Perceptions differ on quality of high school grads
the readiness of high school seniors to enter college or begin
working, employers and professors differ from teachers, parents,
and students, according to a recent report published in Education
Week. The report, prepared by the nonpartisan nonprofit research
organization, Public Agenda, shows that while parents, students,
and teachers have a generally positive view of students' preparation
for life after high school, employers and professors take a less
Several key differences are outlined in the
- Seventy-one percent of students say they definitely
plan to go to college, but 52 percent of professors say their
students lack the necessary skills for college.
- Sixty-six percent
of the high school teachers surveyed believe that most or all
of their students have the skills necessary to succeed at work,
while a nearly identical number of employers - 68 percent - say
graduates are not ready to succeed.
- Seventy-six percent of professors
and 63 percent of employers say a high school diploma does not
guarantee that the recipient has learned what is necessary for
college or work, while only 26 percent of teachers, 32 percent
of parents, and 22 percent of students have serious doubts about
the value of a high school diploma.
(Sources: Education Week's
Quality Counts '98, 1/8/98; Academe Today, 1/8/9.
forcing many out of college
Thousands of college students nationwide
who receive federal welfare benefits are having to leave school
in order to meet the work requirements of the new welfare law
passed by Congress in 1996, The Washington Post reports. The
law requires that welfare recipients work in order to receive
benefits. While college courses identified as leading directly
to a job count as work, most classes do not meet the law's
of the new law say that federal funds are too often wasted on
training that does not lead to employment. But critics charge
that pushing welfare recipients out of school forces them into
low-paying jobs that threaten their ability to support their
families and damage their chances of self-sufficiency.
most institutions do not keep track of the number of students
on welfare who leave school to work, the statistics that do exist
show dramatic declines in numbers of students on welfare, the
Post says. Baltimore City Community College reportedly lost one-third
of its 900 welfare students last year; City University of New
York saw a drop of students on welfare from 27,000 to 14,000;
and the number of students on welfare at Milwaukee Area Technical
College fell from 1,600 to 250.
(Source: The Washington Post,
Between 1987 and 1992, the percentage of time
that full-time professors spent teaching decreased from 57 to
54 percent, but professors' average number of classroom and student
contact hours per week increase.
(Source: National Center for
Education Statistics, 11/9.
Since 1970, the average
salary for post-secondary faculty members has declined relative
to inflation, according to the National Center for Education
Statistics. The average salaries of full professors and assistant
professors declined by 8 percent between 1970 and 1995, while
the average salary for associate professors fell by 9 percent.
(Source: Higher Education & National Affairs, 12/15/97)
Reprinted, with permission, from CASE