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Moving from an Education Funnel to a Pipeline

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March 25, 2011 07:06 pm


On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden issued a call to increase college graduation rates across the meet President Obama’s goal for the United States having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.  Vice President Biden spoke at GradNation, an event sponsored by the America’s Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. During his remarks, he said:

“Right now we’ve got an education system that works like a funnel when we need it to work like a pipeline. We have to make the same commitment to getting folks across the graduation stage that we did to getting them into the registrar’s office. The dreams and skills of our college graduates will pave the way to a bright economic future for our nation.”

In order to increase college graduation rates we must first help more students earn their high school diploma. A study released by the Alliance for Excellent Education on Tuesday finds that nationwide, an estimated 1.3 million students dropped out from the Class of 2010 without earning a diploma.

According to the report, cutting this number in half would yield 650,000 “new” high school graduates, 43 percent of which would likely continue on to some type of postsecondary degree. However, only about 173,000 students, or 27 percent of these new graduates, are expected to complete their studies. President Obama’s goal is to be first in the nation in college graduation rates which would require a 60 percent postsecondary college completion rate or 400,000 more postsecondary graduates a year.

The question shouldn’t be can we reach the President’s goal but how will we reach the president’s goal? Every student deserves a fair opportunity to earn a high a school diploma, attend a higher institution of their choice, and gradate ready to lead a successful life.


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.