Young Adults Give High School Poor Marks

By Francesca Duffy — April 19, 2011 1 min read
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Many young adults feel their high schools didn’t do enough to prepare them for life after graduation, according to a new Associated Press-Viacom poll.

The poll, conducted in partnership with Stanford University, found that only four in 10 young people ages 18 to 24 were strongly satisfied with their high school education. Among those who did not go to college, only three in 10 said they felt their school system could identify with their values and goals.

One survey participant, 21-year-old Lovina Dill, said she wished her high school experience had included a class in “what happens if you can’t get a job, and the unemployment rate rises and nobody can find a job.” Dill, who has a certificate in massage therapy, said she became homeless for a time after she was laid off and couldn’t find work.

In general, high schools received poor marks in connection with helping students select a field of study, find the right college or vocational school, and exposing them to the latest technology. The young adults polled said their teachers were helpful—four in 10 said their teachers were a lot of help—but they were less impressed with their schools’ counselors, with three in 10 saying they didn’t think their counselors helped at all.

Students who went to college or attended a trade school tended to give their high schools higher marks than those who did not. Higher education fared quite a bit better in the poll, with six in 10 college students saying they were pleased with the education they were getting.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.