The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
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.

USA College Graduation Rate Became Flat in 1980

From 1940 until 1980 the college graduation rate went up at a significant amount each year. But college completion rates stopped growing in 1980 and have barely moved since then. The number of college grads is up because of growing youth population, but not the rate of growth. Seven countries have surpassed the USA in percent of college graduates in the age 25-34 population. Despite these trends I still hear from the media and college leaders that the US has the best higher education system in the world, but k-12 stinks.
The US needs to wake up and understand the causes and extent of this problem. This blog has presented many reasons for this and more is coming. For college graduation rates see Digest of Education Statistics , National center for Education Statistics, starting with p.17 of the 1996 issue and continuing each year.

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