Thursday, April 30, 2009

Few urban students college-ready

Report: Few urban students college-ready | Kentucky Enquirer |

Having a dialog or debate about a subject is rapidly becoming a lost art despite the advances in communication technology.  Case in point, Strive conducted a report where they found only 3 percent of students from Covington Independent, 9 percent from Newport Independent Schools, and 16 percent from Cincinnati Public Schools were prepared last year in all four subject ares of the ACT.  The Catholic Schools in Cincinnati and Covington fare better with 33 percent and 21 percent respectively.

At my community college, this news comes as no surprise.  It is distressing to see the number of high school graduates who still need remedial math, reading, and writing.  The faculty who teach the remedial courses are convinced that they can overcome the educational deficit of these students (which may represent years) in just a few classes.  Yes, the remedial classes do help but should college students be taking essential high school classes?  

The tendency is to of course point to elementary and secondary schools as the problem.  Such an approach is simplistic and doesn't answer the real question; what is the role of secondary education?  Is it to prepare students for the work place or college?

The other discussion that needs to occur is between colleges and secondary education.  Are college requirements out of synch with high school curriculums?  How can we create a pathway to insure more high school graduates arrive at college able to start taking college courses and not remedial education courses.

The Strive report will open eyes but I fear it would lead to any solutions.

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