The answer for too many school districts, it seems, is “subpar.”
Read this NYT story measuring how well high school graduates perform in college as correlated to scores on the statewide Regents exams.
Some key excerpts:
Using data collected by state and community colleges, testing experts on a state committee determined last year that a 75 on the English Regents and a 80 on the math Regents roughly predicted that students would get at least a C in a college-level course in the same subject. Scores below that meant students had to often take remediation classes before they could do college-level work. Only 41 percent of New York State graduates in 2009 achieved those scores. [emphasis mine]
In the wealthier districts across the state, the news is better: 72 percent of students in “low need” districts are graduating ready for college or careers. But even that is well under the 95 percent of students in those districts who are now graduating.
The data also cast new doubt on the ability of charter schools to outperform their traditional school peers. Statewide, only 10 percent of students at charters graduated in 2009 at college-ready standards, though 49 percent received diplomas. [emphasis mine] The state has not yet calculated results for every district and school.
What this means is that increasingly, colleges are having to provide remediation for high school graduates who should have the skills needed to work at the college level, but clearly aren’t up to the task. This will of course have impact on the length of time needed to graduate college, as well as the quality of education offered and earned.