Scathing report on high school graduation rates spurs Tennessee to consider impact on colleges
- In Tennessee, one out of every three high school graduates in the class of 2015 failed to meet mandated foreign language or social studies requirements for a diploma, a phenomenon that state officials say could be a contributing factor to increasing disparities in college completion.
- NPR reports on the state's efforts to examine the full impact on its systems of higher education, which they say prohibits college enrollment since most four-year institutions require foreign language credits in high school.
- Officials are looking to overhaul compliance regulations for districts to ensure that principals and counselors are clear on the standards. They have no plans to revoke or to change students' earned diplomas.
Tennessee is the pioneering state for the free college movement, and now reveals that more than a third of the students who may have been eligible for the program did not successfully complete high school requirements. For college leaders, it may be a case study on the increasing need for resources in remedial education, specifically being developed and implemented by college and university partners.
For institutions in regions with poor and underperforming secondary systems, teacher training and workforce development are critical areas of need to ensure seamless college entry. Colleges should work with districts to offer undergraduate and graduate support for guidance counseling, test preparation and articulation agreements to help systems better meet state requirements and to improve the pool of potential college admits.