Our public schools need to do a better job preparing students for college.

In 2010-2011, 82 percent of Carroll school graduates who promptly enrolled in Carroll Community College required remedial education in English, mathematics, and/or reading. In the same year, 55 percent of all Maryland high school graduates (who enrolled in Maryland public institutions) required remediation.


The principal reason students arrive at college unprepared for college-level academics is that the requirements for high school graduation do not align with what is generally regarded as college ready. This is especially true in math, where the highest level a student is required to pass is below the college-ready level and may be taken in the student's junior year of high school.

Unfortunately, remedial education at the college level is not effective. In Maryland, for every 100 students who enroll in a remedial course at a community college, only 41 students successfully complete their required remedial courses, and only 25 students successfully complete the related credit course.

CCPS is taking measures to address the problem of college preparedness. For example, the school system now requires all students to enroll in a mathematics course in each year of high school. The Common Core state standards aim to align K-12 education with college-ready standards in English and mathematics, and the new PARCC assessments will measure student progress against these new standards.

Too many students fall behind in high school and find it impossible to catch up in college. The school system must bring its students fully to college- and career-readiness.

Three of the candidates for school board, George Harmening, Charles Nason and Jim Roenick oppose the Common Core standards and propose a return to local control. This would be a step backward toward a system which has been proven to produce poor results. The Common Core standards and PARCC assessments are the only reasonable way forward.

Please use all three of your permitted votes this election and cast them for Virginia Harrison, Bob Lord and Devon Rothschild.

John Corona