This weekend during PBS NewsHour we talk to the E3 Alliance about their 2014 Central Texas Education Profile, an in-depth report of educational data covering trends and outcomes for the entire Central Texas region.
On Saturday, we talk to Susan Dawson, Executive Director of E3.
“We use [the data] to inform the community and inform better decision making around education, whether it’s for superintendents and school districts, business and community leaders, for nonprofits who work in the education space, policy makers, all of us throughout the region have different pieces of impact on the education space and it’s to inform that impact through objective data,” Dawson said.
Dawson told us Central Texas is unique because of the area’s rapid growth. Texas has the fastest growing student population of all 50 states in the country and Central Texas’ student population is growing at twice the state’s rate, and of that growth, low income students and English Language Learners are growing at twice that rate.
“So the students who we’re working hardest to help succeed are growing at twice the rate of the region which is already twice the rate of the fastest growing state in the entire country,” Dawson emphasized.
On Sunday, we talk to E3’s Director of Policy and Research, Shawn Thomas. Thomas explained some of this year’s findings regarding our region’s dropout rate.
“For the last decade, we’ve seen that our graduation rates for low income students were lower than graduation rates for low income students in the other urban areas across the state including Houston, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio. But, this year we saw that change for the first time with our 2012 graduation rates,” Thomas said. “We do know that there’s a very strong relationship between attendance and graduation rates and we know that attendance patterns in our region have changed over the past few years as well.”
You can see the entire E3 Alliance Central Texas Education Profile on the organization’s website.
KLRU News Briefs air locally on Saturday and Sunday during PBS NewsHour Weekend starting at 6:30pm.