Educators Figure Out Ways To Get Students College-Ready

Not enough Panhandle area students are ready for the college course workload, according to area educators.  To try to get teachers and professors on the same page, educators from around the Panhandle met Friday at the Region 16 building in Amarillo.

Educators we spoke with today used the term "bridge the gap" to attempt to get high school juniors and seniors ready for college classes after their time in Texas public schools.

It all boils down to one major issue: the TAKS test.

Russell Lowery-Hart, Assistant Provost of Academic Affairs at WT, says "high school teachers are expected to prepare their students in math, science, reading and writing a certain way, and what they're preparing them to do is be successful on their TAKS scores. But preparing for TAKS isn't preparing for college."

Anette Carlisle from Panhandle Twenty/20 says "there's too much focus on the test. It's all this week, the whole focus is "you've got to test all kids in Texas on the same day, and that's not really the way the world works."

After a meeting of more than 100 educators last week, a smaller group met Friday to discuss ideas from everyone at the previous meeting.

Region 16 Executive Director John Bass says, "look at the recommendations and see what gaps there might be in the high school curriculum and college curriculum - there seems to be a gap there and we need to find out what that is and teach on both ends so we don't have as many kids in remedial courses."

Those include assigning seniors college-like projects to give them an idea of college life and teaching better time management skills.  These recommendations could be in place by the next school year.  And some of those ideas will be taken to Austin to bring up to our legislators.