U. S. Education's Biggest Secret: High School Diplomas, Middle School Education

High School Graduation

Take a moment and imagine that you graduated from high school last spring.  You had decent grades and decided to go to your local community college for your first two years and save your family some money.  As part of the admissions process, you took the college’s placement test.  Afterward, you have your first meeting with an enthusiastic admissions counselor.  She explains that your test scores mean that you must take several developmental courses BEFORE you can take any of your college-level courses!  You ask more questions only to find out that the courses that you are required to take are the equivalent of middle school Math and English.  There is a sinking feeling in your stomach as your mind flashes back to your recent graduation.  You remember how proud you felt as you walked across the stage with family and friends yelling your name as you received your high school diploma.  The reality hits you and you begin to feel that the last four years of your academic life are worthless.  You are NOT alone!

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High School Graduates are Not College-Ready

Many recent high school graduates feel the same way when they make the decision to further their education.  Complete College America (CCA) reports that 42 percent of students entering college were required to take developmental courses. This means that approximately 1,700,000 students per year start in remediation.  In April, the ‘Nation’s Report Card’ stated that “Most High School Seniors Aren’t College or Career Ready.”  Less than 40 percent of the students they tested scored as college or career ready on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

What?  Five years of elementary school, three years of middle school, and four years of high school…for what?  What do you have to show for your all your time, sweat, and yes…tears, a high school diploma that amounts to a middle school education!  Do you feel that you have been cheated, bamboozled, tricked, and lead astray?  Well, what are you going to do about it now?  Are you going to go back to your old high school and demand your money back?  What about all that time you spent in grade school?  Will you just pay for, and then take those developmental courses to get the education you thought that you had?  Those courses that are supposed to get you “College-ready?”  I don’t know about you, but I believed that high school was supposed to prepare you for college, among other things.  You graduated.  The real question is, "Do you have a high school education?"

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Contact the school board, call the district superintendent, and make an appointment to see your local legislator!  Shout it out to anyone that will listen.  Let people know what is happening EVERY day with our high school graduates.  Many are receiving a high school diploma, but only have a middle school education!

As a parent, a student, or a taxpayer, how does this make you feel?  Now, what are you going to do about it?  Let me know in the comments.

Dr. Christopher J. Hall

Interim President, #Highered Educator, blogger, Volunteer, Rotarian, Coach, #Photographer, Techie, Speaker, 2014 SC Gov's Prof. of the Yr.  #comm_college #BeBetter