Edupundits’ focus on teacher quality, misses the point, argues Will Fitzhugh on The Concord Review. What counts is whether students do serious academic work in high school, such as reading history books or writing a research paper. Academics Lite students aren’t prepared for college reading and writing and often end up in remedial classes, doing high school all over again.
They’re not prepared for the workforce either. Employers spend more than $3 billion a year trying to teach writing skills to their employees, according to the Business Roundtable.
Students aren’t held responsible for doing the work, Fitzhugh complains.
As Paul Zoch has so regularly pointed out, the message (sent) down the line to students is that their job is to get through high school with a minimum of work, while it is someone else’s responsibility to educate them.
. . . We should not kid them about the need for serious reading and academic expository writing, and when we do, we are not educating them, we are cheating them.
Many students, especially those whose parents aren’t college-educated, have no idea what skills, knowledge and work habits are required to pass college classes. They pass classes labeled “college prep” with B’s and C’s. They think they’re doing well enough. If they knew they were in remedial prep they might work a lot harder.