What is so startling about that statement? If students aren't prepared for college by the time they leave high school, then their chances of doing well in college are not good. What frustrates me is that many high schools aren't doing their job anymore of preparing those students for college who want to go to college. That explains the high numbers of students I have had, especially at the University of Kentucky where I was a TA and where the student population was in general mostly young students who started there right out of high school and where older students were rare, who expected my classes to be like high school classes where they get A's for turning in their homework and showing up for class and for trying to do well on the exams. The fact that they believed their grades should reflect their effort rather than their understanding is a definite sign that their high schools did a poor job of preparing them for college.
As for preparing middle school students for high school, I agree with that assertion. Preparing high school students for college is a much easier task if we begin with middle school. But we cannot ignore such work at the high school level either. If we prepare middle school students for high school but then those students are then allowed to slide through high school without learning much, then whatever work we did will be completely undone.
On 10/7/2010 at 9:21 pm, Wayne Bishop wrote:
> Here is some really startling evidence from Ed > Week, "ensuring kids are prepared for college by > the time they leave high school is the single > most important thing we can do to improve college > completion rates." > > I'm going to go way out on a limb and speculate > that a good study would demonstrate that ensuring > kids are prepared for high school by the time > they leave middle school is the single most > important thing we can do to improve high school > completion rates." Unadulterated social promotion > in conjunction with opposition to testable > academic standards has been SOP for long time but > maybe there's a better way? > > Wayne > > http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2010/10/act_ > forum_on_improving_high.html > > > The High School Work of College Readiness > > By > <http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/high-school-connection > s/>Catherine > Gewertz on October 6, 2010 4:45 PM | > <http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2010/10/act > _forum_on_improving_high.html#comments>No > comments | > <http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2010/10/act > _forum_on_improving_high.html#recommends>No > recommendations > > Only a day after the White House Summit on > Community Colleges > <http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2010/10/hig > h_school_reform_100_million.html>made > me wonder if a focus on high school might be > getting lost in the commendable shuffle toward > higher education, the ACT convened a discussion > of its new report aboutyes!what is needed to > get high school students ready to succeed in college. > > The study, called > <http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/MindTheG > aps.pdf>"Mind > the Gaps," reminds us that far more high school > students say they plan to attend college than the > number of students who actually enroll. Cynthia > Schmeiser, the president of the ACT's education > division, told a gathering here in Washington, > D.C., today that the students who fall off the > college pathway typically do so because they > "have simply not had the same level of > preparation for postsecondary [education] as other > students." > > But "when kids are prepared for college," > Schmeiser said, "college achievement gaps narrow in > remarkable ways." > > The ACT's research already had found that key > high school factors correlate with a better > chance of college success, such as producing > certain scores on its ACT college entrance exam, > taking a strong core curriculum, and taking > additional coursework in math and science. Doing > those things makes it more likely that a student > will enroll in college, hang around for a second > year of college, get good grades and be able to skip > remedial classes. > > So ACT's researchers decided to see how those > ideas could be applied to closing the racial, > ethnic, and socioeconomic gaps in college-going > and college-success rates. And they found that > those gaps could be narrowed substantially by > building a broader base of college readiness > among high school students. (See the section of > the report beginning on page 37 for this discussion.) > > Among all students in the class of 2007 who took > the ACT, researchers found a 14-point gap between > white students and racial minority students in > the rate at which they enrolled in college within > a year of graduation. But among ACT-takers who > met college readiness benchmarks in all four > subjects, the gap was only 6 points. Similar > gap-closing dynamics were found when researchers > examined the rates at which students re-enrolled > for a second year of college, got good grades, > and avoided remedial classes. This was true for > racial/ethnic gaps as well as for those based on > family income level. > > The study shows, Schmeiser said, "that ensuring > kids are prepared for college by the time they > leave high school is the single most important > thing we can do to improve college completion rates."