An academic course of study prepares all students to succeed in both college and career.
Although most U.S. states have now adopted the common core college- and career-ready standards for all their students, many high schools continue to operate on an old premise—that only the best and the brightest will go on to college, with the rest needing a lower dose of academics sprinkled with some occupational training.
We've put fancy window dressing on the latter, with rhetoric about "career pathways" that will lead non-college-bound students into good jobs. But those words ring hollow when one looks at the facts. In its analysis of more than 15,000 high school transcripts from nine diverse school districts in California,1
the Education Trust-West, a small nonprofit education policy and advocacy organization dedicated to closing opportunity and achievement gaps, found a pattern of schooling that should disturb us all.