High School Is Not Enough confronts one of our nation’s most pressing crises: the fact that many students leave K – 12 schools lacking in the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs and careers.
- On January 8, 2009, USA Today ran a story with the headline: One in Seven US Adults Are Unable to Read This Story. In the article, former US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said efforts to improve adult literacy were inefficient and scattered across government agencies
- In May 2009, CNN reported that the high school dropout rate crisis was continuing. CNN was referencing a 2007 study by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, in Boston, and the Alternative Schools Network, in Chicago, that “nearly 6.2 million US students between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four, representing 16 percent of all people in the country, had dropped out of high school. Most were Latino or black.”
- In May 2011, Time News Feed, a Time magazine website, asked and answered the question: “Is College Too Pricey To Pay Off? 57 Percent of Americans Say Yes.” It cited a Pew Research Center report titled “Is College Worth It?” that said of 2,142 adults surveyed, 57 percent said the US higher education system fails to provide students with good value for the money they and their families spend. An even larger group (75 percent) said college is too expensive for most Americans to afford. One of the newsfeed’s readers commented, “We are all screwed. The American dream is truly dead.”
- On September 14, 2011 The Huffington Post ran an article, SAT Reading Scores Fall to Lowest Level on Record, following a College Board report starting that the average SAT reading score—497—for the high school class of 2011 had hit an all-time low. Further, the College Board said the combined reading and math score for the same class fell to its lowest point since 1995. But the news got even worse. According to the College Board, a little less than 60 percent of the 1.65 million students who took the SAT achieved the benchmarks the College Board has set giving colleges and universities the ability to know that students are prepared to take college-level classes.
Let policy makers know by letter, email and/or telephone call that legislation, funding and most importantly a shift in attitudes are needed to assure all students are able to prepare for the jobs and careers available. Specifically:
- Pathways need to be built between the more that 14,000 K-12 school districts that exist in the United States and the training programs, colleges and universities that assure students possess the knowledge and skills needed for the work world.
- Assure that funding exists to reduce the financial burden that continued education and training after high school is causing students, their families, and our society.
- Put into place accountability measures to assure that there is truth in what students are being told about their opportunities for success at the places they choose to study and train.
Start your own campaign or join others. Action is needed. Too many students are failing to be prepared. The time is now.