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