EDITORIAL: High school graduates must be more ready

2012-08-23T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: High school graduates must be more ready nwitimes.com
August 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

At the root of discussions on education reform is the nearly universal concern about the outcome: Will students emerge from high school ready for college or careers? A new Northwest Indiana initiative addresses that issue.

The Regional Education/Employer Alliance for Developing Youth of Northwest Indiana is working with 13 school districts to help better connect school and work.

Starting this fall, eighth-graders in those districts — Crown Point, Gary, Hanover, Hebron, Hobart, Lake Central, Lake Ridge, Merrillville, Munster, Tri-Creek, Valparaiso, Whiting and the Porter County Career Center —will take the ACT Explorer test, which will help determine their interests in college and career options.

The idea is that preparing students for these choices earlier leads to more success in school and beyond.

Dual credits are a factor for students heading for college. Taking dual credit courses earns students high school and college credits at the same time — saving the students money and helping them to graduate from college sooner. These courses also make high school students better prepared for the rigors of college.

The importance of preparing students better for college and careers cannot be stressed enough.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that only 18 percent of Americans strongly agree or somewhat agree that high school graduates are ready for the world of work.

The READY NWI effort, a part of the One Region initiative, is doing essential work.

It's vital that children learn in school what they'll need for success in the workforce. By that, we mean not just technical skills, which are important, but also habits like being punctual, working as a team, etc.

The input of business leaders as well as educators in this effort is invaluable.

Students must be ready to go to work, either in college or in the workforce, upon graduation from high school.

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