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The College Board Pushes Students to Get Degrees

The College Board is among those people and institutions flummoxed by the U.S.'s dip to number 12 on the list of countries with the highest percentage of their populations holding college degrees.

This weekend, on The Huffington Post, Gaston Caperton, The College Board's president outlined his organization's plan for helping to get 55 percent of Americans to be degree-holders by 2025. (The current percentage stands at about 40 percent.)


The broad strokes of the plan are:

Get more children access to good pre-kindergarten programs. Among low-income people, Caperton writes, only 47 percent of kids between the age of 3 and 5 attend these sorts of classes, which when run properly, better prepare them for K-12 schooling.

Provide more guidance counselors to middle school and high school students. Well, not "guidance counselors" per se, judging by what he writes; "college boosters" might be a more appropriate term—though he does drop the remarkable statistic that on average, there is one counselor for every 467 students.

Better prepare kids for higher learning. In a nod to the new Common Core Standards, he notes that students graduating from high school are woefully prepared for college or work.

I agree that it would be great to have more people graduate from college—especially if that's something a student wants to do, but finds himself or herself unequal to the task because of poor fundamentals. Also, I am with Caperton in his general call to make higher education more affordable.

But, considering the fact that The College Board is in the business of administering standardized tests, specifically the SAT, I have to ask: Is there at all a profit motive here?

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