New Mexico will make applying to college a high school graduation requirement, under a bill moving through the Legislature. “Exceptions would be made for students who can prove they have committed to military service, a vocational program, or work upon graduation in an apprenticeship or internship,” reports AP. (Getting a job that isn’t part of a program apparently doesn’t count.)
The goal is to increase college enrollment and develop a better-educated workforce.
But New Mexico’s problems don’t start at the college door.
New Mexico schools ranked 50th in the nation on Education Week‘s Quality Counts analysis this year. The state earned a D- for K-12 achievement, notes the Santa Fe New Mexican. “Scores on standardized tests in the state remain dismal, with just 19.7 percent of students in grades 3-11 showing proficiency in math and 28.6 percent proficient in language arts.”
It’s easy, and usually free, to apply to a community college in New Mexico. Earning a certificate or degree generally takes math and reading skills.
Chicago will require high school students to submit a college/career plan to graduate. City Colleges of Chicago, which accept all applicants, is providing counselors to help students fill out forms.
West Virginia will offer free community college to those who pass a drug test.
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