GUEST: David Kirp, Professor at UC Berkeley, contributing writer at The New York Times, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Education. His earlier book is Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools. His newest book is The College Dropout Scandal.
BACKGROUND: While the cost of attending college in the US is a burgeoning problem - one that burdens millions of students with un-payable debts - a lesser-discussed college-related scandal is graduation rates.
College dropout rates in the United States are appallingly high - lower than most of us realize. Overall about 40% of people enrolled in 4-year colleges or universities will graduate within a 6-year period. For students of color, especially African American and Latinx, the number is even higher.
David Kirp has written about this scandal in a book examining the factors that keep students from graduating and exploring the models that have worked.
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