Don't know much geography

Capital News Service
LANSING — Three-quarters of eighth grade students in the U.S. aren’t proficient in geography and their test scores have shown no improvement since 1994, according to a new report by the General Accountability Office (GAO), an investigatory arm of Congress. One reason is middle school geography has an image problem: the stereotype of students coloring in maps and labeling state capitals. And that often leads people to ask, “What are you going to do with that?” said Benjamin Ofori-Amoah, chair of the Geography Department at Western Michigan University. Ofori-Amoah said the study of geography in middle school and beyond goes further than finding places on a globe, but many people don’t understand the importance of the subject. “Most of the time we get students coming into the major after they’re here and they take a couple of general education courses and they’ve realized that this is more than state names and capital cities and mountains and rivers.

Community colleges seek ways to better prepare students

Capital News Service
LANSING – Almost half of students entering community college find themselves unprepared, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, and new strategies are being formed to better equip students for success. Forty-two percent of students were not ready for the regular courses, said GAO, an investigatory arm of Congress. As a result, they were required to take developmental classes. There are multiple ways to test college readiness, said Mike Hansen, president of Michigan Community College Association. Typically the ACT test is used to measure knowledge, and many community colleges are finding a large majority of their students are not “college ready” in most subject areas, he said.