The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

College—Who Gets There?

Sep 12, 2005

Only one in five high school graduates has the basic skills needed to succeed in college. This report comes from the ACT, which tests students hoping to get into college.

Less than half of all graduates had successfully completed the core classes needed to prepare for college–four years of English and three years each of social studies, science and math at the level of algebra or higher.

It’s no mystery why they didn’t–many high schools do not provide this basic preparation for college. Most of these failing schools are in poor and working class areas. There are not enough teachers, not enough good textbooks and other school supplies, not enough pieces of working science and lab equipment, not enough decent, clean classrooms.

Even when students from failing high schools manage to get into college, they can’t afford it. Tuition at a typical state university has gone up about 36% since 2002 and even more at private colleges and universities.

As a result, higher education, even at state colleges and universities subsidized by the taxes of working class people, is more and more only for the children of the wealthy.