Rigor & College Readiness

Keeping on topic 🙂 Dave Newbart finds that 1/3 of Illinois’ high school grads are not ready for college. Thus, 2/3 apparently are (evidently not, according to the article).

If colleges are to retain and graduate more students, the state needs to do a better job of educating them long before they set foot on campus, lawmakers and educators said Thursday.
New research presented by the Illinois Education Research Council at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Higher Education showed many Illinois high school graduates are simply not prepared to go to college.
More than one-third of Illinois graduates are not ready for college, said Jennifer Presley, director of the council, which is tracking nearly the entire class of 2002. Another 28 percent are only partially ready, she said. Yet 43 percent of the least ready students go to college, and 58 percent of minimally ready students do.

Joanne Jacobs has more.

“It’s shameful the number of people that are not prepared coming out of our high schools,” said state Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park), chair of the House Committee on Higher Education.
That means when they get to college, they are forced to make up what they failed to learn earlier. Carol Lanning, senior director for program planning and accountability at the Illinois Community College Board, said one in seven community college students — or 100,000 people — are enrolled in remedial classes, often to get help in one or two subjects. But the 10 percent of students who need help in three subjects “rarely succeed no matter what,” Lanning said.
Racial disparity decried
At City Colleges of Chicago, many students find themselves taking 1-1/2 years of remedial courses before they can even start earning college credit, officials said. Often, when students learn how long it will take, “they vote with their feet” and leave the school, said Perry Buckley, vice president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and an English teacher at City Colleges.
Officials with the Chicago Public Schools said they were trying to do more to prepare students, such as more Advanced Placement courses.
Still, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago) thinks the colleges need to focus more resources on programs that help students make it through. He said schools needed to do a better job tracking students and determining why graduation rates for Latinos and blacks are so much lower than for whites and Asians.
“Why are we today still falling short of answering that critical question?” he asked. “We’ve lost a lot of students over the last two decades. If we don’t fully answer that question, how do we put together a plan to change those numbers?”