Academic Rigor Is Key to Academic Success, Says Education Department Study
When it comes to success in college, an academically rigorous high school curriculum may make all the difference, the U.S. Education Department says.
In its new report, The Condition of Education, 2001, the department finds encouraging progress on college access. Yet academic rigor is often the key to success, particularly for children who would be the first in their families to attend college.
Among high school graduates whose parents lacked a college education, the college enrollment rate was 64 percent for those who took advanced math in high school. Among those without advanced math, enrollment ranged from 4 percent to 34 percent.
And first-generation college students taking rigorous high school courses were almost as likely to succeed in college as their peers whose parents had at least a bachelor’s degree.
“Record numbers of students are going to college, especially students whose parents did not attend college,” Education Secretary Dr. Roderick Paige says. Yet he notes that African Americans and Hispanics continue to “lag behind” Whites in student performance and educational attainment.
“We are failing to close persistent achievement and attainment gaps, and we lag behind other developed nations in math and science achievement,” he says.
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