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Stronger Nation, the signature report from Lumina Foundation used by policymakers and media organizations across the country, has some good news and not-so-good news this week:
The country is making steady progress in education and training after high school, with a higher proportion of Americans holding degrees and certificates. But large gaps remain across racial and ethnic groups.
And the incremental progress? It’s still too slow if we’re going to build the educated, trained workforce America needs to offer a high standard of living and be competitive in a complex global economy.
Lumina has a singular focus on this issue. To continue increasing the country’s social and economic security and prosperity, we’re working to help create a high-quality, affordable system of education beyond high school that serves all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income, or geography.
Ideally, we would see 60 percent of people in this country with those degrees or credentials by 2025. But the new Stronger Nation report puts the current figure just shy of 47 percent.
Improvement will mean providing relevant, reliable, and transparent data that allow us to understand the nation’s educational attainment. Such data are essential to enabling practitioners, educational providers, employers, and policymakers to make better decisions as we redesign the education system.
Stronger Nation is a powerful source—an online interactive tool that allows anyone to visualize the status of attainment across the nation, in specific states, and within metro areas. The data can be broken out by race and ethnicity and level of education at the national and state levels. The tool is interactive, so the data can be arrayed in a variety of ways and customized by each user.
Some interesting facts:
We’re sharing our interactive database nationally, and we know from experience the information is of strong interest to policymakers and education reporters, among others. As we tell the story of education in the United States, and what states and communities are doing to foster greater education and training after high school, we’ll let you know as the information changes—and as the country’s prospects for the future continue to grow.
Courtney Brown, Ph.D., is the vice president of strategic impact at Lumina Foundation, overseeing efforts in the areas of strategic planning, impact, and learning. She also leads Lumina’s international engagement efforts.
Degrees and Certificates Rise in U.S., but Not Fast Enough | The Chronicle of Higher Education | Feb. 11, 2018