The Lumina Foundation tracks educational achievement beyond high school among Americans ages 25 to 64. Since 2008, attainment nationally has risen by 7.9 percentage points. “That’s progress, but it’s not enough. The nation is not yet on track to reach the 2025 attainment goal. Dramatic action will be required to address the urgent demand for talent,” according to the most recent report.
From the introductory narrative:
The need for universal postsecondary education is a direct result of the global shift from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. Since 2011, the U.S. economy has added 11.5 million more jobs for workers with education beyond high school but only 80,000 more jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. The recovery from the Great Recession never came for the millions of Americans who lack postsecondary education and have few options for good jobs and economic security. Fewer than half of Americans ages 25 to 64 have completed a credential beyond high school. While troubling, this offers significant opportunities to create a better-educated nation since so many have college credit or skills that should be recognized.
Here is a link to A Stronger Nation, which contains lots of great information.
In Texas, as you can see in the report, we have made significant progress, but still have a long way to go. The growth of the Hispanic population in Texas is faster than gains in student attainment. So more needs to be done especially with our minority population—now the majority of public school students. These individuals all too often come from homes where the parents did not attend college. As we all know, parental education is a strong predictor of their children’s success later.
Here is the Texas information. One of the most interesting features of the site allows you to click on any county and view the current educational levels of its population. For those who follow educational statistics, you will find few surprises, but the contrast is dramatically sharp between the rural counties and metropolitan areas along the I-35 corridor. A highly educated population bodes well for the economic future of some regions, but the reverse is also true. That’s the challenge.