Superintendent Anderson has emphasized over and over again that the ultimate goal as we transform teaching and learning in NPS is college readiness. We must ensure that all of Newark’s students graduate with the academic, social and emotional skills to success in college. How have you been reacting to this? Isn’t getting a high school diploma enough for some students? Won’t there be low-skill jobs out there for our students who drop out?
Not really. The commitment to college readiness is based in the simple truth that our students will have an exponentially greater chance at employment and stability with college-level skills.
The amount of education required to participate in the labor market has been steadily increasing over the last forty years. Multiple studies by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce show job prospects for high school dropouts have steeply declined over the last few decades. In 1973, individuals with less than a high school education comprised 32 percent of the workforce. By 2007, only 11 percent of American jobs were held by high school dropouts. With job prospects vanishing for young people who drop out, the imperative is clear – we need to keep our students in school.
Employees with a high school diploma or less were not only hit hardest by recession, they have continued to suffer as the rest of the economy slowly recovers. As jobs have been created, they have all gone to workers with at least some post-secondary education, while workers with a high school diploma or less have continued to lose jobs.
Workers with a High School Diploma or Less Have Suffered Most in Recession – and in Recovery
As the green line shows, workers with a Bachelor’s degree or higher gained jobs both during the recession and during the recovery, while workers with high school diplomas or less lost 1.75 million jobs. While workers with some college education or higher began gaining jobs during the recovery, job prospects for America’s least educated workers continued to decline.
Chart from Carnavale, Jayasundera and Cheah; “The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, 08/15/12.
As the 21st century economy demands increasing levels of education to compete, we must give our students the tools they need to rise to the challenge. Newark Public Schools is committed to ensuring that our students can compete. Our priority– dramatically transforming teaching and learning– to ensure that our students graduate with the academic, social and emotional skills necessary to succeed in college and career. We are embarking on an exciting year as we launch multiple initiatives that are focused on this critical goal. With a shared commitment to do everything possible to move all of Newark’s students to college-level proficiency, we will change the future of Newark.