Let’s create more avenues for our kids’ education

Today, most family-wage jobs in Washington require some form of post-secondary education or training.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008 3:00pm
  • Opinion

Today, most family-wage jobs in Washington require some form of post-secondary education or training.

By 2014, 77 percent of those jobs will require training or education after high school – in King and Snohomish counties the number jumps to 85 percent. And yet, Washington allows too many of its children to graduate from high school unprepared for post-secondary life.

Our current high school graduation requirements leave students 4.5 credits short of what they need to be admitted to a state four-year college. We allow kids to graduate from high school with less English, math and world language credits than they need to just get in the door at the University of Washington, Washington State and Central Washington. Only 41 percent of the classes of 2005 and 2006 were even eligible to apply to our four-year colleges.

And what about those students not interested in a four-year degree? We’re letting them down, too.

To take credit-bearing math classes at two- or four-year colleges in Washington, students must first pass Algebra II – another course not required for high school graduation. Of the Class of 2006 who immediately went on to two- or four-year colleges, 33 percent enrolled in remedial math. At state community and technical colleges alone, almost half of 2006 graduates needed to take remedial math classes.

Employers say time and again that college ready equals work ready – they expect the same skills out of potential employees that two- and four-year colleges expect of entering freshmen. We cannot continue to have lower expectations for kids who plan to go directly into the workforce; they will benefit just as much from rigorous courses, curriculum and expectations. In fact, students in more rigorous courses not only make larger academic gains; they also are less likely to fail.

We need to create pathways of opportunity for our kids. And we need to take the guesswork out of college-readiness.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity for change. The State Board of Education will vote Wednesday on whether to require Algebra II as the third required math credit. The board also is considering raising the minimum

high school graduation requirements to better align with college entrance requirements (CORE 24).

By aligning high school graduation requirements with post-secondary expectations, we will be giving students the opportunity to pursue whatever path they choose, rather than having the choice made for them when they exit high school unprepared for life beyond 12th grade.

Visit didyouknowcampaign.com to learn more. Help us change the world by changing our schools.

Lisa Macfarlane is director of external affairs at the League of Education Voters Foundation (www.levfoundation.org). She can be reached at 206-728-6448 or info@educationvoters.org.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Points of contention on police inquests in King County

Inquests frequently unfold against a backdrop of sadness and drama: Family members’… Continue reading

Guests gather to view a photo of Pilchuck Julia during the naming ceremony of the Snohomish River boat landing named for her in August, 2019. (Kevin Clark / Herald file photo)
Editorial: What history is owed through our monuments

The decisions regarding whom we honor in our public squares require deliberation and consensus.

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
The search for selfhood

What really matters is the desire to find.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Valley police chiefs of King County release unified message in response to death of George Floyd

Police chiefs of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Black Diamond and the Port of Seattle pledge to stand with communities.

Pandemic illustrates the need for government action

Despite spending most of my life in government and politics and working… Continue reading

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

How using a face mask to cover my Asian face could put me in danger

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted.

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Helping community organizations as we respond to the coronavirus

Now, more than ever, nonprofits need gifts of time and money