As the state continues to grow, the future will be up to the youth of Texas. Thus, their education, creating knowledgeable and qualified leaders, will be key. Such brings me to the recent report from the Austin American-Statesman, highlighting the state’s graduation rate reaching an all-time high. Up to 85.9%, this number is a 1.6% increase from 2011. This is a great sign of improvement, especially as 92% of these graduates completed their schooling in less than five years. Also impressive was the four-year math and science requirement for these students – credentials not previously mandatory for graduates. Though the graduation for whites was highest, increases in minority graduation rates, particularly among Blacks and Hispanics, was another positive sign.
While such increases are a step in the right direction, further work needs to be put in to ensure the future leaders of the state and world are properly prepared. First, as the minority population reaches a majority, further improvements need to be made to increase their graduation rate – especially to levels equivalent to Anglos. As our state and country becomes more diverse, the education of such minorities will be key in achieving reflective representation.
In addition to these unequal graduation rates, the United States still lags behind many other nations in its primary education quality, ranking 25th in mathematics and 20th in science, according to this study. Such rankings are unacceptable, especially as the United States used to dominate in these fields. If Texas cannot properly educate its youth, not only will we lose respect from abroad, but also decrease the quality of our currently renowned secondary institutions. For a country of so many, with so much money, further investment is needed. In my opinion, both Texas and the country overhaul the education system, or we fall victim to international takeover in all fields of innovation – technology, energy, medicine, etc. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose.
“Texas' graduation rate hits all-time high.” Austin American-Statesman. http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/texas-graduation-rate-hits-all-time-high-2427631.html
“International Comparison of Math, Reading, and Science Skills Among 15-Year-Olds.” Infoplease. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923110.html