Tuesday, May 15, 2007

College Prep Courses Don't Prepare Students

The NYTimes reports today that only 26% of high school students who took the required college prep courses (4 yrs English, 3rs of math, social studies, and science) were prepared to do college-level work in all areas.. They reported that 19% were prepared in no areas.

I don't know exactly what their methodology was, but this is consistent with our pattern here. The statistics for DFW rates in intro courses are even higher here.

I am not sure exactly how we deal with this, but as I grade my finals, the inadequacies are obvious. . .

3 comments:

sabai said...

This is why everybody “needs” a college education now. High school is a place where if someone has a pulse and show up to class 75% of the time they’ll get the same diploma as 4.0 student. Now many college students have to spend three years learning all the things they should have learned in high school, or even grade school. As a result professors have to dumb down their classes. Twenty years ago for job x a bachelor’s degree was required and now a master’s is need. Twenty years from now it will be a PhD.

lammers said...

As much as I think that Gov. Doyle's "eighth-grade pledge" is a good idea, I see a genuine potential for it to exacerbate this problem: "But Miss Grundy! If you give me a C, I lose out on that pledge I signed in 8th grade!!!" And then the disgruntled parents start filing lawsuits against the school district, and pretty soon, EVERYONE graduates high school in Wisconsin with a 3.5 GPA ... but can't reason their way out of a Glad bag.

If that program is to have any meaning, the high school teachers MUST enforce demanding standards. They will not be doing the students any favors to pass them along gently, completely unprepared for the buzzsaw that is college.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice that this has been discussed for my whole life. By this time, considering my age, no high school grad should be able to read :-) The real problem I think is the foreign competition in College. That's the thing that really makes this an issue. For that reason, that there is a very large percentage of foreign national students in certain majors, which causes the US educated student's terminal competitive grief, we certainly do need to improve the educational system!