Press Release

Today’s report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is another reminder that, in many states, students and their parents are being given a false sense of promise that children are being prepared  to meet the real world challenges of college and careers.

“It makes no sense for our high schools to graduate students without the tools they need to be able to do the work,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. “It’s not good for kids, and it’s not good for the country.”

The NCES report demonstrates that far too many states have set their proficiency standards at levels below even a basic knowledge and understanding of core academic subject matter. These findings follow previous research from the U.S. Department of Education showing that an estimated 75 percent of current high school graduates are pursuing post-secondary education, while one-third of them end up in remedial classes.

That’s why The Education Trust has proposed providing the incentives and supports states need to raise their standards to college- and career-ready levels. Ed Trust’s recommendations for reauthorization of No Child Left Behind offer states additional time and flexibility in meeting proficiency requirements in exchange for evidence of truly rigorous standards that would guarantee a high school graduate’s placement, upon admission, into credit-bearing coursework at the state’s public colleges and universities.

“States like Massachusetts and South Carolina should be applauded for their efforts to set the bar high for all of their students. The federal government should create an environment that encourages more states to take bold steps toward higher expectations,” said Haycock.