ACT Says High School Students not Prepared for College

A recent article by Patrick Mattimore; former high school teacher and adjunct professor of law at Temple University/Tsinghua University LLM program in Beijing, China; affirms findings that young adults graduating high school in the United States are not ready to succeed in postsecondary education without the need for remediation. ACT, a purveyor of college admissions testing, has been collecting and reporting data on high school students’ readiness for college courses since 1959 and in 2012 over 54% of high school graduates took this test surpassing the SAT. What ACT found and reported in 2013 is that only 26% of the ACT-tested high school students met college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading and science. College readiness is defined by ACT as being able to enroll in a two-or four-year college, trade school, or technical school with the expectation of having a 50% chance of obtaining a B average in first year courses or about a 75% chance of maintaing a C average in first year credit bearing courses. What is particularly bleak about this data is the fact that competitive students taking the ACT are likely to be applying to colleges but what about the high school students not planning to further their education after high school graduation. Would their scores have had an even more damaging impact on the ACT testing study? This data is underscored by a report from the National Assessment of Education Progress released in June that stated average scores in reading and math for 17-year-olds have not changed significantly since the first assessment year of 1971. My conclusion is that the public education system is failing our sudent body and merely handing out diplomas to keep people moving through the system. When did we stop caring about the education and critical thinking of our youth and what will it mean for the future competitiveness of our country?

As a homeschooler and staunch believer in its benefits, I encourage all homeschooling families to take pride in their efforts to support our young adults to become not only educated but creative thinkers capable of making good decisions. Homeschooling often feels like a daunting endeavor and yet it has the ability to create self-confidence without which education can be inaffective.  After all these young adults will be the leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and parents of the future. Let’s give them the chance to follow their passions and develop into adults we can admire and rely on.

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