Achieve, an independent nonprofit education reform group, just released a new examination of state performance in providing students the skills needed for success after high school. From the press release,
Today, Achieve released a new type of examination of states’ progress in achieving college and career readiness for all students in the form of 51 individual state profiles and a cross-state report that look at actual student performance against CCR measures.
The report, as you would expect, is data intensive. Not an easy read, but a read sure to reward those with more than a passing interest in education performance in the states. We were struck by a couple of the graphs included in the Washington state profile.
The first looks at supply and demand for jobs requiring different levels of educational attainment. Note the significant mismatch at the high school and bachelor’s degree levels.
The second graph shows the need for remediation required for students in two-year and four-year institutions.
In our foundation report, we emphasize the importance of education. It’s our Achieve priority (no tie to the Achieve organization). We point out,
Education expands opportunity. By 2020, 70 percent of Washington jobs will require postsecondary education or training. Preparing our students for these opportunities requires high-quality education at every level.
The new report represents a valuable advance in the quality and quantity of information available to policy makers.
“Our intentions with this report are two-fold,” [Achieve president Michael ]Cohen said. “First, we want to bring the focus of the conversation around readiness to results-the actual performance of high school graduates in each state. We hope that this work will enable state leaders to determine the extent to which their K-12 system is producing college- and career-ready graduates, whether they are satisfied with the results, and if not, what they can do to improve those results.
Secondly, we hope to draw attention to the need to improve metrics to evaluate performance and progress. Too many states do not yet report on critical indicators that are needed to understand and support postsecondary readiness.”
We commend the research to your attention.