Can’t Get No Satisfaction: Students Say High Schools Are Failing Them

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We all know high schoolers like to complain, but a new poll that reports fewer than half of young adults are satisfied with their high school education shows students may have a reason to whine.

In the poll, conducted by the Associated Press and Viacom in partnership with Stanford University, just 42% of more than 1,000 adults, ages 18 to 24, say they are extremely satisfied with the education they received in high school. Thirty-nine percent say they are somewhat satisfied, while an alarming 19% of former high school students say they are not at all satisfied with the quality of education they received.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of homeschoolers)

It seems the reason for giving high schools such low marks is because those surveyed felt their schools did not adequately prepare them for college or the workforce. According to the AP, the majority of survey takers said high schools need to do a better job of helping students find the right college or vocational school, aiding them in figuring out how to pay for school and helping them choose a field of study. They also said high schools don’t do a good job of exposing them to the latest technology or helping them get work experience.

The bright spot is that those adults say things improved once they made it to college. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they were very satisfied with the education they received in college. An additional 32% said they were somewhat satisfied, while 9% said they were not at all satisfied.

The important takeaway from this poll is that while teachers might want pupils to master algebra, what matters most to students is anything that will help them get to the next step in life.

(More on TIME.com: See the evolution of the college dorm)

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