TN rates high in black student graduation, low in college readiness

A new report on opportunities for the nation’s African-American students lists Tennessee among the top five states for graduating its black students, but among the bottom five states for equipping them to be college-ready, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Seventy-eight percent of the state’s black students graduated from high school in 2013, but only 4 percent tested as college-ready in all four ACT-tested subjects — a jarring gap included in the report released Thursday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“It’s not surprising to see some gap, but to see this size of a gap is jaw-dropping,” said lead researcher Michael McShane in an interview on Wednesday.

“This is something that I hope is kind of a wake-up call. If the student successfully graduates from high school, that’s a school giving him a signal that they have what they need in order to succeed. Then they show up in college completely unprepared. The psychological toll on them is terrible,” he said.

McShane added that Tennessee is not alone in this discrepancy and noted that the study does not reflect the number of students who graduate high school and choose not to enroll in college.

Like most other Southern states, Tennessee has a significant number of black students in its K-12 public education system — more than 229,000, or 23 percent of the state’s student population, in 2013-14.

Note: Full report HERE.