While students and parents view college preparation as the main purpose of high school, most teachers disagree and rank mastery of subject areas and life skills as more important. This is one of the key findings from Deloitte 2009 Education Survey Overview: Refining High School as a Launch Pad, which was published late last year.
“What parents and students surveyed want from high school is at odds with what we’ve been asking our high schools to do for close to 100 years,” said Barry Salzberg, chief executive officer at Deloitte LLP and newly appointed chairman of the College Summit. “Redefining the mission of high school is an important next step for building a 21st Century workforce.”
Of the 401 U.S. high school teachers, counselors, and administrators surveyed, only 9 percent think their primary mission is to prepare students for success in college. These results are in stark contrast with parents’ and students’ expectations. Deloitte found that 48 percent of the 601 U.S. low-income students and 42 percent of the 400 U.S. low-income parents surveyed say college preparation is the single most important purpose behind a secondary education.