Education Views - August 2005

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Education Views

Achievement Counts
August 2005
by Barry H. Willen, Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Centers in Eldersburg and Westminster

Prepare for College by Becoming a Maryland Scholar

Last year in the October 24th issue of The Eldersburg Eagle, I wrote about a program where business people come into the middle and high schools to talk with students about the value of a good high school transcript. If you don't have a copy of the paper available to you, view the article online at

I bring this up because the August 17th issue of Education Week published
two articles in its online version which said high school students do not
have what it takes to succeed in college.

According to the ACT national test scores, a majority of high school
students do not have the appropriate skills to tackle math and science in
college. ACT says high school students do not take the right curriculum to
prepare them for college.

The other article reports the results of a survey done by Indiana University
Bloomington. The survey found students spend the same amount of time
socializing with their friends as they do preparing for classes. Many
students have never written a paper longer than five pages. More than half
of the students claim they do not put a "great deal of effort" into their

I tell students the stuff they do in high school that earns an "A" in high
school will only earn them a "D" or "F" in college. What you do in college
to get an "A" will not be good enough for most employers when you begin your

It doesn't take a lot to become a Maryland Scholar. All students take most
of the required course work from Maryland Scholars through their regular
studies. To become a Maryland Scholar, most students would add Algebra II,
Chemistry, Physics, and two more years of social studies. That student
should also make sure he or she takes two years of a single foreign

It does not take much more of an effort to qualify for Maryland Scholars.
Yet, the benefits of the Maryland Scholars program lasts a lifetime. It
gives the student the choices to ensure they prepare for college and the
workforce. If your child wants to get into college and/or get a scholarship,
then he or she needs to take these high level courses, and work hard.

For more information on the program, students can check out and Also, many eighth and ninth graders throughout Carroll County will have a business volunteer visit their class to introduce them to the Maryland Scholar program. Pay close attention to them and
actively participate during the session. It will be well worth your time.

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