Monday, April 03, 2006

2347 Good news about American education

"Here's some good news about American education that you won't hear from the public-school establishment: There's almost no gap between the number of college-ready high-school graduates and the number of students starting college. Virtually everyone who is academically qualified to go to college actually goes to college." Story here at The Chronicle

That is sort of a trick sentence. The problem is the term "academically qualified." So it is K-12 education that needs to shape up, not access to grants, loans and scholarships.

"Money is not the barrier to college. The number of students who could otherwise attend but do not do so because of a lack of funds is not zero, but it is relatively small. The evidence indicates that the vast majority of students who don't attend college are kept out by academic barriers, not financial ones."

"Analyzing data from the Department of Education, Greene and Marcus A. Winters find that out of all students who started public high schools in the fall of 1998, only 34 percent graduated college ready with the class of 2002. The remainder either dropped out of high school (29 percent) or graduated but lacked the academic prerequisites for applying to college (37 percent).

Private-school graduates probably have higher college-readiness rates, but those students constitute too small a portion of the population to change the overall numbers substantially.

So the college-readiness rate (34 percent) matched the college-attendance rate (35 percent) almost exactly. That indicates that financial barriers are not preventing a substantial number of academically qualified students from attending college. There simply isn't a substantial number of academically qualified students who aren't attending college."

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