Thursday, May 19, 2011

Degree growth: some proportions

Here are two ways to put our 2011 postsecondary degrees into some context.

Yes, the comparisons in the first graph are rough. In the first graph, I'm comparing this year's graduates to diplomas six years back and eighth grade four years before that, rather than matching students' actual progress through the education system.  The comparisons in the second graph are even rougher, because private school numbers are harder to come by.  The 2011 postsecondary figures include students getting second degrees, adults getting degrees well into their 30s and beyond, and students from out-of-state--while leaving out Kentucky citizens collecting degrees in other jurisdictions.

Even with all those caveats, I respectfully submit that these comparisons suggest that in coming years, our population aged 25 to 34 is going to be better educated than generations before them.

Source notes: 2001 public 8th grade comes from the 2006 Kentucky Performance Report, and 2005 public diplomas from the 2009 Nonacademic Data briefing packet.  2011 degrees are from this week's Council on Postsecondary Education preliminary reporting.  For private schools, Digest of Educational Statistics 2008 provides a 2005 graduation estimate of 3,720, and Digest of Educational Statistics 2004 provides a Fall 2001 prekindergarten to grade 12 enrollment estimate of 72,819, which I divided by 13 to estimate grade 8 enrollment at 5,601.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!