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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

New Mexico: Apply to college or else

New Mexico will make applying to college a high school graduation requirement, under a bill moving through the Legislature. “Exceptions would be made for students who can prove they have committed to military service, a vocational program, or work upon graduation in an apprenticeship or internship,” reports AP. (Getting a job that isn’t part of a program apparently doesn’t count.)

The goal is to increase college enrollment and develop a better-educated workforce.

New Mexico is a high-poverty state with many low-achieving students. Photo: Morgan Lee/AP

But New Mexico’s problems don’t start at the college door.

New Mexico schools ranked 50th in the nation on Education Week‘s Quality Counts analysis this year. The state earned a D- for K-12 achievement, notes the Santa Fe New Mexican. “Scores on standardized tests in the state remain dismal, with just 19.7 percent of students in grades 3-11 showing proficiency in math and 28.6 percent proficient in language arts.”

It’s easy, and usually free, to apply to a community college in New Mexico. Earning a certificate or degree generally takes math and reading skills.

Chicago will require high school students to submit a college/career plan to graduate. City Colleges of Chicago, which accept all applicants, is providing counselors to help students fill out forms.

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