High school graduation goals do not include getting students ready for college

by Grace

Sadly, I was not surprised to learn that our local high school does not include “college or career ready” as part of its goals for graduates.

The district has adopted graduation goals. A graduate of the Eastchester Schools will be:

  • A respectful individual
  • A life-long learner
  • An effective communicator
  • A complex thinker and problem solver
  • A competent and responsible user of technology

Words have consequences.

At our local school only 59% of high school graduates are  “college or career ready” *.  This at an annual  cost of about $23,389 per pupil.

I prefer the Obama administration’s articulation of goals – much more specific, concrete, and measurable.

The goal for America’s educational system is clear: Every student should graduate from high school ready for college or a career.

Different school, similar problem
At a nearby school district, some parents are advocating that college preparation has to be front and center as goalsinstead of  other squishy priorities like global awareness, global responsibility, and 21st century skills.

* UPDATE:  I changed “college ready” to “college or career ready” to accurately reflect what was measured.  In other words, 59% were not prepared for “post-secondary” success as determined by New York’s Aspirational Performance Measure (APM).


4 Comments to “High school graduation goals do not include getting students ready for college”

  1. Bonnie, you make a good point that 100% need not be college-ready. But I updated the post to correct my mistake in describing what was actually measured, which was college AND CAREER readiness. It makes sense to me, because there’s a minimum level of literacy and numeracy that should be attained for most jobs and apprenticeships. Although, I think it was a mistake for NY to change back to a system whereby only one type of high school diploma – Regents – is used for both college and career readiness.


  2. And I would need to be convinced that a goal for all high school graduates should be to produce competent “creators” of technology. I don’t see it.


  3. Since you don’t believe “career-ready” can be effectively measured, do you think graduates should be measured on any basis?

    While I agree that career-ready can mean different things, I think schools should assess graduates on some basic level and label it as career-ready, for lack of a better label. There is value in knowing that information, giving most employers a standard of sorts on which to make hiring decisions.

    Although I normally scoff at what I consider the over-use of “21st century skills”, I like the idea of some kind of technology literacy goal. I’m not big on PowerPoint, but graduates should know how to do things like conduct Internet research and create Word documents.


  4. “Does it have to be Word documents?”
    Nope, I just used that as an example of word processing.

    “Why does it have to be Internet research specifically? ”
    I was giving examples of technology skills, and I think schools should explicitly teach Internet research. Leaving that out when teaching research would be a huge failing, IMO.

    I think “career-ready” is a pretty good designation, but I’m sure there are other terms that would also work. The body shop kid might be a good candidate for something else that could be called a “vocational” degree or similar. Maybe “democracy-ready” would be a good general standard, with several categories like the old days. But that’s probably not considered very PC these days.


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