From the NY Times:

“Only one-quarter of high school students who take a full set of college-preparatory courses — four years of English and three each of mathematics, science and social studies — are well prepared for college,”

Well that’s understating the obvious. I just got back from an office hour where I spent 10 minutes trying to explain to a third term sophomore how to find the equation of a straight line, given two points that lie on it. I won’t even go into the mass hysteria that ensued when they had to use an equation with a sum in it. I may as well have been asking them to transcribe The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire into sanscrit.

From the same article as above:

“In 1999, Clifford Adelman, then a researcher at the federal Department of Education, found that the strength of high school work was the most important factor in determining college success, even more than the socioeconomic status of a student’s family.”

If this were in fact true, I would be an understudy fry slinger right now, not in my hmpth year of graduate school working on a phd. I probably had the worst high school record in the state in my day. The shop class kids (all of them) graduated with higher rankings than I did. But then I performed quite successfully at the college level. High school did nothing to prepare me for that. My socioeconomic status during my formative years also would have me wearing a paper hat today. Indeed I am an interesting outlier.