Education Starts Early

With all the talk about problems in higher education, it’s good to see that someone gets it:

Boosting Tennessee’s college graduation rate depends on significantly improving the curriculum in the state’s public high schools, a higher education official told lawmakers Tuesday.

Richard Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, told the Senate Finance Committee that higher standards in high school would also lead to more students keeping their lottery scholarships after their freshman year in college.

Absolutely. Colleges take a lot of criticism, some of it deserved, some of it not. However, it is obvious that the public schools are not preparing students for college. Talk to any professor and he or she will tell you how amazed they are with the poor quality of students they are receiving. This is the result of many factors, to be sure: poor parenting, a passive culture, and the general belief that everyone deserves a college education. But public schools are clearly not preparing students for college. If we want to improve our colleges and universities, we better start with our public schools. And, if it leads to fewer high school graduates and fewer students enrolling in college, maybe we should take the hint.

UPDATE: This post is taking part in the Beltway Traffic Jam.

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