Thursday, April 13, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: College-Ready Sixth Graders

CURMUDGUCATION: College-Ready Sixth Graders:

College-Ready Sixth Graders

Mike Petrilli, Big Cheese at the Fordham Institute, a reliably reformy thinky tank, is concerned. While he allows that some students and families are uber-stressing about the whole college thing, the rest of us should be in a greater state of panic:

We need the majority of parents and kids to be more stressed out. We need to shake them out of their complacency and tell them: You and your kids are heading toward a coming-of-age catastrophe, but you can avoid it if you act now! [emphasis his]



The source of all this chicken littling is NAEP scores, from which Petrilli and others draw the factoid that only one third of US teens graduate from high school ready for college. Another third, says Petrilli, go to college anyway and either get caught in a web of remedial courses or just drop out.

This is a long-standing reformy talking point, a variation on Betsy DeVos's Public Schools Are a Dead End That Couldn't Get Any Worse refrain. It's a long-time favorite of reformsters because if, for instance, public schools were doing just fine, then it would be a lot harder to sell charters and choice and other profitable reformy products. Sometimes this talking point is packaged as the Honesty Gap and sometimes it's just Arne Duncan saying white suburban moms don't want to know the awful truth. The basic idea is that American public school students are failing disastrously 
CURMUDGUCATION: College-Ready Sixth Graders:

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