In updating the Pensacola Metro Dashboard, we found incremental progress on key issues — and lots of progress still to be made.
Among the key points:
— The graduation and the kindergarten readiness rates for the metro area nearly mirror each other. About the same percentage of children who come to school in kindergarten ready to learn are graduating from high school.
But that seems to indicate that we aren’t making enough progress in bringing the children who start out behind as 5-year-olds up to speed to graduate on time with their peers.
— The gap in education data between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties remains pronounced. Using the free and reduced-price lunch rate as an indicator of poverty, Escambia’s higher concentration of poverty is impacting the educational prospects of her children.
And Escambia County has not yet figured out how to overcome that impact.
— We are making a little more money, based on per capita income, but we still are below the state average.
— Our health is improving, as the percentage of people who are overweight or obese has declined, but 60 percent is still too high. The health problems that come with being overweight are a drain on our economic and health care resources.
— Tourism is on the rise, and crime is down.
Here’s how the 2015 version of the Pensacola Metro Dashboard stacks up.