A recent report released by College Board shows some pretty startling news about our nation’s education. As Americans, we’ve grown accustomed to believing we’re the best at everything—from making cars to winning gold medals—but a study released Thursday July 22, shows the United States lagging behind in the number of college graduates. Our country used to lead the world in the number of 25 to 34 year-olds that held college degrees. An education comparison by country now shows we’ve dropped down to 12th place out of 36 developed countries.
Why did we drop to 12th place? President of College Board, Gaston Caperton, says to increase college completion rates, our nation must put more focus on “P-16”–meaning education from preschool through the age of sixteen. Caperton also said the subject shouldn’t be taken lightly and he compared the nation’s college completion rate deficit to the recent economic crisis.
Experts say that too much weight as been put on getting students into college but once they’re in college, they’re forgotten.
A year ago, President Obama announced his American Graduation Initiative; which calls for five million more students to graduate in the United States by 2020. Even Bill and Melinda Gates are in on the project. They have vowed to donate up to $110 million dollars to improve remedial programs to help boost our nation’s college completion rates.
Right now, Canada is the world’s current leader in college completion rates with 56 percent, while the United States has 40 percent graduating from college with degrees.
The report shows that the problem begins years before a student is ready for college. College Board recently presented five recommendations to boost college completion rates in the United States, including: state-funded preschool programs, improved counseling for middle school and high school students, dropout prevention programs, alignment with international curriculum standards and improved teacher quality.
What do you think? Are these recommendations appropriate? Should we be concerned with our drop in college graduates?