How Can You Gussy Up A Report Showing Three-Quarters of Texas High School Grads Aren't College-Ready? TEA Does Its Damndest

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Responding to a fairly dismal report from the purveyors of the ACT test, the Texas Education Agency is searching for a silver lining in an otherwise irredeemable truth about the 2012 crop of high school grads: Only a quarter of them are ready for college.

Because the figure bears repeating, I say again that 75 percent of our high-school grads haven't been adequately prepared by Texas public schools for college.

The second, depressing truth comes from the same pie chart of Texas ACT test-takers. The biggest slice -- some 32 percent -- met none of the benchmarks in English, reading, mathematics or science.

In a Wednesday release, the TEA helpfully points out that 48 percent of Texas high school grads who took the ACT are ready for college math, as opposed to 46 percent nationally. So, that's good. And, the number of test takers in the state has risen significantly over the last several years.

But if Governor Rick Perry wants to turn Texas into a sustained economic force of nature that can run on its own, without the oil-and-gas crutch, there are some figures here he might find worrisome. Many of the grads interested in entering high-growth fields like "computer and information specialties," "management" and education simply aren't well-prepared.

After the last round of multibillion dollar cuts to public-education financing, neither Perry nor the TEA should be surprised that while enrollment continues to rise, college preparedness will fall.

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44 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers' aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.

 

Head Of NJ Teachers' Union Makes $550,000 A Year 

The American Federation of Teachers, a smaller teachers’ union, paid President Randi Weingarten $428,384 in salary and benefits.   

 

If high school football is king in Texas, then Allen High School’s new football stadium is some kind of castle.  The 18,000-seat venue opened with the razzle-dazzle one would expect from a $60 million stadium.

 

I'm so confused by all this budget and edumacation talk.

 

mmmirele
mmmirele

The ACT is not the definitive indicator of how well someone will do in college. I recall, when I took the ACT back in the Dark Ages (i.e., when people were first hooking up Pong to their TVs), I made a 12 (out of 36) on the math section of the ACT. (On the other hand, I did score a perfect 36 in the science section and my other two scores were way above average.) I was still able to get a BA and an advanced degree, despite my pitiful math skills. 

 

I do have to agree with other commenters here that not everyone should be slotted to college. Going to trade school is perfectly respectable and I think I would have been happy if I'd been pointed that direction, but back in the aforementioned Dark Ages women were expected to either get married, work in a low-level office job or get married.

gmit
gmit

3/4 that sounds about right, 1/4 to college, 1/4 to some special trade or talent and that leave have to clean up all the shit the rest of us leave behind every day.

 

This shock theory the "media" tries to use against the public generally works because most people tend to apply their specific situation to the world or country at large, when in reality to someone in say South Dallas 1/4 might be too high.

 

We forget things average out and if you have any brains at all your smarter than average, average seems really really low to most of us but its reality. 

 

Go to some of our lesser suburbs, black or white doesnt matter there are lots of folks living the Wal Mart lifestyle and not questioning a thing about their standard of living, thats just life, you work, you eat, you fuck, you smoke cigarettes and you get old and die you kids and their kids do it over and over

CelebrateDivershitty
CelebrateDivershitty

Celebrate the countless amazing benefits of libtard Divershitty! Divershitty is our greatest strength! Our civilization would be totally fucked without all those Mexicans and blacks, amirite naive white-guilt Observer libtards?

Mikertrtry
Mikertrtry

So what. Most people in college have no business being there in any case. They are going to load up on debt and end up in jobs that high school graduate could easily handle 40 years ago. Yet we keep shipping people off to college because some magical transformation is supposed to occur there over the 4-8 years these geniuses spend time there. Spare me. The sad truth is only 25 per cent have any business in college. It was that way in 1962, it is that way in 2012 and it will be that way in 2072. We need to stop thinking this is Oz and the Wizard just needs to hand the Scarecrow some parchment to make everything better. Now let us find something for the other 75 per cent that is not the world's most expensive day care.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

and they only graduate 62% of ninth graders at that (in DISD).  Some leakage.

 

Of course, that little state is up from 49% (of 9th graders who graduate) in 2009 according to the cheerleaders.

 

REMARKABLE PROGRESS in only 3 years!  

 

But less than a third that DID graduate are now ready for college.  

 

The only conclusion to this math is that DISD is herding the kiddos through social promotion.

 

Break up DISD into five districts.

 

 

bandito
bandito

Good call on TEA's constant smoke on how much progress is being made in Texas.

