2017-05-19 / Letters

Are teens really ready for college?

The April 28 Camarillo Acorn published an article titled “District reports rise in graduation rates.” The article states that according to the state Department of Education, the Oxnard Union High School District’s 2016 graduation rate was 83.7 percent. OUHSD Superintendent DeLeon said that the district is working to ensure that “every senior applies and is accepted to a two-year or four-year college.”

OUHSD should not pat themselves on the back too quickly. Most people who read the Acorn article may think this is great news and that OUHSD is doing a great job. However, we know that the graduation rate is not an accurate indicator of students’ readiness for college.

An 83.7 percent graduation rate may seem wonderful if you look no further than that statistic. If you look beyond the graduation rate, there is a huge gap—“college readiness” rates and math and English proficiency rates are much lower.

Given Superintendent De- Leon’s goal is to have every senior accepted into college, this should be of tremendous concern to everyone.

According to the California Department of Education website, of the almost 2,000 OUHSD seniors who took the SAT in 2016, on average, only 40.52 percent achieved the combined reading and writing and math scores that the college board considers “college and career ready.”

The Ventura County average was 58.75 percent, and the statewide average was 45.56 percent, meaning that in 2016 OUHSD schools, on average, tested lower than both Ventura County and state averages.

Now that we know this, we have to question the standard of education in our OUHSD schools that resulted in an 83.7 percent graduation rate in 2016, but only a 40.52 percent SAT passing rate, which assesses the critical reading, writing and math skills that students need to be successful in college.

The OUHSD English and math proficiency statistics average 48 percent and 46 percent respectively. Other statistics are even lower and again show OUHSD averages lower than the county and state.

Parents, don’t be fooled by the smokescreen of seemingly high graduation rates. Get involved in your kids’ education. If they intend to go to college, we know most of them are unprepared.

Manuela Walter

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