Careers Await, Kentucky’s Kids Aren’t Ready, Part 2

I just accessed the ACT report mentioned in yesterday’s Kentucky Enquirer about how well Kentucky’s high school students’ interests mesh with projected job openings (not well).

The ACT’s report is certainly interesting.

Figure 2 in the ACT report (shown below) shows the projected major growth job areas for Kentucky against test results for Kentucky’s Class of 2008 who took the ACT and expressed interest in those types of jobs. Notice, for example, that among students who say they want to go into education, only 18 percent, less than one out of five, are adequately prepared to enter a credit bearing college science course. It’s no wonder the state has graduated only one qualified high school physics teacher each year for the past two years.

Among teacher aspirants, just 27 percent, are prepared for college math, and only about one in two (52 percent) are even ready for the demands of college reading.

But, a really interesting thing concerns health care. First, only 11 percent of the kids who want to enter the field are ready for their first college credit course in science. Only a few more, just 16 percent, have the math skills required.

That math situation makes perfect sense.

You see, I know at least one major Kentucky hospital system tests all of its nurses – every year – on math because of the critical need to control dosing mistakes.

All of these nurses survived their postsecondary education programs, so just imagine how many kids were left behind before they even got that far due to deplorable math ability.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Part of the problem is that many juniors and seniors are no longer taking a full load but engaging in what is called an “internship” for half the day.

    So Johnny during his senior year spends half the day working at the local little cesars instead of taking advanced math and science classes.

    Teachers like because the classes are smaller. Kids like it, cause you know taking advance classes is no fun when you can blow off a half day of school and get paid for it.