The state recently released some “post-secondary readiness” data about Iowa high schools. Specifically, there are charts showing the college enrollment and completion rates, up to five years out, of the graduates of the high school class of 2010. They also show, as to those students who enrolled in a public college or university, what percentage took at least one remedial English or math course within a year of graduating from high school. (That part of the data is from more recent graduating classes.) Here are the charts for City High and West High (click to enlarge, or click on the school name to go to the site):
You can go on the site and look up any high school in Iowa. It’s important to be careful about drawing broad conclusions from any one set of data, but I wanted to post these because I’ve always been curious about college completion rates and about just how many students start pursuing a college degree but don’t finish. One thing it shows is that five years after graduating, a significant portion of our high school graduates—between 30 and 40 per cent—had not received a college degree and were not pursuing one. I know we will never send all of our graduates to college, and I don’t see that as the goal. But I think it’s still a fair question whether we are adequately serving those students, whether college is in their future or not.
These charts, by the way, are defining “remedial math course” very narrowly, to cover only non-credit-bearing remedial work. Karen W. explains here.