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What's the Best Path to Student Career Readiness?

Preparing students for post-secondary life is a critical priority for teachers, parents, students and corporate executives. So how, as a nation, do we get there?

The latest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers represents the views of middle and high school teachers, students, and parents, as well as Fortune 1,000 executives.

Large numbers of secondary school teachers (85 percent), secondary school parents (93 percent) and executives (80 percent) believe that preparing every high school graduate for college and a career should be a priority. When it comes to students, most agree with parents on the importance of this goal: 84 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.

Views differ on exactly how that goal should be accomplished, however. As a group, parents (73 percent) were 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).

Parents (75 percent) and executives (83 percent) placed the strongest emphasis on “giving schools more ability to remove teachers who are not serving students well.” Teachers were most likely to rate “strengthening programs and resources to help diverse learners with the highest needs meet college and career-ready standards” as a top priority.

While each survey group readily emphasized the roles of other groups, ultimately the responsibility for student career readiness is a shared one.

“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.

The findings were based on a national survey conducted between October and November 2010 that included 1,000 public school teachers (grades 6-12), 2,002 public school students (grades 6-12), 580 parents of public school students (grades 6-12), and 301 business executives from Fortune 1,000 companies.


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