At the more molecular, neighborhood level, these results don't mean much for most Dallas high schools whose average ACT scores range from 13 to 15. The state average of 20 applies only to the magnets. College readiness in Dallas high schools is around 10% or less.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

How Can You Gussy Up A Report Showing Three-Quarters of Texas High School Grads Aren't College-Ready?  Easy, you yell "A republican is talking about rape and abortion!" at the top of your lungs.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Ha Ha Suckers - keep supporting High School football and forget about that edumacation stuff 

gmit
gmit

 @Mikertrtry The worse thing is a portion of the 3/4s that are not ready to go to college will get duped by the private college scam that is running out of control in the country.

 

They will load up on way more debt, based on promises of a recruiter (salesperson) running evening classes for profit in a high dollar office building or worse yet on the some website, and maybe "graduate" with even less ability to pay their bills.

 

.......and taking down the federally guaranteed student loan program in the process  

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @holmantx The mega-churches should step up and lead a crusade to fix DISD and break it apart.

 

No more out-of-town, overpaid superintendents who hire TFA people to head HR (and leave us over 300 teachers short for the first day of school).

 

No more 6-figure salaried "cabinet" members while 6.000+ kids will be greeted by a sub on Monday.

 

No more race-based hires and cronyism that keeps people like Shirley Ison-Newsome on the payroll.

 

No more "adore-me" pep rallies the Friday before school starts so teachers have to get worn out all weekend getting their rooms ready.

 

Every school board member except Carla Ranger needs to be publicly shamed, picketed, booed in public, you name it.  

 

I am so sick of "Christians" who go to Haiti and ignore DISD children.

gmit
gmit

 @bandito Maybe a demograpic or socio economic problem less than a DISD problem, why no one will say this is beyond me.

 

 

Affluent suburbs have better looking schools because they are famalies that are better off and value education a bit more than the family using every resource they have trying to make it

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @bmarvel They would be better off starting their own businesses than going to college for a dime-a-dozen degree.

 

College isn't going to hurt a kid, but it isn't going to make them set for life like it used to.

The world has changed.  

You can do many, many things and become a billionaire without a college degree.  Forget the money--you can do many things and be HAPPY without a college degree.

 

We should be stressing to kids the importance of supporting themselves by doing something they enjoy vs. college. 

TexOHara
TexOHara

 @DISDTeacher  @holmantx "Adore me" pep rallies?  Is that like the event where then-superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez drove a bulldozer in Reunion?

bandito
bandito

 @gmit

 Wouldn't argue that at all. DISD is the problem in many cases. The best thing a poor family can do for their kids  is to  find the cheapest living space possible in the best school district. Middle class families, regardless of race, are much better at maintaining quality schools out of their own self interests. Worst possible choice is a high poverty school in segregated Dallas in addition to the total incompetence and corruption in the district which wouldn't be tolerated by a majority of middle and upper income parents. Dallas is a sewer because the majority of parents are too poor and too powerless to do anything about it. When the middle class gets fed up, they move. They don't sit in the middle of the toilet boil and allow their kids to get flushed. The poorest don't have any choice.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @bmarvel The funniest part of that is that the same people who act aghast when someone says that, will in the very next breath, claim that GWB could never have gotten a degree from Yale without his daddy cheating for him.

FEDUP
FEDUP

For DISD Teacher The WORLD hasn't changed people have changed and you cannot fix stupid, I am NOT referring to the students, but rather the teachers!

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @DISDTeacher 

By the way, Teach, if you can find degrees for a "dime a dozen," buy a couple dozen and send m the bill.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @DISDTeacher 

I strongly recommend that anyone whose goal in life is to become a billionaire avoid college. So I guess we agree there.

 

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @DISDTeacher 

Teach,

 i was going through one of my blog-withdrawal periods.

I think they'll find someday soon this is as additive as any of the other more pleasant and less dangerous vices. If so, I'll line up for the cure.

 

 

 

 

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @bmarvel And by the way, where've you been?  Out of town, relaxing on a gorgeous beach?  I hope so!  Good to see you back.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

 @bandito I strongly disagree.  The problem is the overall lowering of the bar vis a vis a broad based education.  We shouldn't respond to jobs that can be done by an idiot by producing more idiots.

bandito
bandito

 @bmarvel  @everlastingphelps

 No assumption that the majority are too stupid for college. You are using a frame of reference with many inaccurate data points. College for the majority of kids in Texas comes with a price tag that is no longer even in the ball park of a return in terms of wages. The economy has undergone a secular change and you keep referencing some Athenian myth where more college=better citizen.

A good college education doesn't make a person more moral, ethical, or enlightened. It is no longer a ticket to the rapidly disappearing middle class.

