Today marks the unveiling of the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers, a substantial majority of teachers, parents, and Fortune 1000 executives believe that one of the nation’s highest priorities in education should be preparing secondary students for college and career success. The survey is the 27th in an annual series. The first of two reports from this year’s survey, Part 1: Clearing the Path, released today, looks at the implications of ensuring all secondary students are college- and career-ready.
Despite agreement overall on the importance of college- and career-readiness, the survey reveals that not everyone prioritizes it in the same way. Although large numbers of secondary school teachers (85 percent), secondary school parents (93 percent) and executives (80 percent) believe that graduating each and every student from high school ready for college and a career should be a priority, views differ on how high a priority. As a group, parents (73 percent) are the most likely to say the goal “must be accomplished as one of the highest priorities in education,” in contrast to about half of teachers (54 percent) and executives (48 percent).
When it comes to students, most agree with parents on the importance of this goal as well. Eighty-four percent of middle and high school students believe that it is absolutely essential or very important that all students graduate from high school ready for college and a career, while only 16 percent say that it is somewhat important or not at all important.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring that students gain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in their education, careers, and personal lives,” said MetLife Chairman, President, and CEO C. Robert Henrikson. “MetLife is committed to sharing the views of teachers and others to help launch an important discussion about priorities for education in the 21st century.”
Key findings include:
- Teachers (57 percent) are most likely to believe that strengthening programs and resources to help diverse learners with the highest needs meet college-and career-ready standards should be one of the highest priorities in education, and a significant proportion of parents (59 percent) also rate this as one of the highest priorities.
- Students have high expectations for college, and these expectations have increased over the past two decades.
- Parents say schools are not doing enough to tell them how students can get into and pay for college. About half of parents rate their child’s school as fair or poor at providing information to parents on the requirements to get into college (46 percent) or about the availability of financial aid for college and how to get it (52 percent).
- Middle school students and parents in particular express a need for information. Half or more of middle school students (53 percent) and parents of middle school students (60 percent) rate their schools as fair or poor in providing information to students about what the requirements are to get into college.
The survey is compelling evidence that more supports and information needed to prepare all students for college is needed across the education spectrum. To read the entire report and check out previous Met Life surveys, go to the MetLife Foundation page HERE.
To learn more about how California GEAR UP supports families and schools to create an environment where ALL students can and will go to college, please visit our website.