Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kentucky lags in hard sciences

Education forum will look at reasons and how it can improve

If Kentucky is going to be an economic engine in the global marketplace, a lot is going to have to change in education.

Consider that nationally Kentucky ranks:

  • 47th in workforce education.
  • 47th in the number of scientists and engineers.
  • 44th in the number of high-tech businesses.
  • 42nd in the number of high-tech jobs.
  • 41st in the number of science and engineering occupations.
  • 39th in industry investment in research and development.

Those statistics are according to a study released in March by the Council on Postsecondary Education STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Task Force and the University of Kentucky.

In a study released in August by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, of every 100 ninth-grade Kentucky students in 2004:

  • 64.8 percent of students graduated from high school.
  • 37.2 percent directly entered college.
  • 24.2 percent enrolled in their second year.
  • 12.3 percent graduated within 150 percent of the program time.
  • 22.2 percent from ages 25-44 had bachelor's degrees.

All five of those statistics are below the national averages, and far below the best-performing states.

So why is Kentucky lagging, and how can those numbers be improved?

That will be discussed at a couple of workshops - "Getting There from Here" and "Can We Supply the Demand?" - at the Vision 2015 "Champions for Education" summit Wednesday at Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Vision 2015 is a strategic plan of providing regional economic and social solutions by 2015. The purpose of the summit is to inform and empower local citizens to promote and support a better education system in Northern Kentucky....

This from the Cincinnati Enquirer.


Anonymous said...


I am wary about the reported graduation rate. It rests on having 53,583 ninth graders in the fall of 2001--but in the spring 2001 CATS testing, we only had 47,544 8th graders.

Where did the added kids spring from over the summer? Mainly, they are students who take ninth grade twice.

The trouble is, they can only graduate once.

That means it's not possible to produce a graduation rate of 100%, and the numbers are deeply misleading.

Susan Weston

The Principal said...

Astute observation, Susan.