A new report presented by Gaston Caperton, the president of the College Board (which creates the SAT college entrance tests and runs the AP program) is loaded with educational comparison data for the 50 states and Washington DC.
One of the most disturbing graphs (Figure 9.2c, page 149) shows that Kentucky seriously lags the national average for completion of Associate Degrees as of 2007. Students in our state’s two-year programs who entered in either the 2004-05 or 2005-06 school terms only succeeded in getting their degree 23 percent of the time. Nationally, 27.8 percent of two-year degree candidates got a degree within three years of entering college. The state ranks 35th in the nation on this statistic.
These students graduated from high school in 2004 or later, so they spent their entire K to 12 school experience in KERA-influenced schools. Also, most two-year students in Kentucky are from in-state high schools, so this is a reflection of KERA, not out of state education systems.
Kentucky’s 23 percent graduation rate from two-year colleges should not be a big surprise to our long-term readers. The Bluegrass Institute has stressed for some time that Kentucky’s remedial course requirements for recent high school graduates who go on to college are very high.
Still, it’s sad to see that our extensive spending on KERA has not created better results for the state’s two-year college candidates from 2007.