Last week, two reports were released on Florida’s education system that reenforced concerns educators, parents, and officials have had on a national level. One study counted high-school graduation rates at an historic high. In the other, high school seniors were shown to be below the national average in math and reading skills. These results were especially shocking to students. One student said her teachers in high school were much more lenient than the ones she has encountered in college. Another student who was qualified for honors in English and earned B’s in every math class had to take remedial courses in both reading and math in college. Who are we helping by making it easier for high schoolers to advance to higher education if they haven’t been given the tools to succeed? Since when was education something that was given instead of earned? When more than 53% of the state’s high-school- graduates are required to take remedial classes upon reaching college, it’s easy to see passing a student who isn’t prepared to graduate hurts the student, the system, and the future.
The high numbers of students who need remedial help is thought to be a result of lowering core standards and surface teaching. When students take their last math course sophomore year in an environment that teaches to pass a test, it isn’t surprising that students don’t remember how to solve problems. Students aren’t forgetting skills; these findings show students are not given the chance to master them to begin with. The state of Florida is starting this years ninth-graders off by setting graduation standards higher. A state Board of Education member said, “As we move forward, I want the Florida high-school diploma to reflect that the graduate is really ‘college- or career-ready’ and doesn’t require remediation at college.”
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As a student at Colonial High School, Valeria Martinez took dual-enrollment college courses, qualified for honors English and earned B’s in all of her math classes.
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