If you think college is too expensive, think about how costly it is if students don’t finish. Less than 60 percent of students enrolled full-time at a four-year Massachusetts public college or university graduate within six years. That graduation percentage might seem shockingly low, but it’s actually not surprising when you consider that less than half of U.S. high school graduates in 2013 were ready for college-level work in math, and only 36 percent were ready in science, according to American College Testing.
Simply put, US high schools are not adequately preparing students to be successful in college. And yet, nearly all the good jobs being created in Massachusetts and elsewhere require the skills, knowledge, and — most importantly –the foundation for life-long learning that students will gain through a college education.
There is a disconnect between our country’s school system and its job market. To bridge that gap, we need to do a much better job preparing many more students to be successful in college and, ultimately, to graduate with the skills they will need to obtain and to hold high-value jobs.