By GreatSchools Staff
Your student is more likely to avoid pulling all-nighters if he's prepared and knows the skills necessary to meet the demands of a college curriculum. What's the best way to be prepared? Stretching reading skills in high school.
When students are prepared to meet the demands of college-level reading, they are more likely to keep up with the workload, gain more from their college experience, and graduate in a timely fashion.
If you think remedial courses in college will make up for inadequate preparation in high school, think again. A recent U.S. Department of Education report noted that 70% of students who took one or more remedial reading courses in college did not attain a college degree or certificate within eight years of enrollment. It's evident that early preparation is the key to college success, and there are key steps you can help your student take no matter what grade she is in now.
"A significant proportion of incoming college students have difficulty understanding the gist of academic writing at the college level. It's a challenge for them to see writing from the inside out," says John Briggs, Associate Professor of English at UC Riverside and a member of the College Board SAT Reading Development Committee. "Students know about topic sentences and main ideas, but they don't understand the questions the writer is addressing and they don't have enough experience participating in academic conversations."
Yet despite the need for students to learn complex skills to succeed in college, more and more high schools across the country are focusing on the achievement of basic skills to prepare students to pass state standardized tests. "There's a basic conflict schools have between basic skills and college readiness," notes David Conley, author of College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready. College readiness requires research and writing, and analyzing complex issues - a far cry from filling in bubbles on standardized tests. Currently 26 states have or are considering implementing high school exit exams, many of which require students to have only an eighth- or 10th-grade ability in reading and math to graduate.
A recent report by ACT entitled "Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals About College Readiness in Reading," discovered that more students are on track to being ready for college-level reading in eighth and 10th grade than are actually ready in 12th grade. The report also states that only about half of ACT-tested high school students are ready for college-level reading. While middle school classes focus on building reading skills, most high school English classes don't, says Ed Colby of ACT. "Specific reading instruction is over once students pass out of middle school," he notes.
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