“While the percentage of high-school graduates who went to college jumped by nine points in the United States over the past two decades, the percentage of college-going high-schoolers in Washington fell.”
Another BIG surprise…”only about one in four public-school students from Washington’s high-school class of 2009 will finish college by 2015, according to a Seattle Times analysis of recent trends.”
The Times points out some reasons for the downward trend…
• A K-12 public-education system that scores just above average on many national measures of quality, and in some cases — such as funding — falls below average.
• A lack of coordination between the K-12 and the college systems. State graduation requirements don’t line up closely with the minimum requirements needed to go to a four-year school, and some students who do go to college are not prepared for its rigor, especially in math — raising the chance they will eventually drop out.
• A relatively slim selection of four-year schools to choose from. Four of Washington’s five public universities are located outside major population centers, and the state has no top-tier private universities on the order of a Stanford or MIT.
• A reliance on community colleges. More than half of all college-bound students go to a two-year school, and while Washington’s community-college completion rates are better than the national average, they’re still much lower than at four-year schools.
Community Forums Network and our 64 nonprofit partner organizations are focused on the K-12 funding issue now through Oct. 28th. We’re looking to discover consensus on the important issue of “how much” we should spend to guarantee quality education services for all kids in the public schools.
You can voice your opinion here by taking the survey.