For decades, urban school officials have been boasting about their students’ admission rates to two- or four-year colleges. What they rarely mention — or even keep track of — is how those kids fare after arriving on campus. Many drop out. In Boston, however, there is an honest measurement of the school system’s ability to prepare students for higher education.
In 2008, a report commissioned by the Boston Foundation showed that fewer than 40 percent of the members of the Boston schools’ class of 2000 who enrolled in college had received a degree seven years later. That prompted an honest discussion about ways to better prepare students for the academic and social ordeals ahead. The findings prompted Boston school officials to work harder to ensure that students are ready to tackle college work and navigate their way through financial aid systems and student services.