According to recent results released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), less than 40% of America’s high school seniors are academically prepared for college in math and reading.
In addition, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the first time linked these results with academic preparedness for college.
The results show that 39% of 12th grade students have the math skills needed for freshman college course work, while 38% of students have the necessary reading skills.
According to Amanda Paulson of The Christian Science Monitor, linking the NAEP scores to college readiness is the result of a 10-year effort on the part of the governing board in an attempt to make the tests a better indicator of preparedness and to give a clear picture of how ready students are to succeed in college.
The researchers identified the skills needed in college and then compared NAEP with other assessments for seniors, such as the SAT and ACT college admissions tests. From the results, David Driscoll, chair of the National Assessment Governing Board said he felt highly confident that the NAEP scores are a good indicator of high school seniors’ preparedness as they enter college.
In order to be prepared academically for college, high school seniors would have to score at least a 302 on NAEP’s reading test, which would put the score into the “proficient” category. 12th graders would also have to score at least a 163 on the NAEP math test, which would be categorized as between “basic” and “proficient.”
According to Paulson, many students are leaving high school without the preparation they need for what lies beyond.
David Conley, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research at the University of Oregon in Eugene said, “A lot of times we’re getting kids to graduate by asking less of them, not more of them. The question we have to ask ourselves is, how is it that we probably have twice the number of kids taking college-type prep courses, and yet only half of them are getting the knowledge level they need?”
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