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.