High school teachers seem clueless about college readiness of their students

by Grace

Considerable disconnect between high school teachers and college professors . . .

Related:  Fewer Westchester County high school graduates are ready for college

From Newton Infographics

HT Joanne Jacobs 

7 Comments to “High school teachers seem clueless about college readiness of their students”

  1. This is something that is going to vary a lot by district. I think my middle schooler is more prepared for college NOW than many of the college students that I teach. The middle school teachers here demand a lot more from the students in terms of being organized, handing things in on time, and so on. But my college students are not coming from a wealthy suburban district – they are coming from urban public and Catholic districts. Also, I would not say ALL of my students are unprepared. I think about 50% are truly unprepared. The other 50% are fine.


  2. I think your middle schooler may not be typical for his grade. Now I’m wondering how you would answer a survey question like this.


  3. I think a similar disconnect exists at other levels as well. When I mentioned this infographic to DH, he commented on the disconnect between college professors and industry expectations for graduates. (He worked for a decade prior to returning to academia.) I wouldn’t be surprised to find similar between K-8 and HS teachers too.

    Maybe at each level the students learn ‘stuff’, but don’t learn how to apply ‘stuff’ or how one bit of stuff relates to another. Maybe the work at each next level *is* the learning how to fully use the bits and pieces that were taught but not completely understood earlier.


  4. I’m quite sure that few professors at DH’s university have any understanding of work outside academia, and few of them care. It’s just the nature of that place, unfortunately.

    But I forgot to make clear that DH was making a point that you are getting at too: if there is broad agreement that people are unprepared for the next stage of their life, perhaps the responsibility for preparing them lies with the organizations that dominate that next stage. Or, everybody thinks lack of preparation is somebody else’s problem. Of course companies need to invest in training people! There is too much diversity in company/industry practice for anything else to work.


  5. Good points about general disconnects at other levels. Maybe some of what college professors are really seeing is the students’ inability to apply some of the things they have actually learned quite well in high school.

    Our local public school seems to do a better than average job in coordinating the curriculum between the various level, but I’ve heard of similar disconnects between middle school and high school.


  6. Were the HS teachers responding based on their perceptions of the preparedness of just the college bound kids they teach or ALL kids they teach?

    The disparity might be even greater as the college profs are clearly talking about just the kids that went on to college. They have no ability to rate the preparedness of the kids that didn’t matriculate.


  7. I would bet the teachers are responding based on ALL students, not just the ones heading to college. For 2010, 68% of high school graduates enrolled in college, so the disparity might well be under-reported by this survey.



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