Academic Argument

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Dominic Lowman
11/28/12
Engl 102 sec 018
Academic Argument
High school students today are all excited about post-college life, which for most means going away to college to further their education. The question is, are they truly being provided the necessary tools needed to be successful at the college levels? Are teachers, counselors, parents and the government both state and federal doing enough to lead these young minds out into the world? We all know how expensive college is and that only a small amount will graduate college and go on to live the life the always dreamed, but without a college education the odds are far worse. So shouldn’t every student who has aspirations of going on to college be awarded a little more preparation? The bottom line is we being parents, teachers, counselors, and the government needs to have better programs available for high school students so that the transition, that is already hard enough, is a little easier; as Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (www.goodreads.com)

The National of State Legislature defines college prep programs as “programs aimed to increase college access, particularly for those students who are least likely to enroll. These programs take many forms and serve a variety of students. Some start as early as elementary school, others in the senior year of high school. Some college preparatory programs focus on increasing academic readiness, while others specialize in college admissions or financial aid. Some involve families and mentors, and others incorporate service learning or recreational activities.”(www.ncsl.org/issues-research) What I want to know is where are these programs being used and what are they? In 2007 the NY Times published an article stating that only a quarter of high school students who take a full set of “college prep” courses which include four years of English and three each of mathematics, science and social studies are well prepared for college according to a study by the ACT, and the Iowa testing organization. The study examined about 1.2 million students who took the ACT, which is one of the country’s major college admissions tests, along with the SAT, and graduated from high school June of 2008. The study projected whether students had a good chance of scoring a C or better in introductory college courses based on their test scores and the success rates of past students who had taken it previously. It showed that only 26 percent of those who took the core curriculum were ready for college level work in all four of the “college prep” core areas. Another 19 percent were not satisfactorily prepared in any of them. “While taking the right number of courses is certainly better than not, it is no longer enough,” the report said.”(www.nytimes.com) This quote really hits the nail on the head; just like how today’s Bachelor’s Degree is the equivalent of the high school diploma 20 years ago. This is an important issue in our society today, we want our young people to go to college to better their education but we can’t help them along the way. So how did it get to be so bad well in April 1983 the Secretary of Education and United States Department of Education saw that America ranked in the bottom half of education in the world so Ronald Regan declared “Nation At Risk” which kick-started decades of tough talk about public schools and reforms that culminated in 2002's No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration law that pushes schools to improve students' basic skills or face ever-tougher sanctions. Jay Summer, an original teacher on the 1983 panel says “A true Cold War document, it famously stated: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves." (usatoday30.usatoday.com/ “In 1999, Clifford Adelman, then a researcher...
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