Monday, December 22, 2014

The Future of High School Education

I recently read a recent article published in Education Week regarding a survey that was recently administered to high school graduates. In short, here are a few highlights of the survey:

Among the findings in the 2014 survey:
• Eighty-three percent of college students reported at least some gaps in preparation in one or more subject areas , while 49 percent of those surveyed reported large gaps in one or more subject.
• About two-thirds of graduates said they would have taken higher-level courses in high school if they had realized the expectations of college and the working world.
• If high schools had demanded more and set higher academic standards, 87 percent of those surveyed said they would have worked harder.
• About one-third of college students wished their high school did a better job teaching work and study habits.
I have long argued there needs to be more of  a joint collaboration among K-12 Education and Higher Education. As a former 12th grade English teacher, I would grow increasingly frustrated when I would have former students return to tell me they had to take remedial English. 
Unfortunately, now that there is a required exit exam (Keystones), my fear is that some of the 'gaps' will not be adequately addressed as we strive to meet the new mandates. 
I vehemently believe in the value of this type of survey; in fact, I believe this type of feedback should drive what we do. Our job as educators is to prepare our students for the next phase of their life. If they are not being adequately prepared, it is time for us to go back to the drawing board. Our aim is to prepare students who can be contributing members of society- all else pales in comparison to this! 

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