College & Workforce Readiness

College Attainment: So Far to Go

By Catherine Gewertz — May 18, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A Brookings Institution gathering last week focused on what high schools should do to help disadvantaged students prepare for college. And a couple of breathtaking data points popped up to illustrate why they need to try harder than ever.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who was the CEO of the Denver schools until his move to Capitol Hill, told the attendees in his keynote address that only 9 percent of Denver students are projected to earn college degrees. The figure is similar in the District of Columbia, said Renee Faulkner of its Office of the State Superintendent of Education. It’s only 8 percent in Chicago, said Jenny Nagaoka, who helps lead the high-school-to-college studies at the Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Was it me, or did the room spin when those numbers hit the air? Was there ever a simpler and more compelling reason to get high school right once and for all?

The policy brief that formed the basis for the meeting calls on high schools to do better in two areas to make sure disadvantaged students have college options: building their content and study skills, and providing comprehensive support to help them learn about, apply to, and get financial aid for college. It calls on policymakers to build data systems that can track students into college, so high schools get a clear picture of how well they’ve done their job.

The spring issue of “The Future of Children,” which Brookings and Princeton University put out jointly, explores the challenges facing American high schools in greater detail.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the High School Connections blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can College-Going Be Less Risky Without Being 'Free'?
Rick Hess speaks with Peter Samuelson, president of Ardeo Education Solutions, about Ardeo's approach to make paying for college less risky.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty