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Parents, Students and Educators Disagree on Role of High School - 2009 Deloitte Education Survey

Given the week I had last week and the Monday I had this week concerning my son and basketball I found the following Deloitte 2009 Education Survey findings, released on November 30th of this year, to be quite interesting, but not exactly surprising.

  • Only 9% of high school teachers think that preparing students for college is their primary mission.
  • Only 10% of high school teachers think that ensuring students graduate is their primary mission.
  • But nearly half of all parents and students believe that college preparation is their high school’s primary mission.
NEW YORK, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As the competitiveness of the U.S. economy depends on increasing the college-educated workforce, the Deloitte 2009 Education Survey shows a major disconnect between what students and parents want from high school and what educators believe is their charge.

When asked about the primary mission of high school, low-income parents and students rank preparing students for college the highest, with 42 percent of parents and 48 percent of high school students agreeing with the statement. Yet only nine percent of educators think preparing students for college is their most important mission. Further, only 12 percent of teachers feel that they are most responsible for building a college-going culture. The Deloitte 2009 Education Survey was conducted among high school teachers and low-income parents and students.

"What the parents and students surveyed want from high school is at odds with what we've been asking our high schools to do for close to 100 years," said Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte LLP and newly appointed Chairman of College Summit. "Redefining the mission of high school is an important next step for building a 21st Century workforce."


According to the findings of the survey, close to three quarters (70 percent) of students say they "definitely" will attend college, however, only about a quarter (27 percent) feel very prepared to handle college courses and less than a quarter (22 percent) rate the job their high school has done in preparing them to attend college as excellent. Moreover, half of the students responding to the survey say that they are not "very confident" they have the necessary knowledge about how to best prepare for college (i.e., how to engage in volunteer and extracurricular activities, or understanding the performance requirements for college entry).

In order for students to experience high school as a launch pad for college and career success, educators will require training. While teachers personally feel it is important for students to attend college, only 59 percent are very confident that they have the knowledge about what students need to be prepared for college.

"Based on these stats, a significant portion of those students surveyed with aspirations to finish college are not likely to reach their goal because they are not adequately prepared for college," continued Salzberg. "We need to create a strong college-going culture which ensures high school is viewed not as the end game, but as preparation for post-secondary education and career success."

More and more with each passing day I am inspired to become a teacher despite my inbred hatred for the position thanks to my two-parent, two-educator household (school was school and home was school too). After reading studies like these and seeing similar outcomes beginning to manifest in the lives of my son, his peers and eventually my daughter are quickly turning this inspiration to teach (or somehow be involved in the educational process) into a compulsion/obligation.

For starters, at the very least folks, get your kids involved in some level of volunteerism this holiday season. This tops the list of things to do with and for my son. As it states in the study this is a prerequisite for college admission in many instances. Just like building college savings,this is something that can be done now and will make the road that much easier for you and your kid(s).

For the full results please click here: Deloitte 2009 Education Survey.

My friends, fellow parents, followers, readers, husbands, wives, academics, educators and administrators...what are your thoughts and feelings on these findings?

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