High School Issues

Learn more about issues specific to high school students. Get an overview of high school graduation rates, college readiness, career choice and social issues impacting teenagers in public schools.
View the most popular articles in High School Issues:
Published December 06, 2016 |
How Important Are Extra-Curricular Activities for College Applications?
It is never too early to start prepping for college by engaging in some extra-curricular activities that will help you to show a college admissions team who you are and what you believe in.

Every high school student in the country knows the word “extra-curricular” – it is a word that strikes fear into the heart of many. While extra-curricular activities may seem like a fun way to kill some time after school, for many students they are much more than that. They are a gold star on a college application – something that has real implications for the state of their future. But just how important are extra-curricular activities for your college application and are some better than others?

What Kind of Extra-Curricular Activities Are There?

When it comes to extra-curricular activities, the options are endless – but what really counts as an extra-curricular? Technically, it is an unpaid activity that doesn’t pertain to ordinary school classes. The activity itself may occur either in or out of school, though elective classes don’t count. For example, theater class is an elective because it takes place during school hours and it is an actual class – theater club is an extra-curricular if it takes place outside school hours and it isn’t technically a class. Volunteer work can also qualify as an extra-curricular activity. Here are some examples of extra-curricular activities you might consider joining:

  • Special interest clubs (clubs for like-minded students, often focused around a particular subject, activity, or interest)
  • School service clubs (clubs where students engage in projects to improve the school)
  • Scholarship clubs (clubs that exist primarily for prestige, though they may also offer scholarship awards)
  • Community volunteering clubs (clubs where students engage in projects to give back
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Published May 31, 2013 |
Is LinkedIn a Valuable Network for High School Students?
While Facebook is getting all the attention in teen social media, LinkedIn offers some serious benefits in networking and professional grooming. We look at how high school student can use this network to their advantage.
Many high school students document their school years on social networks like Facebook, where they fill pages with funny photos and funnier comments regarding their teen antics. However, some experts are now recommending that high school students take a more serious approach to their social networking, by hooking up with the professional network LinkedIn. Why should fun-loving high schoolers take a second look at a stuffed-shirt site like LinkedIn? It turns out there are many potential benefits from tuning into this established network at a younger age.
 
Job Searching Early
 
Even teens need to get a leg up on their job searches, whether they are on the hunt for a career right out of high school or a part-time job to help them pay the college bills. Globe and Mail recently reported that the days of the paper CV are out – now it’s all about selling yourself to prospective employers through digital mediums. Employers are now looking up applicants online, through social media and even a personal website. Some employers even discount an applicant who restricts their resume or application to the paper variety, according to Jaigris Hodson, an instructor of digital literacy at Ryerson University.
 
“I advise my students to build an online portfolio that demonstrates the abilities they have to help employers solve their problems and portrays them as sources of knowledge in their field,” Hodson told Globe and Mail.
 
While that may sound good for the future college graduate, what about those seeking part-time employment during
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Published May 14, 2013 |
10 Tips for Choosing a College
As graduation draws near, high school graduates are turning their sights to the next phase of their academic career. We provide some tips to help them choose the best college for now and for the future.
As high school seniors are busy making their choices about which college to attend, those coming behind them may be watching the process with interest. They know that they too will be facing that quandary in a few short months, even as they are amassing piles of information about various colleges and universities across the country. While choosing a college can seem like a daunting task, there are ways to narrow the choices and make the decision-making process a little easier. Check out these 10 tips for choosing the best college for you.
 
Consider What You Want
What is your primary reason for attending college? Are you all about the academics, or is the social aspect of college important as well? Do you relish moving away from home to experience college life independently, or would you prefer to live at home as you take your first year or two of classes? Consider how you picture your college life for the next two to four years, to determine which types of colleges will meet your expectations best.
 
Talk to Others
Talk to friends and family members that are in college or recently graduated, to learn more about their experiences with higher education. Find out what they like and didn’t like about various schools. A report at National Public Radio also recommends talking to those closest to you about what they see as your best college fit. You might discover that friends and family think you would do well on your own in
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Published January 20, 2013 |
10 Inexpensive Tips to Help High School Students Raise ACT, SAT Scores
We offer help to high school students getting ready to take college entrance examinations with tips on how to raise scores on both the ACT and SAT exams.
As college entrance examinations are looming, high school students across the country are looking for ways to raise their ACT or SAT scores. While some parents prepare to shell out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to help their teens prep for these exams, experts promise students can adequately prepare by spending little or no money on the process. Check out these 10, low-cost tips to help your high school student perform well on his college entrance examinations.
 
Know the Benchmarks
Before you begin test prep, it helps to know the scores you might need to get into the colleges of your choice. Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules at any school regarding ACT or SAT scores, but a general range will help you know if your college app will be met with serious consideration. The Princeton Review cites the national average score for the SAT at 1500. The average score for the ACT is between 20 and 21. While these are national averages, some schools may consider applicants with lower scores, or require higher scores from most of their prospective students. For each school you are considering, research the average standardized exam scores from the prior year's admitted class. 

Choose Your Test Wisely
According to U.S. News and World Report, those who perform best on the ACT tend to be strong readers with good memory skills who can process information quickly. High performers on the SAT are typically strong readers who have strong vocabularies
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Published October 14, 2012 |
Will Chicago Bribe Public School Students to Graduate?
We’ll look at a new piece of legislation introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that offers graduates of Chicago public schools an edge in landing city jobs.
What would it take for you to complete high school, even if all the odds were against you? Would the promise of a job after graduation entice you to see your high school career through to the end? That is the hope of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has recently proposed a program to inspire Chicago youth to graduate from their city high schools. Some see the proposal as a blatant bribe, while others call it an initiative that could potentially increase the dismal graduation figures that are currently a reality in the city.

The Problem with Chicago Schools
 
Graduation rates in Chicago Public Schools are dismal indeed, although they have seen the slightest uptick in recent years. The Chicago Tribune reports that during the last academic year, graduation rates stood at just 60.6 percent, which was higher than it had been in previous years. Students in the city have many obstacles getting in their way of education, including a high crime rate in their neighborhoods, low-income families and many kids with just one parent. Many kids in the Chicago school system are receiving some sort of government help, with a large percentage qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program.
 
Recently, Chicago Public Schools experienced a 10-day teacher strike after the teachers union and city officials could not come to an easy agreement on contract terms. Some of the concerns voiced by teachers at the time could play a role in low graduation rates
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High School Issues