The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers
Yesterday marked the release of findings from Part I of MetLife’s twenty-seventh annual education survey, which focuses on what it means to be “college- and career-ready.” In this poll of middle and high school teachers, students, public-education parents, and executives of Fortune 100 companies, the organization investigates how stakeholder groups feel about the college- and career-ready goal and what students need to do to reach it. Many of the findings are interesting if unsurprising: Only 17 percent of teachers give high priority to more school choice, compared to 43 percent of parents and 46 percent of executives. When asked about the need to graduate all students college- and career-ready, 73 percent of parents said it needed to be done, compared to only 43 percent of executives. Then puzzle over this: All groups of surveyed adults find that “higher-order, cross-disciplinary skills”—such as problem solving, self motivation, and relationship building—are more important for college preparation than higher-level math and science content. (Executives place greatest emphasis on the capacity for team work.) Yet, nearly 90 percent of middle and high school teachers support implementation of the Common Core standards in math, ELA, and (when available) science—standards that largely rejected the “twenty-first century skills” agenda. An interesting read, this year’s MetLife survey further articulates the fogginess of “career- and college-ready.” Part II of the survey, “Teaching Diverse Learners,” is set to release March 23.
Harris Interactive, “The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers: Part 1: Clearing the Path” (New York, NY: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, March 2011).
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