International Comparisons OF USA College Completion Have Big Problems

  Much media attention has followed President Obama’s concern about the drop from 1st to 10th in  OECD international country comparisons of  completion of college certficates and degrees-see prior blog. Obama set a goal of US becoming first again by 2020. But two highly respected analysts- Art Hauptman and Clifford Adelman have writen articles exposing serious flaws in the method OECD uses to rank countries for college completion. These flaws may understate USA college attainment. For example, Hauptman stresses that OECD enrollment ratios include older students and overseas students in the numerator and not the denominator; this tends to overstate participation in college. Adelman points out that countries with population declines benefit from a higher percent of completion compared to the USA where population is increasing. Go to publication International Education at

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