|Back to November Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 214||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||NOVEMBER 2003|
|Less Than Half of Public High School Grads Are College-Ready |
NEW YORK, NY - Less than half of American public high school graduates have taken the courses they need to enter the least-selective four-year colleges, according to a study released September 16 by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. For African-American students, the figure is less than 20%.
All four-year colleges require at least four years of English, three years of math, two years of natural science, two years of social science, and two years of a foreign language. However, many states have lower minimum requirements for graduation from high school. In Illinois, for example, a graduate must have taken three years of language arts, two years of math, two years of social science and one year of science. Missouri's requirements are similar but include one more unit of science.
Preparation for college has become a critical issue because 70% of jobs in the 21st century will require some post-secondary education, said Missouri commissioner of higher education Quentin Wilson (stltoday.com, 9-16-03). In 1999, about 42% of public high school students who graduated went on to a four-year college, according to a Department of Education report. Twenty-four percent went to two-year institutions and l8% went to technical school.
The Manhattan Institute is a New York-based think tank that has done research supporting school choice.