Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kids Less Likely to Graduate Than Parents

The Herald-Leader reports that a new Education Trust study shows kids across the country are less likely to graduate from high school today than their parents. In fact, the opening words of Ed Trust’s new study are chilling: “The United States is the only industrialized country in the world in which today’s young people are less likely than their parents to have completed high school.”

Coming close on the heels of our new report on math and reading gaps and graduation rate gaps for whites and blacks in Louisville, it is clear that people around the country are finally waking up to the very serious nature of the public school high school graduation rate problem.

According to the Ed Trust, across the United States blacks only had a 59 percent graduation rate while whites only graduated at a rate of 81 percent in 2006.

Our report uses a different formula and year to report graduation rates, so direct comparison to the Ed Trust figures probably wouldn’t be very accurate; but, the overall message is clear. In too many cases in Louisville high schools, graduation rates for both whites and blacks are actually declining. Now, it appears that trend is a general feature of public schools across the country.

For the sake of our kids futures, and for the future of the nation overall, this simply cannot be allowed to continue.

You can learn about one exciting idea the Bluegrass Institute is partnering in to work this issue by clicking here.


The Principal said...

Glad to see your post on the Ed Trust report. KSN&C agrees.

I am particularly impressed to see BGI point to a report that calls for better support for the schools to accomplish their very important goals.

Among other things, Ed Trust advised Governor Beshear to "Ensure the state budget protects current dropout-prevention programs and, if possible, adds funds to improve data quality, support for schools and students, and research and dissemination of successful strategies."

Good for them, and good for BGI.

As you have previously noted, the same might apply to Kentucky's ability (or lack thereof) to accurately collect data in the "chart of accounts" that would make MUNIS work as intended and allow citizens to determine whether Kentucky has an efficient and effective system of schools - something that could be much better accomplished with improved fiscal accounting data.

Richard Innes said...

The Principal and I actually agree on quite a lot, and the issue of high school dropouts is high on the list. Aside from the tragic social costs, which are a very prime concern, society winds up paying another huge price in skyrocketing costs to incarcerate those who are too poorly educated to support themselves along with the loss of tax revenue that successfully educated individuals can provide the state.

The problems with the state’s MUNIS education finance program are also key here. There is no shortage of ideas about how to fix the dropout situation -- the problem is that without an effective accounting system, we cannot tell which methods work most effectively for each dollar invested.

With the world's financial situation getting very tight, we simply must have an efficient school system, as the Kentucky constitution requires. Before we can truly get that, we need an effective school accounting system, first.