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The Daily Tar Heel

Report: Seniors' Needs Not Met

The commission's final report, titled "Raising Our Sights" was released last month and calls for ways to make senior years more productive.

According to the report, many students are going to college unprepared, with more than 50 percent of students' educational needs not being met.

It also refers to a study showing that American students' performance relative to their foreign peers diminishes as they move through school.

To remedy this situation, the report calls for a "Triple A" approach: improve alignment, raise achievement and provide more alternatives.

The report defines improving alignment as the next step in long-term educational evolution.

It involves moving to a more seamless system where K-12 and postsecondary education are aligned and integrated.

"We need to take a look at original ways of thinking," said W. Robert Connor, president of the National Humanities Center and member of the Commission. "The senior year of high school can be an opportunity of transition for students."

Connor said the commission intensely probed the productivity of students' senior year and that the findings were predictable but appalling.

He also said there needs to be a movement from passive to active types of learning, especially during the senior year.

Stephen Farmer, a UNC Admissions spokesman, said that while he was not entirely familiar with the report, based on his experiences at the University the students applying are actually getting stronger.

He points to an upward trend in Advanced Placement and SAT scores among the applicants he sees, although that might not encapsulate the entire population of seniors because UNC mostly attracts the top-notch students annually.

A spokesman for UNC's writing center mirrored these statements, saying that of the more than 4,000 students the center helps each year, the percentage of freshman attending is fairly proportional to that of the other three classes.

This number has not increased in recent years and is typical of writing centers at other institutes throughout the country.

Students echoed the report's findings, saying their high school experiences failed to adequately prepare them for college.

"High school prepared me in a sense," said Courtney Hinesley, a UNC sophomore from Charlotte.

"But not for the intensity of the workload, exams or competition.

"The social freedom of college also has an effect on performance."

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