Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 15, 2009

Educating California--Choices for the Future
The Public Policy Institute of California recently released a short, compelling monograph about why the growing skill gap in our state matters and possible solutions. The report can be found at

Key facts:
...By 2025, 41% of jobs will require a BA
...Only 35% will earn a BA if changes are not made
...HS grads are unemployed at twice the level of college grads
...HS grads earn half as much as college grads
...HS grads pay fewer taxes, use more resources
...35% of retiring boomers are college grads
...Only 25% of 25 to 29 year old graduated from college
...1 in 4 CA students graduate from HS
...Historic influx of high skilled workers from other states has stopped
...Projected shortfall by 2025 = 1 million college graduates

Three Potential solutions
1. Increase college going rates by lowering drop out rates, improving preparation, early interventions, align resources, increase career technical education and early college commitment programs, inform and coach parents, and address costs.

2. Increase community college transfers--70 % of students attend at community college and only 12% transfer to four year schools. Need better alignment and stronger focus on effective remedial programs.

3. Increase completion rates, particularly in CSU system where about half graduate.

4. Increase two year degree and certificate programs.

Every aspect of economic development is impacted by educational attainment. A highly skilled workforce impacts our ability to attract, keep, grow and start companies, particularly high quality ones. As we have learned through both the Regional Jobs Initiative and the Human Investment Initiative, a vibrant economy is built upon a high quality community both in terms of people and place. We all have a stake in insuring our children are motivated, skilled and reach their potential. A commitment to life long learning must become pervasive.

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