ERIC Number: ED453604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
The Lost Opportunity of Senior Year: Finding a Better Way. Preliminary Report.
The perception of the senior year as a wasted year is a symptom of the disconnect between American public schools and what follows, whether postsecondary education or employment. Students may encounter four different sets of requirements to graduate from high school, to be admitted to college, to enroll in nonremedial college courses for credit, and to get a more than minimal job. The student who does not choose the college preparatory courses, starting with choices made as early as middle school, may be ill-prepared for both work and college. Courses requiring critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are particularly crucial. Problems that must be overcome include low expectations, lack of parental awareness of the consequences of course choices, tracking, lack of communication between one educational level and the next, overwhelmed and poorly prepared teachers and counselors, assessment unconnected to the standards of colleges and employers, and activities and scheduling limitations seen as purposeless and boring by the students. The most severe problem may be that high schools currently have little capacity to leverage change in teaching or learning. One suggestion is for 16-year-old students to have options such as applying directly to college, technical college, structured internships, or apprenticeship programs. Appendices list acknowledgements; meetings, guests and speakers; and nine papers and other materials prepared for the commission.(Contains 51 references.) (RKJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A preliminary report by The National Commission on the High School Senior Year, created by a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles Steward Mott Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.