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Monday, December 3, 2012

Being a high school grad in Florida isn't all it is cracked up to be

From the Tampa Times by Jeff Solochek

As Florida brags about its rising high school graduation rate, perhaps leaders should think twice: Earning a high school diploma has not put many Florida students on a direct path to college success, State Impact Florida reports in series that began Monday.
It's an issue that state officials have noted frequently. Most recently, they boosted the passing score of the FCAT exit level to be on par with an ACT or SAT score that can get students into college-level courses without remediation. There's always been a high level of graduates moving into remedial courses at college, too, before they can earn their first college credit.
The series notes that demand for make-up work in college has doubled since 2007.
“There is a cost, a cost to the state, a cost to the student. There’s a cost of time,” Randy Hanna, chancellor of the Florida College System, told State Impact. “We all know if they go into the lower-level math class, they have less of a chance to make it all the way through. We have a real incentive from a cost standpoint to reduce the number of students in developmental education and to make sure they are college ready when they come to our system.”
Check out the series. What are some of the reasons you see for so many students needing remedial work even after successfully completing high school? Is it the focus on narrowly tailored tests, as some have suggested? What role do teachers and parents play in the problem? How much of the situation goes back to the students themselves and their effort (or lack thereof)?

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