In April 2016, The Education Trust published Meandering Toward Graduation: Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates. The report showcases the results of their analysis of high school transcripts to discover what students’ course-taking behavior reveals about their readiness—or lack thereof—for postsecondary education and careers. From their summary:
- Despite the rhetoric around college and career readiness for all students, just 8 percent of high school graduates complete a full college- and career-preparatory curriculum.
- Nearly half of graduates complete neither a college- nor career-ready course sequence. Rather than aligning high school coursework with students’ future goals, high schools are prioritizing credit accrual, which treats high school graduation as the end goal.
- College and career readiness is still a new expectation that will require significant change to school structures, culture, and instruction to prepare students for postsecondary study aligned with their interests. We highlight school- and district-based levers for practitioners to consider in order to maximize postsecondary readiness.