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2005 National Education Summit

The nation’s governors offered an alarming account of the American high school on Feb. 26 at the first National Education Summit, saying only drastic changes will keep millions of students from falling short.

The governors say they want to emerge today with specific plans for enacting policy. Achieve, a nonprofit group formed by governors and corporate leaders, plans to announce today that roughly 12 states are committing to raise high school requirements and alighn those requirements with skills needed for college preparation or workforce preparation.

Some alarming statistics reported at the summit:

– Of every 100 ninth graders, only 68 graduate from high school on time and only 18 make it through college on time (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

– Once in college, one in four students at four-year universities must take at least one remedial course to master what they should have learned in high school

Microsoft chief Bill Gates has donated more than $700 million into reducing the size of high school classes and redesigning high school itself through his foundation. Why? Because, Bill says:

America’s high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don’t just mean that they’re broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools — even when they’re working as designed –cannot teach all students what they need to know today.

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