Oregon may require college credit in high school

Oregon may require all high school students to pass college-level classes, reports Diverse.

A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill that would require college coursework as a condition of graduating from high school. The move would increase the number of students going to college, make their degrees more affordable and encourage students not considering college to continue in higher education, said Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat who is the bill’s chief sponsor.

Oregon students must pass 24 high school classes to earn a diploma. In its current form, Senate Bill 222 would require six of those classes earn college credit, starting with the class of 2020. It promises funding — how much is unstated — to train high school teachers to teach college-level courses.

It’s nice to know Oregon students are so accomplished that all can be expected to complete high school work in three years and move on to college work.

A North Carolina bill backed by Gov. Pat McCrory would create a “career ready” diploma in addition to a “college ready” diploma. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is headed for the House. “Career and technical teacher licensing requirements also would be revised to help develop more teachers in those fields,” reports AP.

Pew: College grads suffer less in recession

Recent four-year college graduates are struggling in the job market, but it’s a lot worse for job seekers with only a high school diploma or associate degree, concludes a Pew report.

Before the recession, just over half of young adults with a high school degree (HS) were employed, compared to almost two-thirds of those with an associate degree (AA) and nearly three-fourths of those with a bachelor’s degree (BA).

Job losses during the recession made existing employment gaps even worse. The employment declines for those with HS and AA degrees were 16 and 11 percent, respectively, compared with 7 percent for those with a BA degree.

Pew did not find “a sharp increase” in four-year graduates taking low-skill or low-wage jobs — or going to graduate school.

The broken promise of college readiness

In repose to the Alliance for Excellent Education’s report on remediation costs, CNN education contributor Steve Perry talks about the broken promise of college readiness.

“The problem is that these students were given the promise when they were given a diploma that said they were in fact prepared for the next level for whatever the rights and privileges that come with receiving a high school diploma.”

One strategy Perry recommends is to bone up on weak subjects in community college before starting a four-year university.

‘More college’ won’t solve unemployment

More college” will not cure unemployment, editorializes the New York Times. While people with bachelor’s degree are more likely to be working, recent graduates aren’t doing very well.

Over the past year, for example, the unemployment rate for college grads under age 25 has averaged 9.2 percent, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier and 5.8 percent in the first year of the recession that began in December 2007. That means recent grads have about the same level of unemployment as the general population. It also suggests that many employed recent grads may be doing work that doesn’t require a college degree.

Even more disturbing, there is no guarantee that unemployed or underemployed college grads will move into much better jobs as conditions improve. Early bouts of joblessness, or starting in a lower-level job with lower pay, can mean lower levels of career attainment and earnings over a lifetime.

College-educated workers’ median pay has stagnated for the past 10 years, at roughly $72,000 a year for men and $52,000 a year for women, the Times notes. Considering the large increase in the number of college-educated workers, that’s not surprising.

Recent four-year graduates are doing great compared to high school graduates, notes The Quick and the Ed. “It turns out that the unemployment rate for Americans under the age of 25 with only a high school diploma is 23 percent, compared to only 7 percent for those with a college degree. So college is even better for recent grads than it is for the overall population.”