Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A high college drop out rate?

After blogging yesterday about an "epidemic" high school drop out rate, it was interesting to read Joanne Jacobs blog about a high college drop out rate. She references an article in the Christian Science Monitor on States give failing grade to graduation rates. The second paragraph in the article had this statistic: "For every 100 ninth graders, only 18 will enter college and finish within six years."

One of the problems with public education is many people get confused with the real goal of school. The real goal, in my not so humble opinion, should be that the students get an education. Do they know how to read, write, and do math? Have they learned how to learn? It is easy to get confused because there is a loose correlation between education and degrees. And it is easy to measure the number of people with college degrees.

My wife wrote two months ago The US doesn't need more college grads. (Ironically enough her post was also in response to an article in the Christian Science Monitor.) I agree with my wife. We could give a piece of paper to everyone and say they were all college graduates. But unlike the Wizard of Oz, a piece of paper does not grant education and wisdom.

A low college graduation level doesn't concern me near as much as it appears that as a group this generation is much less educated than previous generations. That is a cause for great concern.


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