The failure of students to receive an adequate K-12 education also affects the workplace and college.  Public Agenda, a nonprofit think tank, surveyed 250 employers, 250 college professors, 700 teachers, 700 parents, and 700 middle-school students for a 1998 report.  A majority of both employers and professors believed that most students leave high school without the most basic of skills.  For most skills, only a minority of surveyed professors and employers ranked students as being "fair" or better (see Table 1, below).[46]

 

 

Table 1 - Students with Skills Deemed "Fair" or Better by

Employers and Professors

 

 

Skill Area

 

 

Employers

 

Professors

Grammar and spelling

23%

23%

Ability to write clearly

27%

19%

Basic math skills

38%

35%

Work habits/being organized and on time

42%

31%

Being motivated and conscientious

44%

40%

Speaking English well

50%

65%

Being curious and interested in new things

52%

49%

Ability to use computers

66%

69%



[46]       Richard Whitmire, "High school graduates score F's," The Detroit News, 9 January 1998, p. 5A.