The College Puzzle Blog
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Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

US Losing Ground In International Comparisons of College Completion

The lates OECD report "Education at A Glance ", 2007 shows the US is now 10th among developed countries in Percent of Adults with an Associate Degree or Higher Ages 25-34. US used to be first. But the news is even worse because large and growing states like California are declining even faster compared to other nations. The US completion rate for all types of college certificates or degrees has been stagnant for decades while other nations are increasing. This will have some negative implications for the US workforce skills in the near future.
The public has not caught on to this issue and continues to focus on k-12 problems. Public opinion ratings for postsecondary education remain high. Nothing much will happen until there is a groundswell of concern. I am surprised that business groups are not more active on this issue beyond their concern with math and science. New policies are needed that feature more than access and focus upon college completion and college success. Prior blogs have plenty of ideas.
For the report see www.oecd.org.

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