#132. Preparing for the Future – Part 2

Posted on | The Agurban

Last week we looked at some of the tough issues state policymakers and educators face as they redesign high school education for the future. We continue our series this week with more findings from the Diplomas Count report Ready for What? Preparing Students for College, Careers, and Life After High School.

Preparing for the Future – Part 2

Despite the increasing importance of education in the labor market, 1.23 million students will failed to graduate from high school in 2006. Nationwide, only about 70 percent of 9th graders make it to graduation four years later.

To better prepare students for college and careers, many states are working to define what they mean by “college” and “work” readiness. In a 50-state survey, Diplomas Count found:

  • ** Eleven states have a definition of college readiness, and 14 more are working on one. In all 11 states, those definitions are based on course requirements, and, in some cases, academic standards and test scores.
  • ** Twenty-one states have a definition of work readiness, and 10 more are working on one.
  • ** States, on average, require 20 course credits for students to earn a high school diploma, with 24 states offering advanced recognition to students who exceed standard graduation requirements. But only eight of those states provide advanced recognition for students in a career and technical field.
  • ** Twenty-two states now require students to pass an exit exam to earn a diploma. In 18 of those states, the exams are based on standards at the 10th grade level or higher. Sixteen of the exit-exam states also offer an appeals process or an alternative route to a diploma for students who fail the tests.
Despite all the activity, there is still plenty of confusion about precisely what it means to be “college” or “career” ready. Do Americans expect all students to be ready for college and work-or just for one or the other? And if they’re saying all students should be ready for both, does that mean every teenager must have exactly the same preparation in high school?

Based on the response we have received from last week’s Agurban, readers from all over the country believe that today’s youth are not prepared for the “real world”. To see what your state requires for graduation, go to Find Your State. Select your state under the Graduation Briefs Downloads.

Is your state doing enough?

If you don’t get involved in the solution, who will?