In a recent update, The Texas Tribune has used data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency to document the education outcomes of every student who started eighth grade in a Texas public school during eight academic years (1997 through 2005). Each student was anonymously tracked over 11 years to determine the percentage of Texas eighth-graders who achieved a post-secondary certificate or degree from a Texas college or university within six years of their expected high school graduation date.
Each year, approximately 300,000 students begin eighth grade in a Texas public school. National employment and earnings statistics suggest that these students will have materially better prospects as adults if they finish high school and enroll in and complete a post-secondary certificate or degree program, according to the Tribune.
Here is the link. Just scroll down to make choices of regional, county, or statewide data.
Those who follow education probably won’t find many surprises in the data. Regions and counties that have high overall poverty rates will not look so great, when compared to suburban areas. Also, if we look at metropolitan locations, such as Dallas, Tarrant, and Harris counties, they contain so much variety that it’s hard to draw meaningful conclusions.
It’s clear that rural areas present particular challenges. Many young people from small communities, even those from families with high educational levels, often reportedly choose not to go to college. But the modern economy does not offer much of a future without higher education.
Regardless of geography, it is imperative that high school graduates come to college prepared if they intend to succeed. In recent years, the state has greatly improved its high school graduation rates, but few authorities believe this insures more success later in college.