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    High schools in PA leaving students unprepared for college

    By: Bill Hangley

    New data from the state department of education show that as many as one in three Pennsylvania high school graduates arrive at college without all the skills they need. The Rendell administration is using the numbers to revive its push for a system of statewide high school graduation exams. WHYY’s Bill Hangley has more.

    By: Bill Hangley
    bhangley@whyy.org

    New data from the state department of education show that as many as one in three Pennsylvania high school graduates arrive at college without all the skills they need. The Rendell administration is using the numbers to revive its push for a system of statewide high school graduation exams. WHYY’s Bill Hangley has more.

    [audio: reports20090122collegeprepare.mp3]

    Transcript:

    The Department of Education surveyed 28 colleges and universities and found they spend millions on remedial classes for Pennsylvania freshmen who arrive unprepared for college-level work. Michael Race is a spokesman with the Department of Education. He says the new data proves it is past time for the state to take over the business of determining who really deserves a diploma.

    Race: “What we have tried to do in this debate over graduation assessments, the constant rebuttal we heard was, you don’t have enough proof that there’s a problem. Well, from our perspective, we have at least 20,000 students that prove there’s a problem.”

    Rendell has been pushing state graduation exams for months, saying Pennsylvania’s lack of consistent standards weakens its workforce and slows its economy. But state legislators blocked the exams last summer, saying they were too expensive and would interfere with local control of school districts. Education officials say they’ll introduce new regulations this summer designed to make the tests mandatory.

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