60 percent goal
For 11 years, Idaho has said it wants 60 percent of its young adults to hold a college degree or professional certificate. Now, it looks like the State Board of Education wants to scrap the goal.
The State Board of Education says it isn’t abandoning a decade-long goal: convincing 60 percent of the state’s 25- to 34-year-olds to get a college degree or certificate. But the numbers aren’t moving, and state leaders aren’t talking much about this goal these days.
In a speech to Treasure Valley business leaders, Boise State University’s president defended the diversity and inclusion programs that have sparked a conservative backlash. “What I’m interested in is catching students wherever we can catch them.”
All Idaho high school seniors are pre-approved for some or all of the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities. And they can start applying, for free, on Oct. 1.
Fewer than 45 percent of the state’s high school graduates went straight to college last fall. Despite a multimillion-dollar campaign to encourage students to continue their education, this number has remained stagnant.
Idaho students can take Advanced Placement exams — at taxpayer expense. Still, the percentage of Idaho students passing an AP test remains mired at No. 39 nationally.
Idaho is struggling to convince high school graduates to continue their education. And that isn’t an isolated problem, the Hechinger Report said this week.
If an apprentice goes straight from high school to a good job, that doesn’t “count” toward Idaho’s signature education goal. “We’ve kind of got ourselves into a narrow box,” says the state’s apprenticeship coordinator.