Too many California high school graduates are not college ready. Recent SAT data reported in the LA Times, showed that only 41% of test takers were college ready, with sadly predictable achievement gaps. A paltry 20.2% of Latinos and 21.4% of African American met the standard. Mind you not every student takes the test, only 60% of the graduating class even took it. So when you do the math, roughly 25% of graduating seniors demonstrated college readiness on the SAT. This aligns with what we previously wrote that 68% of students entering the California State University System (CSU) needed to take remedial classes, with that number being roughly 80% at community colleges.
All of this is just more evidence that the historic standards for students are too low, and while there definitely will be pain in the transition to the higher and more thoughtful Common Core standards, and schools and students will need more support. They are the right thing to do. Every year there is some new (quite valid) lament about the low college completion rates, particularly among disadvantaged students. If we want to really understand one key factor, it is in their K-12 education that did not prepare them for college. We need to do better, and higher standards for all students is a good start.