Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Report: Our Generation is Less Educated

A disturbing report released today and written about in Inside Higher Ed points out that our generation might be falling behind when it comes to education. Although white and Asian American students are doing as well as the generation that’s now in its 30s, blacks, Latinos, and especially American Indian youth are falling behind the previous generation in the rates at which they complete even two-year college degree. Because our generation has diminishing numbers of whites and Asians when compared with the other ethnic groups, the aggregate result is “evidence of some progress [that] alternates with evidence of stagnation.”

Although the report, released by the American Council on Education in full later this month, notes that overall minority enrollment in higher education is up, “Among students who began at two-year institutions in 1995 and 2003, 55 percent of the 2003 freshmen were still enrolled or had attained a certificate or degree anywhere in higher education three years later, compared with 60 percent for the 1995 cohort. For Hispanics, this rate dropped sharply from 62 percent to 54 percent.”

It shows that for all the talk about making college affordable and accessible, there is still a lot of work to do in making sure everyone benefits from the expansion of higher education. Also, this survey seemed to look only at race, so I would be interested to see a similar study that also analyzed socioeconomic status.

Cross posted at Pushback.

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