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Many students not prepared for success

Sep. 26, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Graduating from high school is one thing.

Being prepared for college and a successful career seems to be something else entirely.

This week, the College Board issued its 2012 Report on College and Career readiness, showing that 57 percent of the graduating seniors who took the SAT college entrance exam were not ready to succeed at a four-year college. In West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky more students take the ACT rather than the SAT, but unfortunately, those numbers are about the same with 60 percent of those taking that test not showing the knowledge and skills to succeed in college.

Both testing organizations explain that having a more diverse group of students taking the test may be keeping scores from rising. Most states are pushing more students to take these tests, including waiving fees in some areas, so the pool now includes more minorities, more low-income students and more second-language students.

It might not be surprising that overall readiness scores would decline, but that doesn't make the challenge easier.

These tests are evaluating math, language and critical thinking skills. Certainly students need those skills to make it at a four-year college, but they also need those skills to do well in technical training and community college programs.

Unfortunately, too many students reach their senior year in high school without the tools to really succeed. Many educators and employers already know this, but it should be a reminder to the public that secondary schools must develop more rigorous curriculums to prepare students for tomorrow's workforce.

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