Seattle and Washington state have rather a lot to crow about on the subject of the innovation financial system, together with disproportionately giant expertise employment and R&D funding in comparison with many different states.
In that context, a distinct statistic is so jarring that Laura Ruderman, CEO of the Technology Alliance, made some extent of claiming it twice throughout the group’s annual State of Technology Luncheon on Wednesday in Seattle — acknowledging that it would take a second to sink in with the viewers of tech leaders.
“We’d like to take a data-driven deep dive into the problem of why Washington state consistently ranks at the bottom of states that send their kids to college, in or out of state,” Ruderman mentioned, describing the Tech Alliance’s upcoming targets.
The want for homegrown faculty grads is a key challenge for talent-hungry tech corporations. The statistic clearly stunned some in the viewers, together with keynote speaker Yoko Miyashita, CEO of hashish info firm Leafly, who introduced it up throughout her on-stage dialog with Pallavi Mehta Wahi of Okay&L Gates.
“That’s just shocking, and we should be really appalled by that,” Miyashita mentioned.
So what’s the statistic, precisely? We adopted as much as discover out extra.
Ruderman pointed us to assets together with the Tech Alliance’s Benchmarking Reports, the 2021 model of which gives this abstract of information from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems: “53% of Washington students go directly from high school to college, placing us 46th in the nation and ahead of only Utah in our cohort states. Nearly 80% of students in Massachusetts go directly to higher education.”
It’s not a brand new challenge. “Education experts say there is no single reason why Washington has stumbled at getting kids to go to college,” the Seattle Times reported almost a decade in the past. “It’s the sum of a variety of issues that have together created a weak college-going culture.”
The web site Puget Sound Indexer revealed a sequence of tales on the challenge, together with this 2020 piece: “Why Don’t More Washington Kids Go to College?“
The challenge additionally got here up throughout a panel dialogue at the occasion. Michelle Reid, superintendent of the Northshore School District, northeast of Seattle, mentioned Washington state is forty eighth amongst all states in sending historically underrepresented college students to post-secondary education.
“I think we have to stop thinking about this as a student issue. This is a system problem; there’s nothing wrong with our students,” Reid mentioned, to applause. “Unless we can disrupt the system in significant ways, we will continue to put good people into the system who are not able to flourish, or have robust outcomes.”
Ruderman mentioned the Tech Alliance, which is marking its twenty fifth anniversary, plans to launch an up to date financial affect report subsequent month, evaluating the present state of the innovation financial system to the 1997 model of the report.