education

Useful stats: Educational attainment across the states, 2000-2017

From 2000 to 2017, the share of the U.S. population with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) increased from 24 percent to 31 percent. Meanwhile, the share of the population with a high school education (or less) decreased from 48 percent to 40 percent. All states experienced these directional changes in educational attainment. State performance relative to other states was relatively static, particularly for those performing best and worst in 2000, with few changes in the rankings of states by share of the population with a bachelor’s degree.

Useful Stats: Educational Attainment by Metropolitan Area (2007-2017)

For states and metropolitan areas across the country, cultivating a skilled and educated workforce is a critical part of economic development. In 2017, metropolitan areas anchored by major research universities – regions like Boulder, Ann Arbor, and Corvallis – had the highest share of adults 25+ with at least a bachelor’s degree, according to an SSTI analysis of recent census data.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 6: Education, workforce, climate change top TBED agendas

Educating the next generation of workers, ensuring they will have the skills necessary for the jobs of the future and paying attention to the actions that will affect the climate are all on the agendas of the latest round of governors giving their state of the state and budget addresses. A focus on skills can be seen in addresses from governors in California, Maine, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. States are also continuing with initiatives to forward attention on climate change, as reflected in Maine’s climate agenda and Michigan joining other states in the Climate Alliance.

US Dept. of Ed rethinking higher education

A rulemaking committee, convened by the U.S. Department of Education, has begun work to rethink higher education and is considering ways to refine and streamline the accreditor recognition process and role, while also reviewing regulatory areas affecting innovation in higher education.

Federal government presents strategic plan for STEM education

Envisioning a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education, and where the U.S. will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment, the federal government released a five-year strategic plan for STEM education. Noting that the federal government has a key role to play in furthering STEM education and removing barriers to participation in STEM careers, especially for women and other underrepresented groups, the report issues a call to action for a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities and employers.

Educational attainment helps drive community prosperity

Despite an uneven economic recovery, fewer Americans are living in distressed communities and more are living in prosperous ones, according to a recent report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy organization. Comprised of seven factors measuring socioeconomic health, the Distressed Community Index (DCI) divides the country’s zip codes (communities) into five quintiles — prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at-risk, and distressed — and tells the story of the country’s economic health across two time periods, the recession years of 2007 to 2011 and the recovery years of 2012 to 2016. EIG finds that the employment and business establishment growth during the economic recovery has been mostly limited to prosperous communities, where the population tends to be more educated and the housing vacancy rate may be lower.

NSF, NASA step up minority STEM-focused awards

As the National Science Foundation points out in a recent press release, people of Hispanic descent comprise 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 6 percent of people working in STEM-related occupations.  Other minorities, including African Americans and Native Americans are also underrepresented in the career paths most critical to maintain American preeminence in innovation and science. New funding rounds distributed by three federal initiatives at NSF and NASA intend to help improve the imbalance.

States given more power in revamped Perkins Act

President Donald Trump signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a reauthorization of the Perkins Act, on Tuesday, giving states greater control over setting their own goals for career and technical education (CTE), a change from the current law that requires states to get program goals approved by the secretary of education.

Fewer STEM courses offered in high minority schools

The majority (75 percent) of all high school students were enrolled in a STEM course during the 2015-16 school year, according to the newest Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). For the first time, the CRDC includes new categories of data on STEM course taking, showing that some higher level math and science courses are offered at fewer high schools.

Rural CTE programs lag in work-based learning activities

While nearly all (98 percent) of U.S. public school districts offered career and technical education (CTE) programs in the 2016-17 school year, such programs differed between rural and city districts and faced barriers to participation from both the districts and students. Rural districts are much less likely to have work-based learning activities as a part of their CTE programming, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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