Helping High School Seniors

Many high school students look forward to their senior year. Not as an opportunity to better prepare for college or work - but as a year to goof off.

The easy-going senior year is a national tradition - and a national disgrace, according to a report just issued by a commission formed by the US Department of Education. It emphasizes how unprepared many graduating seniors are for college or for an increasingly high-tech workplace.

The statistics are worrisome. On average, a third of college-bound seniors will spend part of their first year out of high school doing remedial work in math and English. Those who head for work instead of college often find they're ready for only the lowest- paid jobs.

In these times, commission members argue, a lax senior year is a clear liability. They'd like to see stronger demands on 12th-graders, and more cooperation between high schools and colleges to better prepare students.

The commission plans to issue final recommendations in June. Its interim report, released Jan. 17, can be read on its website: www.commissiononthesenioryear.org.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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