Only 31% of High School Teachers Think Graduates are Ready for College

While 68% of graduating high school seniors believe they are adequately prepared for college, the majority of their teachers don’t agree. A 2010 Deliotte Education Survey discovered a disconnect between how college ready teenagers thought themselves, versus what their teachers saw.

And perhaps the teachers have a point.

Differing Opinions

Though the majority of college freshmen claimed they were quite well-equipped to handle coursework their first year in college, 28% admitted to needing remedial classes. The College Board claims as many as 40% of incoming freshmen are placed into some kind remediation in order to bring them up to grade level.

Lack of Data

The problem, according to high school teachers, is that they don’t have the data they need to make adjustments to their course work. Much of the feedback they receive on college bound students comes from the students themselves, or through their parents. Colleges and universities don’t provide the nation’s high schools with data that would let them know where students need extra help, or that would help high schools align their curriculum.

What Teachers Want

92% of high school teachers wish the nation’s colleges and universities would work with them and let them know exactly where incoming freshmen are failing and what high schools can do to better prepare them. If this kind of information was available, 82% of high school teachers would use it to improve subject matter and 78% would use to it to plan coursework.

Colleges Not Helping

However, only 13% of high school teachers receive any official feedback from colleges or universities at this time. For all the complaints professors and officials have about college preparedness, they have yet to take any proactive measures in assisting high schools meet the needs of students with aspirations of higher learning.

What Do You Think?

Should colleges and universities work more closely with high schools to ensure that all graduates be able to seek a degree? Or should high schools be doing all the work? Let’s hear what you think.


photo credit: Nat and Me by Dyan Oliphant


John B.
John B7 years ago

This goes back to the roots of the educational system. I learned at a very early age to question everything which did not keep me in good stead with teachers.
Education currently is taught on an authoritarian basis. Something as rudimentary as an xray - is it a wave or a particle that is hitting the body? This would not be all the big a question but the "powers that be" kept changing their minds every couple of years so the answer that was correct one year was wrong the next year.
The above is just an example but in any course of study there are basic principles or laws that are the cornerstone of the subject and then a lot of other data that is opinion. When one can have no judgment in a subject and must go upon what an authority says then he is ill-equipped to deal with his subject.
One must be able to think with the information that he is given so that he knows and can apply it to real life situations and not to be able to spit out data in order to pass a test. Does one really want a tape recorder (one with no judgment) as their doctor, accountant or lawyer?
It makes more sense to have someone who can really use the data he has to produce the required product or service. Today's schools fail our children when they don't teach them to think, to be able to differentiate data and relate it to life. How many of you use trig since your last exam?
The math that one should get in elementary school should serve the purpose of seeing that you don't get short changed.

perlette a.
perlita a7 years ago

why allow them to graduate if they are not really ready?high school subjects are given to equip them.if they are not,what's the use?

Blaise G.
Blaise G7 years ago

My son who is a freshman in Junior College here in Southern California is struggling with his English classes. He has always hated reading and writing, even though I read to him voraciously while he was growing up. Even my thirteen year old daughter hates reading and writing, even though she loves to draw comics and tell stories. I love reading and writing even though I have suffered through a lifetime of Auditory Dyslexia which I found out I had when I took my son in for hearing tests when he was an infant suffering from chronic ear infections. His specialist told me that he wanted to do tests on ME, because of how I was responding to my son's tests in the sound proof booth that I was holding him in at the time. The doctor asked me if I had done poorly in school when I was growing up. I told him that I ditched school more than I was ever IN school. I was told that I was a lazy child, stupid and a dreamer. Turns out I couldn't understand what was I was being told. I used to have to read and re-read paragraphs over and over again to try and absorb the gist of what was written down. I wonder if my kids have inherited my wiring problem? I've asked to have them tested, but apparently my son's doctor was the only doctor who tested for Auditory Dyslexia and he is retired now. Even though my kids hate reading, doesn't make them stupid or even lazy and we can blame the Electronic Revolution all we want, but it comes down to parents doing their best to educate their children. I tried.

Mimi Richardson
Mimi Richardson7 years ago

It's quite distressing to think that there is this major disconnect between high schools and universities. Teachers need as much information as possible to assist students in their academic pursuits. Sharing pertinent data seems essential to accomplish this end. Pity it's not happening now.

Mitzie W.
Mitzie W7 years ago

Of course colleges and universities do not want to collaborate. They get more money out of the students who have to take extra courses.

Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Not particularly encouraging.

Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

well..if this isn't the dumbest question i've been asked this's close..of course, they should work closely together...the entire point is to prepare students....oh the games people will play to exercise their power and maintain control over their little domain...

Andrea S.
Andrea S.7 years ago

Colleges working with the high schools certainly sounds like a good idea. But it won't fix the problem. At least the teachers are getting feedback from students and parents. Its something. Honestly, students at a single high school will vary a lot. Only a third of my high school went to college, while most did not at or *maybe* took some community college courses. You can't prepare everyone for a top tier college. And colleges cannot alone be blamed for a poor education system. High schools need money and teachers.

chiari l.
Chiari L7 years ago


Philippa P.
Philippa P7 years ago

I have worked at a university and this is a true story. A student needed to write a check to pay a bill. I had to assist that student write the entire check. The mind wobbles!