While our nation is at-risk for financial and real-estate debacles, we are also at-risk for our economy of the future in underprepared college graduates who are swelling our Higher Educational institutions in numbers two-thirds strong in community colleges and almost one-third strong in four year schools as the article below indicates.
So, what must change at the middle school and high school levels to turn around this disturbing trend, which has grave implications for our workforce of the future? Here are my suggestions:
1) Required homework for high school students. Many of the high school students with whom I work are proud of the fact that they can pass all of their courses without studying at night. How will our reading, writing and math scores improve if we rely on class-time only? American
students should be studying at least three hours a night to become college ready.
2) Training in question-based teaching for students. Many students who aren’t learning at the middle school and high school levels are bored. We need to train teachers–especially high school teachers–in question-based teaching which can produce a dynamic, interactive classroom.
3) Districts have to work together. Schools have to get out of their own individual silos of “elementary,” “middle” and “high school” and think about what skills and bars are needed for students to successfully progress in all skill and learning areas. Without this, there is no way for
measurements and standards to be analyzed over time.
4) Colleges have to work more closely with districts. Without colleges in clear communication to their feeder districts, school administrators won’t know what deficits appear in their graduates once they get to college. An open and close communication will help close this gap.
You don’t need a masters in mathematics to realize that 1.5 million college students remediated for English and 2.5 million remediated for math doesn’t create a strong economic outlook, especially in times of uncertainty such as these where American giants like General Motors are under siege. It is time to change our patterns.
Chronicle of Higher Education
by By KEVIN CAREY
The man who ranges in No Man’s Land
Is dogged by the shadows on either hand.
— James H. Knight-Adkin, 1917
Remediation is the no man’s land of American education. Every year we send hundreds of thousands of young men and women over the top, across a rocky landscape strewn with pedagogical barbed wire and the remains of those who tried and failed before them. We know, without a doubt, that many of those eager and unsuspecting students won’t make it. Yet we send them anyway, because there’s always another fresh class of recruits to enroll.
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