Educate the Future
According to Anthony Carnevale from Georgetown University there will be fewer jobs available to people with only a high school diploma by 2020, yet in Texas, the majority of students, especially those from poor and minority families, are not attaining post-secondary certification.
Looking at the eighth-grade class of 2003, The Houston Endowment and Texas Tribune, using numbers from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Education Agency, said only 13 out of 100 Hispanic children, 12 out of 100 African-American children and 11 out of 100 children born into poverty achieved any kind of post-secondary certification. You can view all of the numbers by CLICKING HERE. You can see numbers from each region of the state, or on a county by county basis by CLICKING HERE.
If you look at the history of the numbers, dating all the way back to the eighth-grade class of 1996, there has been some upward movement, but only a few percentage points. In some categories, the numbers have dropped in recent years. That is not the kind of progress that is needed to meet the educational goals of our Texas employers or our state as a whole.
These numbers should be a wake-up call to state lawmakers, that the generation of children in school now will not be prepared to become a productive part of the labor pool when they graduate high school.
TAB and other like-minded partners are urging the legislature to continue to take steps now to raise education standards and align skills to better prepare children in Texas. We must ensure that a greater number of students graduate from high school career or college ready. While it is a complex issue we believe the path forward begins with a few steps:
- Create an open, honest, and readily understandable accountability system resulting in clear and accurate data based on local and state reporting.
- Improve early childhood education, so every child is prepared to learn right from the start of their educational career.
- Address new and affordable pathways for students to continue their studies after high school to attain a post-secondary degree or certification.
- Ensure clear expectations of career or college readiness are defined between high schools and employers and Texas colleges and universities to facilitate better articulation between educational entities and matriculation of students.
The state has set a goal of 60 percent of our population aged 25-34 hold a post-secondary degree or certification by the year 2030. Here is what TAB CEO Bill Hammond said about the plan in a September 2015 column in the Austin American-Statesman.
We must achieve that goal, but without major changes and improvements to the current system now, we will not.