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Lumina’s Goal-Exploration Tool highlights paths to educational progress

For 10 years Lumina Foundation has been documenting America’s growth in educational attainment through its signature report,  “A Stronger Nation.” Now we’re adding a powerful new section to the report that I think you’ll find informative and helpful.

If you have just a moment, please check out our Goal-Exploration Tool. Below, you can also see a video demonstration.

I’m glad we’ve developed this tool. Stronger Nation, while always a valuable report card about where we are and where the nation sits with regard to attainment, doesn’t actually give us a sense of where we need to go. That’s why, a few years ago, we produced a type of predictive model to see how the nation might hit the goal that Lumina has long advocated: that is, 60 percent of working-age Americans will hold a high-quality credential beyond high school by 2025.

The idea of the predictive model was to help us understand what targets we need to hit and which students we must serve to hit that goal. The model showed us that, if we don't really focus on adults, we’ll not reach the goal. It also helped us realize that we must focus specifically on adults who have some college-level learning but lack a postsecondary credential. The model also made it clear that we must increase attainment among African-Americans, Latinos and American Indians – both out of basic fairness, and because without them the nation won’t have the talent it needs.

As useful as this was for us at Lumina, it’s also been very valuable to our partners, including the states who are setting goals of their own. And importantly, it underscores just how critical Lumina’s equity imperative is. The tool shows us the targets we’ll have to hit each year with different groups, so that every state and community can see how best to serve those particular populations – and benefit the communities themselves by growing a more job-ready workforce.

I hope you’ll take a look at our explanatory video (above), and then check out the goal-exploration tool itself, by visiting the Stronger Nation website. We’ve also created a short video that explores the full website and shows you how to use it. The data on the site are continually updated from the U.S. Census and other sources. With it, we can get the latest attainment information, make comparisons, and better understand how to improve education and training outcomes at every level.

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Tracy Chen
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