The United States once had more college graduates than any other country. Politicians are anxious to reclaim the title by 2020 but the higher education system in America is rife with problems. Financial aid is a hot political issue with total student loan debt topping $1 trillion, surpassing credit card and car loan debt.
More people are going to college—the student loan debt can serve as confirmation—but they aren’t necessarily graduating. The 2011 Harvard Graduate School of Education report Pathways to Prosperity shows that just over half of college students complete four-year degrees within six years.
The College Board is also asking Americans to realize that high school dropout rates are a serious problem. As part of its Don’t Forget Ed campaign urging presidential candidates to make education a more prominent issue for the rapidly approaching 2012 election, the College Board set up 857 desks on the National Mall in Washington, DC to represent the number of students who drop out of high school every hour. The number of desks is derived from a statistic reported by Education Week in 2007 saying that 1.2 million students drop out every year, explains MSNBC.
The non-profit organization, perhaps best known for administering the SAT, collected signatures for a petition requesting that candidates say and do more about education reform. MSNBC reports that the College Board is not endorsing any candidates, rather rallying the American public due to the nation’s “crumbling” education system.
Get information about K-12 schools in the United States at StateUniversity.com’s Elementary / Secondary School Directory.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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