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Innovation Video Series, Episode 7—The Economics of an Educated State


We have a perfect storm brewing, Dana Rickman tells us.

Dana is policy and research director for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Throughout her career, she’s used data and research to help inform the state’s views on education. Here, she shares some compelling numbers about how Georgia’s economic future depends on our children’s ability to read by third grade. Businesses, she argues, should take up the cause to Get Georgia Reading, because it’s in their own best interests.

Fewer students are graduating from high school. In 2012, only 42 percent of Georgians had some education beyond high school. By 2020, 60 percent of jobs in the state will require some form of higher education. On our current trajectory, we’ll fall short by some 250,000 diplomas. “Our workforce cannot support our economic development needs,” Dana said.

While our graduation rates drop, our K12 system is increasing its standards, accountability, and rigor. “School is going to get harder,” she said. Watch this video to hear about some potential positive outcomes—if we can weather this perfect storm responsibly.


Then go back and watch Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, who shares key data on attendance in Episode 6—Showing Up Consistently is Key to School Success.