Students who score “proficient” in reading and between “basic” and “proficient” in math are prepared to pass college courses, analysts said. It wasn’t possible to judge career readiness.
High school graduation rates are up, but many students start college in remedial courses. Dropout rates are high for poorly prepared students.
“A lot of times we’re getting kids to graduate by asking less of them, not more of them,” says David Conley, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
“The question we have to ask ourselves is, how is it that we have probably twice that number of kids taking college-type prep courses, and yet only half of them are getting to the knowledge level they need? What’s going on in courses that are supposed to prepare kids for college?” Professor Conley asks.
NAEP is optimistic compared to ACT, which estimates that only about a quarter of ACT test-takers are prepared to succeed in college.