To the next president,
It seems as if from the first day of schooling, we as students are told that our goal is to make it into college. A recent census survey revealed that even though 88% of Americans have a high school diploma or GED, only 33% hold a college degree. Once students reach college, many of them give up and drop out. So where is our education system going wrong? The problem is that our schools do not work hard enough to prepare students for college.
Currently, the purpose of American schools (primarily high schools), is to prepare their students for college. The level of college readiness can be “measured” using standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. In addition to being a major component of college applications, these tests reflect a great deal on the school. After these tests, many schools feel as if their primary duty is complete. They have done what is needed to get their students into college.
This mentality causes problems for those students once they arrive at college. Without adequate preparation, these students will begin to struggle. An Achieve, Inc. survey of over 1500 high school graduates revealed that over 40% of them were not adequately prepared for college. This takes into account readiness for both college education and entry level employment. This is one of the reasons that the college dropout rate is so high. A census survey showed that since 2003, college dropout rates have been much larger than those of high schools. College students get intimidated by the new and difficult challenges of college. Challenges that they were not prepared for by their high school teachers.
A large college dropout rate leads to numerous negative effects. Without a degree, it is difficult for these students to find a well paying job. In this case they are even worse off than high schools graduates who didn't attend college because these students spent at least a semester’s worth of time and money for nothing, placing them far behind their peers.
Some people claim that the education system is not to blame for this problem, but the students are at fault. These people claim that once students are released into the world, they spend their nights partying instead of studying. This is a valid criticism and it needs to be addressed, because over 80% of college students drink alcohol on a regular basis as reported by Psychology Today. Students who excessively drink and party cannot receive a meaningful education.
The government needs to step in and address this issue. The solution is to reform high school education to make it more focused on college-readiness. Standardized tests focus on skills such as advanced algebra and critical reading, but few people will use these skills once they find their job. Instead, our schools need to encourage the development of practical skills such as time management and accounting. Another part of the solution is to regulate drinking and partying on campus. By becoming more strict and cracking down on parties on school nights and limiting alcohol consumption. This will result in the dropout rate being greatly lowered. With this, the United States will become a smarter society overall, giving the chance for even more innovation and technological advancement.
"Analytics.usa.gov." N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2016.
"As Many as 40 Percent of American Public High School Graduates Are Unprepared for College and Work." Achieve. N.p., 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
@PsychToday. "Off to College, Off to Party, Off to Drink and Drink And..." Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.