Only about half of this year's high school graduates have the reading skills they need to succeed in college, and even fewer are prepared for college-level science and math courses, according to a yearly report from ACT, which produces one of the nation's leading college admissions tests. The report, based on scores of the 2005 high school graduates who took the exam, some 1.2 million students in all, also found that fewer than one in four met the college-readiness benchmarks in all four subjects tested: reading comprehension, English, math and science.
I can speak to this question from personal experience: college freshman don't have the basic intellectual training needed to succeed. The ones who do flourish are heroes, as far as I'm concerned. What is most horrifying is that these are the best students to come out of the K-12 system.
The question remains: Who do we blame? It would easy to find fault with the laziness of students, or the disinterest of parents, or poorly prepared teachers. But the fact remains that you can't hold a few "bad apples" responsible for a system-wide problem. What we have is a structure of education that virtually guarantees failure. We've passed the "crisis" stage; we are now in the realm of full scale disaster.
And what do school boards spend their time on? Why, creationism of course. I hope that when the Theocons wake up in a 3rd world country, they're very happy with what they've wrought.