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Diplomas Count 2007: Ready for What?


As high school commencement time rolls around, states are working to ensure that their graduates are "ready" for life after high school.

Eleven states report that they have adopted a definition of "college readiness," and 14 more are in the process of doing so. Twenty-one states report they have a definition of "work readiness," and 10 more states are tackling the issue.

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?

Share your thoughts on the connection between education, earnings, and a decent job.


As an educational diangostician, I can say with validity that all students are not created equal. As an educator I have been very concerned about the false belief that all children should go or can go to college. We need to help all student's reach their fullest potential, whether is be preparing them for managing a home, preparing for the work force or going on to pursue a college education.

Everything that I see indicates that there are not really big differences anymore in the go-to-work and go-to-college routes. Senator John Glenn several years ago authored a report showing that even in industry (to the extent that there are industrial jobs these days), a level of technology and mathematics and scientific knowledge is needed that were not in previous generations. Also--most workers can look forward to multiple job changes that will require some level of training/retraining at later (if not sooner) points in their lives.

The global economy has also inserted a need for foreign language acquisition and cultural sensitivity that were formerly absent. The schools that are doing vocational education well are very cognizant that we are not dealing with either/or situations.

I recognise the value of research to the long term improvement of educational practice, but I question at least one aspect of the research in this area: I suspect that the researchers go looking for suppport for the beliefs they already have. Panels include drop outs who are not happy that they have dropped out, drop outs who make less than a certain amount are judged to not have a "decent" (note the moral connotations of this word) job. I think the samples and panels should include young people who chose to stop going to school (not the perjorative "dropped out") and who are glad they did, and who have gone on to create a life for themselves according to their own needs and abilities, and who may choose to "live poor" at an " not decent" job so that they can be free to accomplish other goals.

Regardless, of the disneyland thinking, not all students are capable of preforming in College.
Lood at the REMEDIAL courses for "pretend" College students. The Colleges just water down the content... so a diploma may mean zero.
They could learn a trade and end up making more than teachers... i.e. plumbing, electricial, building, etc.

I think all of the comments or at least most of them have some validity and if we lived in a perfect world that thinking would be fine. But we don't live in a perfect world. Our perceptions color everything we do and think. Our perceptions about race, gender, economic status, etc. dictates who should be a college bound person and who should be the garbage collector. Until we overcome those biases, expect and teach everyone like they may become president!

I would say American expecting all children to be both college and career ready is, bias.
Career ready, how can you expect high school students to be career ready if they are not permitted to work until the age of 16 and have limitations on a job.
College ready, students do not learn on the same level and a extra course can help get them on the state standard level, if necessary.
Let me give you a visual aid.
Example: Learning to ride a bike.
Do you learn how to ride a bike in one day? NO! It take TIME to develop this skill. Remember training wheels, its on the same lines of Remedial Courses. But, once you have it you have it.
However, America still expects you to be college and career ready.
BUT, once the student finishes college they don’t have a decent job awaiting graduation.
So they are left unemployed for about two years and in debt.
I am sorry I really don’t see the connection between education, earning and a decent job.
I see DEBT, because students try to meet these expectation and majority of them end up with a degree and no job after gradation.

Diplomas count??

In Florida school districts are allowed to dupe the public by counting every student graduated, given a certificate of attendance or assigned to the GED program in their reported graduation rate.
Any district would be proud to boast a graduation rate of 92.3%.
What about the 63% of high school students reading below grade level or the 43% in the district failing? With about 30,000 social promotions each year I think it is criminal to continue to count graduation rates different than 45 of the 50 states.
All school districts must privatize and get away from the “One Big Family” traditional education. Look at Year Round 4 track to cut cost by 25%.
It is time to educate with a vision. If this means do away with DOE and union control so be it.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • Bob Brewster: Diplomas count?? In Florida school districts are allowed to dupe read more
  • LaToya Nelson/PreShool Teacher: I would say American expecting all children to be both read more
  • Barbara/Administrator: I think all of the comments or at least most read more
  • sue/sp.ed. teacher: Regardless, of the disneyland thinking, not all students are capable read more
  • Ken: I recognise the value of research to the long term read more




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