Because the boomers have decided this generation is not worth subsidizing, the opportunity cost of college is not what it was with your generation, yet you seem oblivious.

Furthermore, it's no longer necessary to go to a college classroom to have the world's intellectual resources available. Most students are simply paying for a piece of paper or credentials and the quality of many college classes is simply a process of bartering for that piece of paper.

Please stop the romance with a time period that is gone. A college degree doesn't increase the integrity and many times does little to increase the intellect in a significant way. Research is proving the point by showing little skills growth in students at many universities. (How can a student complete a college degree and show no significant growth four years later on an SAT test?)

Being a functioning citizen is harder than ever? How? It's easier than ever to have a constant flow of political information if anyone were in the least bit interested. Political discourse isn't difficult to follow and lacks any sophistication.

Yes, things have dramatically changed and the whole protocol for getting a degree needs to change also. Also, your perception about the quality of life being improved dramatically by a degree is simply no longer the case.

 

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @bandito 

Phelps: "Really, all a bachelor's degree tells you now is "this person was willing to conform for 4 years."

Really? I rest my case.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps 

Phelps,

Do you ever, for a wild-ass moment or two, stop imagining the world as some kind of conservative-liberal comic-book struggle between Good and Evil? Do you ever just step back a little and look at things outside that narrow little box you seem to be living in and try to figure out what's really what? Does it ever cross your mind that these artificial and largely mistaken categories are preventing you from seeing the real complexity of things, of picking up on nuances, of making sound judgments about the rel world?

Or is it all just too complicated, too hard, so much more comforting to slap a label over everything you don't understand and call it  "liberal" or "conservative" and pretend you've solved the problem?

 

 

 

 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @bmarvel  @bandito It's not an issue of too stupid.  It's an issue of not suited.  I'm plenty smart enough for college -- but if 17 year old me tried, I would have flunked out in two years because I didn't have the discipline or drive.  Instead, I did vocational training -- and now I'm doing better than the vast majority of my college educated friends.  

 

More intelligence, yes.  More experience, absolutely.  A classic liberal education?  No way.  Really, all a bachelor's degree tells you now is "this person was willing to conform for 4 years."  That's it.  As soon as you start your career, you start your ACTUAL training.  Why not just skip the 4 years?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @bandito  @everlastingphelps 

bandito,

There seems to be a strange assumption that the majority of kids are too stupid for college and that the majority of jobs don't require much intelligence,anyway.

Perhaps we need to update our notion that life, work and citizenship have changed in some essential way. Most jobs out there that pay a living wage these days require more, not less, intelligence. And being a functioning citizen is more challenging that ever before.

The division between classes will continue to grow if we think that a college education and what it offers is "not for everyone."

 

 

 

NaiveWhiteGuilt
NaiveWhiteGuilt

@bmarvel @everlastingphelps Duh then maybe you naive white-guilt libtards shouldn't be "advocating" for Texas getting run over by turd-world illiterate peasants and Mexican criminals and the multitudes of children they constantly shit out.... DUH

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @bandito I'm very much of the Mike Rowe camp, believing that we focus far too much on sending unprepared students to scholastic failure (and saddling them with crippling debt at the same time) when they should really be apprenticed or given vocational training.  There's nothing wrong with being a craftsman.  At one time, this country recognized that.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NwEFVUb-u0

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @bmarvel Sure, I resigned myself to that during my own incarceration in DISD.  I agree that the conservatives are to blame -- I just think it is because they let liberals have the colleges, so now all the teachers are dunces.

bandito
bandito

 @bmarvel  @everlastingphelps

 There seems to be a strange assumption that a majority of jobs require above average intelligence. They don't. As far as our democracy, how can anyone make the case that our exquisite Ivy League universities produce more ethical leaders?

 A true liberal arts education is now denounced as useless for a job. Most students don't pay for a college education with the hopes of becoming better citizens.

The division between classes will continue to grow because much of that division is based on the network the wealthy bring their offspring after college graduation.

Our romantic notions of the purpose of college need to be updated.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps 

Not this person, Phelps.

But let's be clear about what these figures really do mean. Take off your partisan glasses for a moment and take a clear look at the implications.

It means that roughly three quarters of our kids are leaving school unable to read or write adequately, with little or no ability to do math, and with practically no understanding of science. I can say this because I've taught college. The standards for entrance are abysmally low.

This means that three-quarters of high school grads are fit for little more than the most menial work. This suggests that the division between classes will continue to grow. Not a healthy situation for any nation and fatal to a democracy.

 

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