This might be funny – If it weren’t TRUE!

Parents and students who have heard me speak have heard me talk have heard about the four reasons why so many college students (69%) don’t graduate in four years. Number two on that list is that many of our high schools are turning out students who are NOT prepared to handle college-level courses.

I live in Dallas, and last week The Dallas Morning News published an article (Headline: 24% yet to pass STAAR) which gave the following statistics about public education in Texas:

  • 76% of the 309,000 students that make up the high school graduating class of 2015 have passed four of the five STAAR end-of-course exams that are required for them to graduate next year. (The fifth exam is taken by most juniors this spring semester)
  • This was AFTER failing grades in either English I or English II were ‘forgiven’ if their combined score in these two exams was high enough. Without this special dispensation, an additional 25% would not be on track to graduate  – making the total nearly 50%!
  • This was also after the state legislature reduced the number of exams required to graduate down from 15 to just 5
  • Students only had to correctly answer ONLY 37% of the questions on the Algebra I and Biology exams, and slightly more than 60% of the questions on the English I and II exams. That is what they consider to be passing grades!

So, it looks like, if they can’t pass 15 exams – let’s just give them 10, and if they can’t pass at 70%, let’s make it 60% or 37% is the answer to the question, “Are our high school students prepared for college-level courses after high school?”

What wasn’t clear was if the legislature was also going to suggest that colleges lower their expectations for what students need to score on their course exams to pass at the next level…

Like I said, this might by funny – if it weren’t TRUE!

As parents, how much are you watching how the high schools you send your kids to are doing? If not, WHY NOT?

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