There’s something that keeps popping into my brain lately. (Besides how many moving boxes I need. Have you ever tried to pack up a house with a job, a toddler and a husband whose commute eats nearly four hours a day? Grrr.) Anyway. I was listening to Emily Hanford’s terrific American Radio Works documentary on Latinos and college, “Rising by Degrees,”and I thought back to the EWA/Pew Latino meeting last month. We heard from a panel of really interesting students, including an utterly composed GED student who had managed two kids and two jobs during her senior year in high school (note to self: enough complaining about packing).
But the girl who really got me thinking was a young woman who was clearly viewed as success story—surely that’s why she was chosen for the panel. She had taken all sorts of Advanced Placement classes at Albert Einstein High School in Montgomery County, Maryland—the 303rd best high school in the country, if you believe Jay Mathews’ Challenge Index. Now she’s at Montgomery College, where she placed into remedial reading and remedial math.
One of Emily’s subjects faced a similar fate. I’d love to see more stories on how students taking the most rigorous courses in our country’s top school systems wind up pretty much starting from scratch—for no credits! which they don’t realize half the time!—at community college.