Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Such Good News

From Connecticut:
Results from the 2008 ACT college admission test show that many Connecticut high school seniors are "appallingly" unprepared for college-level work, according to a state report.

Of the 8,159 students who took the test, 35 percent of white seniors, 18 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of African Americans were ready for college-level work.

"It's an appalling figure to look at," said Frank W. Ridley, chairman of the Board of Governors for Higher Education. "Basically it says that, at the very best, only one-third of our students are succeeding." Ridley said he was disgusted by the low numbers, which were included in a state report about racial and ethnic diversity in higher education. He said the disparity in the scores of whites and minorities underscores the state's struggle to close the stubborn "achievement gap."
Ridley says that the scores mean that "only one-third of our students are succeeding." Maybe the scores indicate dismal performance on the part of the schools. Or maybe the scores indicate that they are inadequately funded:
A Connecticut school finance lawsuit, filed more than four years ago with the high expectations of 12 towns that were challenging the way the state hands out education dollars, may not even make it to trial.
. . .
The case, Johnson v. Rowland, began in the spring of 1998, when the suit was filed on behalf of seven students and a coalition of the 12 towns. The plaintiffs have contended that the state has not contributed its fair share of education funding, and that poorer communities, like those that sued, are left with hefty tax burdens to pay for K-12 education.

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