Thursday, February 24, 2011

Michigan Students Not College Ready

Recent data shows a majority of public schools across Michigan are not graduating college-ready students.
A report released earlier this week from the Michigan Department of Education showed for more than 50 percent of public high schools in Michigan, less than 10 percent of spring 2011 graduates are prepared for college.
The report looked at test scores from the Michigan Merit Exam and the ACT as well as graduation and dropout percentages, spokeswoman for the Department of Education Jan Ellis said.
The study looked at the percent of students in each high school that achieved sufficient scores on each section of the ACT, Ellis said.
“The department wants to assure that all students graduate college-ready,” she said. “The way to do that is to analyze this data and see where improvements can be made.”
According to the report, the “college-ready” grades for each section of the ACT are 18 for English, 22 for math, 21 for reading and 24 for science, with the highest possible score in each category a 36. According to research byACT, meeting each of these benchmarks suggests a random student has a 50 percent probability of obtaining at least a B and a 75 percent probability of obtaining at least a C in the corresponding college course.
Many schools in the state have high graduation rates but have poor standardized test scores, Ellis said.
“We want to make sure there is a value to a high school diploma,” she said. “Numerous schools that have really high graduation rates of 80 percent or more and they are scoring zero on the proficiency tests.”
MSU admissions director Jim Cotter said the study emphasizes a key point — improvements need to be made in many school districts — but is not a reason for people to start pointing fingers.
“Whenever new information becomes available, before reacting we have to step back and ask what it is saying,” he said. “We need to sit down and discuss what are the problems at hand.”