George Grainger, senior program officer for Houston Endowment's education initiatives, said he believes it's a valid performance index for the entire education pipeline, not just higher education.
"We felt if we put our name on this, we can talk about it in a way that a state agency is perhaps not able to," he
"We're very careful in saying that we don't know what the goal for the state should be for this index," Grainger
said, "nor are we saying how to get there."
acknowledged that "intuitively," the fact that just one out of five Texas students completes a post-secondary degree is "not what Texas needs, not what the kids of Texas need, not what employers need."
This omission could be corrected, Grainger
said, but Texas does not currently pay to access National Student Clearinghouse data.
said it was no surprise to learn that economically disadvantaged students are far less likely to earn a higher education credential than their peers.
said the numbers among minority males are particularly troubling.
With fewer than 10 out of every 100 earning a credential, he
said, "the question is what is going on in the lives of the 90 who didn't complete a college certificate or degree in this window.
The answer to the question is probably not what the state needs."
added that he
was pleasantly surprised to see that the state's higher education completion had been slightly increasing each year, given Texas' rapid population growth and the relative under-performance of Hispanic students (just 11.6 percent of those in the 2001 cohort completed a credential).
"The good news is that things are getting better," he