On November 9, I attended the GPEE Critical Issues Form on education messaging and a roll out of EdQuest Georgia—the massive work of Dr. Dana Rickman and others of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. I had my cage rattled!!! EdQuest Georgia is the result of a massive data collection to identify the critical issues in Georgia public education. It looks at the critical issues of what we do: foundations of learning, quality teaching, quality leadership, supportive learning environments, advanced instructional system, clear pathways to post-secondary success and adequate and equitable funding. The clairvoyant work identifies what the issues are, what we have done, and most importantly what is missing and needs immediate action. It is one of the very best data and policy works that I have seen in years. It most certainly sets the stage for where Georgia needs to go in the coming years. I strongly encourage you to visit www.edquestGA.org. It will be eye opening!
One of the sets of Georgia statistics that Dr. Rickman presented really floored me and I present it to you:
14% of 4-year olds have quality pre-K in Georgia
81% High School Graduation rate—the best!
68% of the Class of 2012 went on to post-secondary options
14% of the Class of 2012 completed a post-secondary certificate or
diploma by the end of 2016
If that does not tell you what we need to work in Georgia, then nothing will. If the public-school graduation rate was 14%, the Georgia General Assembly would order that all public schools be burned and abandoned. Never have I been so proud of what we have done, knowing that we are not there yet, and at the same time so embarrassed at our glaring deficiencies.
One of if not the most commonly held beliefs in Georgia and the nation is that education leads to better jobs, more earnings, and happier lives. If we believe that then it time for the rubber to meet the road from four-year-old pre-K through post-secondary. K-12 public education in Georgia has proven that we are up to the task!