By Victor Ochieng
Through concerted efforts to keep students in school, the high school graduation rate in the United States has hit a record high of 81%. That’s good news, particularly knowing that there has been improvement across the nation.
However, there are growing concerns as to whether having a high school diploma translates into college or career readiness.
Robin White Goode, did a piece published on Black Enterprise, in which he gave an account of a brother of a young businesswoman he encountered at the White House earlier this year. The man told him that his mother had done everything within her means to keep his sister in private schools. Subsequently, his sister received a quality education that made her college ready and she was able to excel in her college education as well.
On the contrary, her siblings had been left to study in local schools, where nothing much was demanded of them.
In the end, the brother managed to go to college, but because he wasn’t college ready, he dropped out. Now, the brother is working in the janitorial services.
By settling for such a low profile job, it shows that his low quality high school education neither made him college ready nor career ready.
Although it’s a known fact that historically black colleges and universities tend to pick students from their educational and course mastery levels, Goode notes that we should be asking whether this is how things should be.
According to a recent report released by Education Trust, by successfully going through high school education, one should be career or college ready, yet for a majority of graduates neither is true.
According to an analysis conducted by the Education Trust, a mere 8% of students who graduate from high school pursued a course that prepared them for either the job market or college; 31% pursued a curriculum that only prepared them for college, while 13% took career focused courses. Sadly, the report revealed that a whopping 47% pursued a curriculum they described as not “cohesive.”
The question that lingers is how is it possible for a student to successfully go through high school and still not be college or career ready.
“Schools can’t let students get caught in the gap between qualifying for graduation and falling short of postsecondary preparedness,” the report states.
According to the collected data, a majority of schools are focused on accumulation of credits instead of centering on cohesive learning that gets the students ready for post secondary success.
The students are grilled to accumulate credits enough to meet the demands of their schools, but not to master the courses they undertook.
Goode concludes his piece saying that graduating from high school should represent mastery and not simple seat time or credits accrual. The report underlines the fact that mastery gets graduates ready for postsecondary success.