The economy of every country greatly depends on the quality of human resources. Well-educated and highly-qualified workforce determines the competitiveness of the country in the globalized world. Even though for many years United States could boast of one of the highest levels of education in the world, the situation is not as favorable at present. According to recent surveys, one of the major problems which American young people have to face these days is lack of preparation for adult life after highschool. As the author of the article “Studies Show Highschool Shortcomings” argues, most of the students going into the workforce after school or entering college agree that higher quality of education obtained could prepare them better for further life. The results of a poll provided among employers and supervisors have shown that about 40% of highschool graduates do not posses the level of education and skills which could make them a success in future.
The findings of the surveys provided by experts have shown that many highschool graduates would be able to study much more successfully in college if they did not have to take remedial courses right after entering the college. For example, the author of the article describes the story of Brandon Jackson, a Hispanic student from Sacramento State University. Brandon entered the university and was forced to work a full 40-hour working week at the same time to support his family. He could cope with the studies much easier if he had enough knowledge of basic subjects from highschool and did not have to take remedial courses. Brandon said that the quality of education which he got while studying in highschool was not high enough for college. He would be able to cope with studies so much better if his teachers in highschool were more demanding and made him study harder. The knowledge which he got was very poor and he was destined to experience numerous problems with studies the whole time through college. Brandon marked that the guidance which the teachers provided him at highschool was not sufficient. He needed a strong supervisor to teach him not only the subject itself but also ways of successful learning. He did not know what subjects to devote the most attention to and how to study efficiently.
Brandon Jackson is not the only highschool graduate experiencing similar problems. The situation in colleges when many students enter them unprepared has created an increasing need in remedial courses in the recent years. This is the only solution to help those students who do not have sufficient knowledge to continue studying at the university. Even though they might pass some subjects which are not very difficult for understanding, they will eventually start failing more difficult subjects. Remedial courses are organized at colleges in order to help such students. During remedial courses, the very basic of subjects is given. Students are able to review all the information which they were studying at highschool but did not learn well. Remedial courses are very helpful for those who have decided to start their education in college from almost a black page in their highschool knowledge. As the survey has showed, the most popular remedial courses among students are courses on mathematics, as most of the students get very poor knowledge on this subject at school.
However, there are important issues to discuss concerning remedial courses. First, the most popular universities in the US do not have remedial courses because that would damage their prestige. Many average level universities do not like to mention they have remedial courses. By admitting this fact, they will have to admit the university is not very selective in choosing future students. This fact might give very much damage to the reputation of the college because good students will not want to study there. Usually, students who enter the college unprepared, do poorly on entrance tests. Besides, there is no way for them to have any good marks at school. If the college accepts them, it does not speak to its favor. It just shows the college does not care about the level of students entering it.
Colleges need to make a choice whether to accept unprepared students to their programs or not. On one hand, it is very possible that unprepared students will devote all of their time to studies and never drop out of college. It will be more difficult for them to study than to others, but they might cope with difficulties. Universities which choose this type of policy will need to spend much money on remedial courses. On the other hand, unprepared students are more likely to drop out of college because they will have a very hard time understanding things which are discussed in the classroom. Therefore, those universities which prefer not to deal with such students need to have a very strict policy of not accepting them.
Another issue which has been raised in the article deals with high tuition for college which many students are unable to pay. The problem of high tuition fees has faced many students nowadays. In order to get a decent job in future, a student needs to attend college. However, many students are having a very hard time paying tuition fees because they are very high, and have even been increasing during the recent years. High cost of college education is one of the reasons why so few highschool graduates go to college.
It is very important for government officials to ensure that new policies are adopted regarding the quality of education in schools. Young people do not understand at first how important studies are, and they realize that they should have studied harder only when they start experiencing problems at universities. However, there is nothing what they can do about it at that time anymore. Therefore, it is very important for highschool teachers to guide their students to the right direction throughout their studies. Those students who learn how to study early in life are going to be successful in the future because they have a firm base for their further education.
Viadero D. Studies Show Highschool Shortcomings. Education Week. February 9, 2005. Vol. 24, No. 22. American Education’s Newspaper of Record. 2005 Editorial Projects in Education.