Troubling News about Incoming College Freshman

The Chicago Sun-Times’ front page story this morning is troubling to those of us who will be welcoming a new class of college freshman into our lecture halls in the next couple of weeks.

Three-quarters of them are not ready for university studies!

More than three-quarters of Illinois high school graduates aren’t completely ready for college, based on their ACT scores, state results of the college-admission test released Wednesday show.

Only 23 percent of Illinois’ 2011 high school graduating class — public and private — met college readiness standards in all four ACT subjects tested: English, reading, math and science.

There is a clear ethnic disparity here as the chart reveals. Although no group is extraordinary, in comparison there are significant disparities–especially among African Americans and Hispanics. I teach in an urban setting where the student population is quite ethnically diverse  with a large number of African American and Hispanic students. Among these ethnic groups only 4% and 9% respectively are prepared for college.

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  • http://www.pillarontherock.com/ Chris Krycho

    Erm, that’s a pretty fundamental misuse of those statistics… 3/4 of high school graduates aren’t completely ready, sure. But the question isn’t high school graduates, it’s matriculating freshmen, and the study provides no relevant insight on that count.

    Certainly there’s still a problem, and the ethnic issues ought not be brushed over, but it’s always a bad idea to twist statistics to say something other than what they’re saying, and alarmism doesn’t help anyone.

    Best of luck with your new classes, though!

  • http://www.pillarontherock.com/ Chris Krycho

    Erm, that’s a pretty fundamental misuse of those statistics… 3/4 of high school graduates aren’t completely ready, sure. But the question isn’t high school graduates, it’s matriculating freshmen, and the study provides no relevant insight on that count.

    Certainly there’s still a problem, and the ethnic issues ought not be brushed over, but it’s always a bad idea to twist statistics to say something other than what they’re saying, and alarmism doesn’t help anyone.

    Best of luck with your new classes, though!

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