In South Carolina a major disconnect exists between high school student achievement and college success. In the first year that all juniors took the ACT, only 14 % met the goals for college success, while over 80 % planned college attendance. In order to keep their classes full (and help those who lack adequate academic skills), many community colleges and other institutions of higher learning have bred remedial courses like rabbits over the last decades.
People argue that the ACT's biases work against black and Hispanic students and the poor, but the reality is that the ACT does measure success. How many of these poorly-prepared students starting college in remedial courses end up not graduating, stuck with thousands of dollars in student loans to be paid off working at McDonald's? In fact, one recent authoritative report on remedial college courses called them "The Bridge to Nowhere."
As districts such as CCSD continue to focus on graduation r.ates as a measure of success, they forget the purpose of high school: preparation for college or work (increasingly requiring further education).
What does it matter if the graduation rate is 95 percent if only 14 percent have achieved at the high school level?