From the Times, a story about Washington State and the low rate of college attendance.
More than half of Seattle adults 25 and older hold a bachelor's
degree, making it one of the most well-schooled cities in the nation.
So it may come as a surprise that 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
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.
We were once well above the national average for the percentage of
high-school students who go on to a two- or four-year college.
But today, by some measures, we are one of the lowest states in the
When they do go to four-year colleges, Washington students do well: The
average graduation rate at the state four-year schools is 69 percent,
one of the highest in the nation.
One of the reasons? 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.
No kidding. It's a funny thing to see the K-12 system get dinged but we don't even fund to the national average and yet we expect great results.
Who else doesn't get funded?
Some say the Legislature's tendency to treat higher-education money as a
rainy-day fund when tax revenues drop has kept Washington higher
education chronically underfunded.
I also laughed at another reason - we don't have any "top-tier" private universities like Stanford or MIT. Most states don't have a Stanford or MIT - elite universities are few and far between. I'm not sure that's correlates to why we don't have more Washington State students going to college.
What's interesting is that you see an article like this and then the Times recently had another one about an elementary school in Kent that has a college prep focus.
Man, the howls from the comment section about how every child isn't going to college, it's dumb to have this kind of focus in elementary school, etc.
Can't have it both ways.
What is clear is that vocational ed is coming back in a big way but now has a more direct coupling with the academics needed to graduate. (On that note, sad news that the bright and energetic head of SPS' CTE program, Shep Siegel, is leaving. He will be heading the NW division of Project Lead the Way, a provider of STEM curriculum to middle and high schools. Shep is a really smart, inspiring guy and it's a loss to SPS.)
No, not every student is going to college but we need to encourage that thinking of "beyond high school."