Education Numbers You Need to Know

Let’s get right to it:

  • After years of working toward an accurate graduation rate (legislation resulted, in part, from this 2006 report), nearly all will agree that more than a quarter of Indiana’s students are leaving high school without a diploma. It’s not our state’s problem alone, but hopefully most will concede that these young people and our state suffer the long-term consequences of this fact
  • Approximately a million working Hoosiers lack the skills needed to compete in today’s economy. That’s part of the focus of an upcoming Letters to Our Leaders’ missive on the workforce, but it also belongs in this discussion
  • No public college or university in the state graduates as many as half its students within four years — and the statistics don’t improve dramatically for some given a six-year period. We’ve got to do better

A more coordinated K-12, higher education and workforce development system is called for in the Chamber’s latest letter to the general public and the candidates for governor. Greater administrative efficiency, adjustments in teacher compensation and qualifications, and more are included. Read the letter; view the one-minute video commentary below; share your thoughts in this space.

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Next Up on Letters’ Agenda: Education

Tuesdays is Letters to Our Leaders day, and this week is no exception. You will have to come back tomorrow for this week’s release and the details, but when the topic is education you can be sure there will be plenty to say.

In fact, an early draft of this letter was critiqued by several for having everything in it but the proverbial kitchen sink. Not a good sign if all those contributing to the process came up with such a long list of improvements needed in our education input and outcomes.

There are positives to Indiana’s education efforts at all levels and many good people working for improvement. Like challenges in several other areas, it’s the system that is slowing the dramatic progress needed.

In the closest we’ll get to a sneak preview, look for these words and more — dropouts, parental options, cooperation, accountability, and teacher compensation and qualifications.

I’m confident education will be high on the next governor’s agenda. Tuesday’s letter from the Indiana Chamber board of directors will make an excellent starting point.