A new report examines the South’s struggles to prepare students for skilled jobs, and looks at where, specifically, students in individual Southern states fall out of the high school-to-college pipeline.
It also seeks to identify educational priorities for the region, if it is going to compete for jobs domestically, and internationally.
The authors find that the percentage of young adults obtaining at least a two-year degree in many Southern states lags behind not only U.S. averages, but also behind those of many nations. Of 13 Southern states identified, only one—Virginia—topped the U.S. average of 42 percent of young adults obtaining at least an associate degree. Eight Southern states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas—lagged below the average of nations grouped within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development other than the United States.
Written by the MDC, a nonprofit organization based in Chapel Hill, N.C., that focuses on educational and economic issues, the report also finds that the secondary-to-postsecondary pipeline springs leaks at very different points, depending on the state where students live.
A version of this article appeared in the November 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Pipeline to College