Every time a new statistic comes out on education I find myself looking harder at what is happening in the Escambia County public school district. This week I was told that few of the graduates from the district are qualified to enroll in a community college or university.
I couldn’t find such a report on the Florida DOE website, but the state does track the post-secondary plans of high school graduates. Across the state, 66 percent of the high school graduates planned in 2010-11, the most recent report, to attend a community college or university–28 percent community college, 32 percent university, 6 percent out-of-state. See postsecond1011.
Escambia County had only two out of five of its high school graduates report that they would be attending college or a university. Santa Rosa reported 77 percent. Okaloosa reported 52 percent.
It’s hard to compete for new corporations, especially with the emphasis on STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) for a more educated workforce, with so few getting into two- and four-year institutions.
We may need a community-wide task force to intervene and figure how to truly improve our public education system.
When you add in trade schools, continuing ed and enlistment in Armed Forces, the Escambia County percentage jumps to 48.86 percent. The state average goes to 73.19 percent.
Only three districts have a lower percentage than Escambia County —Flagler 42.25 percent, Manatee 48.77 percent and Orange 30.75 percent