Sobering stats on college readiness in Baltimore
As I report in today's Sun, Andres Alonso has ended each Baltimore school board meeting for the past few months with a presentation of student data on various topics, from suspensions to truancy to test scores. The presentation at the end of last night's meeting, on college readiness, was the most sobering yet.
A word of warning: The numbers would have looked somewhat better if Morgan State University had submitted information to the National Student Clearinghouse, which compiled the data. There also would have been a bump if they included students who deferred their college acceptances. But the figures are still frighteningly low.
The presentation, posted on the school system's BoardDocs site, reveals the following:
-- Among Baltimore students who graduated high school in the spring of 2006 (and remember, only about 60 percent graduate), just 44 percent enrolled in a two- or four-year college that fall. That compares with a national college enrollment rate of 66 percent.
-- In Baltimore, the college enrollment rate has declined slightly since 2001, from 49 percent to the 44 percent in 2006. Nationally, it's increased slightly during that period, from 64 percent to 66.
-- Only 14 percent of students in Baltimore's Class of 2001 had earned a college degree within five years.
-- Among students who attended the prestigious citywide magnet schools (Poly, City, Western, Dunbar, School for the Arts), 33 percent earned a college degree in five years.
-- At the city's career and technology high schools (Mervo, Carver, Edmondson), six percent of students in the class of 2001 had a degree five years later. And at the neighborhood high schools, the percentage with a college degree was just four percent. (Keep in mind that the class of 2001 graduated before a major reform, breaking big neighborhood high schools into small ones, took effect.)
High school teachers: Do these figures accurately represent what's happening with your seniors, or do they overstate the problem? And what should Alonso and his team do to better prepare students for college?