The performance of high schools around the country is receiving a significant amount of attention from state and federal policymakers, business interests, and communities as we continue to learn more about the challenges our education system is facing in the new global economy. High schools are being asked to revamp their curriculum, methodology, and teacher and student relationship paradigms in order to better serve the needs of students, communities, and our state and local economies. In today's global economy, America's ability to compete depends on our ability to prepare high school graduates to be successful in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.
Too many high school graduates are not adequately prepared for postsecondary education or training, nor are they prepared to be competitive in the work force. In a survey by Achieve Inc., college instructors estimated that more than 40 percent of high school graduates are not ready for college courses, and up to 30 percent of first-year postsecondary education students must take remedial courses. In the same survey, employers estimated that 45 percent of high school graduates lack the skills to advance beyond entry-level jobs.
For those students who don't graduate from high school, the outcomes are devastating. More than 1 million students who enter ninth grade each year fail to graduate with their peers four years later, and that approximately 7,000 students drop out every school day. According to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, some 70 percent of students nationally graduate from high school on time, but little more than half of African-American and Hispanic students earn diplomas with their peers.
This website is organized around the following key issues related to high school policy: