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Regaining the Competitive Edge

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President Wright part of College Board efforts to bolster U.S. educational attainment

The United States, which led the world in high school completion rates throughout the 20th century, is now ranked 21st out of 27 among advanced economies. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, the United States ranks 11th out of 32 nations in terms of postsecondary attainment. Dropout rates for high school students (grades 9 through 12) have tripled in the last 30 years.

These statistics are cited in "Coming to Our Senses: Education and the American Future," a report by the College Board that outlines a national goal of ensuring that at least 55 percent of Americans hold a postsecondary credential by 2025.

President James Wright participated in a December press conference on Capitol Hill announcing the release of the report, which was issued by the College Board's Commission on Access, Admissions, and Success in Higher Education. As a member of the 28-person commission, Wright joined College Board President Gaston Caperton and other higher education leaders.

Wright said, "The data on school completion rates are alarming. However, the work of the commission proposes a comprehensive approach to place the United States on a different trajectory."

The recommended actions presented by the commission encompass the full K-12 educational pipeline and require federal, state, local, and nonprofit involvement to bolster the entire educational system.

Wright stated, "Dartmouth supports these goals by maintaining affordability and increasing access, providing excellent and affordable educational opportunities for qualified students. Despite the current economic situation, the College remains committed to its need-blind admissions policy to help students attend regardless of their financial means."


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/22/08