything else is immaterial, and the schools have not done their job. Yes, I can hear Mike in Texas in the distance, conducting the NEA’s 1st Symphony, the “WeNeedMoreMoney”, but alas! the cruel world ignores him.

  5. Mr. Davis says:

    It has been at least 3 dsecades since anyone thought the high school dipolma meant anything other than having spent time in the system. What is now the 12th grade level superdestroyer speaks of is lower than the 8th grade level my grandfather maxed out at. The high school diploma is now simply another feel good award for keeping NEA members occupied for 13 years.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    No, I am not a teacher, but I DID read JJ last night.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    Mr. Davis,

    Getting nostalgic for the “good old days” is the fastest way to lose credibility when discussing education. Remember, 1954 was the first year when 50% of 19 year olds had graduated from college. In addition, very few of those students had gone past taking algebra and very few had ever studied a foreign language.

    In today’s world, the top students are much better than the top students of the past including your grandfather. The problem is that the many of those students who used to not graduate now finish school and graduate. They graduate while performing at the same level as those drop outs in the 50’s

  8. Mr. Davis says:

    Getting nostalgic for the “good old days” is the fastest way to lose credibility when discussing education.

    Right. That’s why they had to recenter the SAT scores, because of the great job the educationists have been doing for the last 40 years.

  9. “In today’s world, the top students are much better than the top students of the past including your grandfather. The problem is that the many of those students who used to not graduate now finish school and graduate. They graduate while performing at the same level as those drop outs in the 50’s ”

    And that wastes years of everyone’s life. The high school graduate of the 50’s could start his life at age 18 and work for people who knew that a high school graduate was moderately educated. Today, to convince an employer that you’re moderately educated, you have to put your life on hold until age 22 and spend many thousands of dollars (or depend on parental largess you should have outgrown for same) to get a college degree. The idiots that would have dropped out in a better time now have high school diplomas, so yours won’t impress anyone that you can handle tasks more complicated than taking the frozen potato sticks out of the big box full of hot grease when it beeps at you.

    Meanwhile that dropout could have started his life at age 15-16 with the same level of education he now cannot get until at least age 18; if he wants a job that employers would have entrusted a high school dropout with in the 50’s, he has to sit through three more years of class and get the diploma that would have been a much higher achievement back then.

    It’s all a wash, except for the wasted years, not to mention the consequently greater chance of derailing any educational course that you’d otherwise qualify for with accidental pregnancies.

    So I’d say we are worse off on the educational front than we were in the 1950’s.

  10. Mr. Davis says:

    Ken, we’re not all worse off. Think of all those educationists who’ve been paid to baby sit while those former dropouts while away their time in classrooms as to those who go to unnecessary college.

  11. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Geez…here’s a radical notion. Perhaps not everyone should go to college. {Gasps heard} The combination of dumbed-down curriculum, multicultural pablum, leftist social engineering programs, indoctrination rather than intellectual rigor and denial of reality (there really is a bell curve of potential and performance) have all contributed to placing yesterday’s junior college students in today’s universities, yesterday’s vocational students in today’s universities, and yesterday’s immature dropouts in today’s universities. For some, they just need more time and maturity. For some, they should learn a vocational skill/trade and join the workforce. If someone is truly willing to commit to a college education, they can always go back when older. College is simply not for everyone, nor should it be touted as the be-all, end-all panacea for humanity. There is nothing inherently nobler about being a college graduate than being a plumber. The attitude that everyone should go to college is smacks of elitisim. And, hence, those who don’t really belong there harm the entire system, from the mediocre professors hired to ‘teach’, to the mediocre and sometimes laughable content of the classes, to the whole idea of ‘remedial’ classes that shouldn’t exist at the college level. A little honesty goes a long way.