In special education and in K-12 education in general graduation is viewed as a culmination or the end game. In fact it is just the opposite. Graduation is a STEP towards the future. If the plans for your student is post-secondary education, including vocational training, it is important to understand a couple false assumptions.
- A diploma indicates the student has the academic mastery for post-secondary education. Below is a link to some documents. One is a study of how well prepared high school graduates in Connecticut are for college. In 2009 more than 2 out of 3 students entering a community college or a Connecticut State University needed to take a remedial (developmental) course in English or Math despite earning a high school diploma (and passing a state graduation exam).
- A diploma indicates the student has the ability to perform as an independent student. In a survey from Manchester Community College (Connecticut) students were asked why students struggle academically. 60% of MCC students reported that students don’t know how to study.
Here is some information about the placement tests, with Manchester Community College used as an example. The placement test results are what determine if a student will have to take a remedial course.
- The SAT has a different scale. To get a rough prediction of the SAT score add around 80 to the total PSAT score (or add 40 to math and add 40 to Verbal)
Here are related documents including those referenced above. The placement test is the Accuplacer and the documents linked include a handout with example problems for math and English from the Accuplacer.